Alright, NaBloPoMo, you wanted More/Less… here’s a problem I have. I accumulate documents. Look, when I first started writing in my teens, Bill Gates hadn’t done jack to help me, yet. The only thing I had to use was a notebook and a pen. A couple of years into it, my dad got a Brother Word Processor (the kind you had to switch out actual reels in order to change the font type) and I thought it was the next best thing since Nintendo had kicked Atari’s ass! Then the home computer arrived, but I was already in the habit of curling up with my notebooks. When I couldn’t afford the newest invention called the ‘laptop’, I went down to the local Goodwill and bought a nice typewriter.
So, what’s the problem, you ask? I have bins FILLED with notebooks and printed documents. I could scan them, or even take the time to type them into Word and save them (takes up less memory than a scanned document) – I have done this, I really have. And then… the notebooks and papers go right back into the bin. I just can’t bring myself to throw these original pieces of paper away. Why? Fear. I’m afraid that if I do, something horrible will happen and they’ll be lost forever. Paper can’t get destroyed by a computer virus. These are my hard copies. My one, true backup system that can’t fail by technology’s devious, fickle hands. Yes, I have a Dropbox online. Yes, I have flash-drives. Yes, I even have 3 1/2″ floppy disks for the older stuff – no judging – but, it’s not the same.
A few several years ago, my worst nightmare happened. I uninstalled the crappy anti-virus software on my computer, because it wasn’t doing anything other than bogging down my hard drive and before I could install a new one – I was hit by a virus that wiped out all of my documents from A through I. It was devastating. Losing all of that hard work, all of those stories that I will never be able to get back again was like losing a loved one. The grief is inconsolable; I still feel it to this day. Especially, whenever one of those stories pops into my head and I have to relive its loss all over again. I had books that were 90% done and now, I fight with my brain to dig back into the past and rejuvenate its love for those tales, for its convinced that those books are already done. My brain has moved on and the stubborn thing refuses to go back. (Btw, this happened when thumb and flash-drives were still highly expensive items that usually only office personnel had access to, not every local retail store).
The point is – As much as I would love to just copy all of these documents down into a safe file somewhere and empty the bins into a wood stove in order to cut the clutter out of my storage – I just can’t seem to let them go. I think I’m doomed to have these crates of paperwork following me wherever I move in the future. Oh, did I mention that I still curl up with notebooks, perpetuating the problem, rather than helping it? ((sigh))
Do you have something you simply can’t bring yourself to let go of, from fear of possible regret or permanent loss?