My life in shreds……

Do you see the resemblance?

Yep. That pile of erstwhile trees, and several more just like it, is my life alright. I have finally destroyed the paper trail that I have traveled for lo these many years. Talk about bittersweet.

We’ll be moving in June (soon to be a future blog) and rather than transport all the files full of old bills, transactions, tax forms, out-of-date legal documents, mortgage papers and personal correspondence, I decided to bring their existence to a merciful end. And thanks to a segment of our society that preys on the ID’s of others, I can’t just throw them in the recycle bin. For literally hours on end, my Fellowes Intellishred PS-79Ci devoured the more mundane moments of my life, 13 pages at a time. Ream upon ream of paper representing income and expenditures long ago forgotten by all but the ubiquitous IRS.

But don’t think for a minute that my life was interesting enough to produce all this. Included in here are the remnants of other lives. Family members who in their last years counted on me to conduct their daily business and affairs. While I did this willingly, it certainly put extra stress on my less than stellar organizational skills, not to mention my file cabinet.

I am glad I will finally have less clutter and more storage space, but it’s sadly ironic that these life stories that took so long to live out can be extinguished so easily and quickly. The sweat and tears that produced these records now serve only to lubricate the grinding jaws of the shredder as it hums its steady tune of indifference.

Slowly over the years, much like some of you, I have converted almost all that is me into some digital form. Pictures, documents, correspondence, etc. are now all huddled cozily in their own little flash drive, just waiting to see the light of day again. The lucky ones will get that long-anticipated call from the wireless printer, freeing them to once again manifest themselves in tangible form to define my very being.

As for the colorful agglomerate that was my former life, I hope it will recycle, nay, reinvent itself into the pages of some best-selling novel. My suggestion for the title: “Big Al Was Here.”

24 thoughts on “My life in shreds……

  1. The last time I did a clear out my shredder went on fire. It takes forever. Peter decided a bonfire was more efficient, but I’m not so sure, and I don’t think the neighbours appreciated it!!

    I need an industrial one, the type they use in law and accounting firms…. For emergencies 🙂

  2. You know, Al, the pile of paper-shards can be used to line the cages of some nice birds or rodents. Yes, they may poop on them, but you can rest well knowing that you provided a soft landing for all creatures, great and small. Such a noble end to your tax forms…

    Good luck on the move. I found it entirely liberating to sort and recycle and purge when I left my home after my separation. Most of us collect and haul around around to much “stuff” of the literal and figurative variety. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could as easily shred our figurative stuff? 😉

  3. I have been shredding the documents with ID numbers, but I am merely tossing school papers. Sometimes it is better to rely on your memory of the wonderful thing you wrote. Going back to read it can be a downer. You mentioned you were moving and I am very curious as to why you are going back into a house. Please share. Dianne

    PS, the shredded stuff works well in the compost bins.

    • Hi Dianne. I will post a blog soon explaining the reasons for and details of the move. Just another exciting chapter in our lives!

  4. Let’s not tell Mike you’re killing paper. He refuses to part with paper records. When he’s not looking, I shred files that I know he’ll never miss. Of course, I don’t have a super duper shredder so I tear it into little pieces. Hahaha.

  5. I think you need to write that novel yourself, Big Al. George hasn’t gotten the knack of getting rid of a lot of his old files. We lugged them all here from Texas. Hope the packing is going well. We’re getting excited!

    • Hi Jeri. Good to hear form you again. We are moving to Virginia Beach. We’re going to the house that Patty’s parents use to own. We have been renting it out some but Patty has always wanted to live there so off we go. If you ever come through that way I have a course in mind that will tax even a couple of pros like you and Jack.

      • You’re on! Must be hard to leave those beautiful Granddaughters, but still not too far away for a quick drive. Jack and I were just reading the Golf Digest “Best Courses you can Play” and starting to plan out a few golf trups throughout the summer. Might just make VB a destination. I have a niece who lives there.

  6. I haven’t been able to reduce my life to that yet, despite having moved and swearing….”I will not move this crap again” I suspect I will. My problem is that I’m not sure what I should keep so I keep it all.

    I hope the anticipated move is a good one, perferably somewhere where the wife and Queenie will occupy your time with long walks and special times.

    Try not to feel sad, instead embrace the idea that your special memories, and pictures can always be with you no matter where you go. Just as long as you have a pocket big enough for a thumb drive. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, Jodi. I appreciate your sincerity. While there are some mixed feelings which I’ll describe in a future post, (also see above comment) we are looking forward to the move and Queenie will get to become a beach dog now. She has been there many times and loves it!

      • Well now I’m just jealous. 🙂 My guys love the beach too and it is one of the reasons I want my blog to succeed, so I can give them the life they love before they are too old to enjoy it.

  7. When you go at last to that big zip-drive in the sky, those shreds will become confetti, joyfully tossed into the air by those who mourn and at the same time celebrate the fact that “Big Al was here.”

    Good luck with the move!

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s