My wife spent some time last week cleaning out our garage. She identified a number of boxes of stuff that were “mine.” She asked me to look at them and decide what I still wanted to keep and what we could discard. I did.
Some of the stuff was books I’d saved from when I was an elementary schoolteacher and later an elementary school principal. Some of it came from jobs I had later, including memorabilia from my years at Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and TICAL, at Santa Cruz County Office of Education. There were copies of articles I’d had published in various educational journals. There were copies of contracts with organizations as varied as SRI International and the Federal Communications Commission. All of it was from the past.
What do you do with stuff like this at 70 years of age? Unless you are so important or famous that the world might care—and someone, hopefully your heirs, might profit from having access to it—you dump it in the trash. Save your kids from having to deal with it when you’re gone. Not being important or famous, and not wanting anyone to have to deal with this stuff in my absence, that’s what I did. Into the dumpster it went.
That said, it was not much fun. It made me think of the song, “Is that all there is?” Forgive me if I break out the booze.