Zaf came home and asked me what was I doing? Sitting at my desk, after spending the entire morning cleaning out the “office area” of the garage and dragging the boxes into the office, I was tearing through paperwork stored for over twenty years.
My hands were busy going through each file, separating papers that had personal information on them and stacking them in, yet another pile headed for the shredder.
But my mind was visiting my former life.
Tax returns, mortgage payments, income earned, utility bills, office expenses, etc. re-visited my/our financial history. I can certainly understand keeping recent tax records, but why on earth was I keeping a receipt of a coat I bought a decade ago? It was interesting to see mortgage rates from 2000 and what it cost me to refinance in 2008, but it is time to toss them out and focus on upcoming financial retirement plans.
Old addresses brought flashes of rooms that I lived in, cleaned, hosted family and friends and sought comfort in after long, busy days making a living and living a life.
Paystubs from jobs that I took on the side to support myself as I established my business were reminders of how hard I worked to change the way I earned my living…from being an employee to being able to support myself as a business owner was a long road. Seeing the awards of achievements given to me made me proud – yet humbling; they had motivated me to help others start and grow their own business and give them the tools to succeed.
Old clients greeted me and reminded me of the time I spent with them, how much they paid me and wondering where they are today. Are they still in business? Have they retired? Did they move away? Should I get a minute in my hectic days, I might just use social media to find them.
The items I kept are my day runners. Yes, they may not call them that now, because not too many people use them – everything is on mobile phones. It is indeed easier to use as you carry your phone anyway, except for the tiny keyboards that have a tendency to pop in a word that you didn’t intend to use – so you have to keep typing to get to the word you do want to use! I don’t carry the day runner with me either…I keep it on the side credenza near my desk and record key points of my days as I have done since the beginning of time. The past entries I have made bring me back to how I lived each day…a walk down memory lane…and one that I will use to find inspiration for my blog. I like my blog to be based on how we explore retirement days ahead by reflecting on where we were yesterday. The rhythm of the two intertwines the past, the present, and future. It is the whole of me.
The piles got smaller and smaller and finally disappeared. But I am still here and embracing n new way of living and finding freedom from carrying the weight of the past from things that don’t really matter. Exploring what comes next is highly anticipated!
I didn’t hurry though. I looked at each page and enjoyed the memory jolts. You would think that all this delving into the past would bring tears to my eyes. No, the tears I shed was because the shredder was heating up too fast, getting caught in its own cycle and driving me nuts. Retire well.
We are on it!
Photograph of letter to pay taxes from The Personal Collection of Helene and Zaf
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