Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Memories, light the corner of my office

I've started a new daily ritual at work. You see, the federal agency where I work is going to completely renovate our historic building, which means that almost everybody has to relocate for several years.

I'm actually pretty happy about it. I get to move to a brand new building that is just about 2 miles from our house (yeah!) . The move is slated to begin around Christmastime and my new ritual involves taking 5 minutes every morning to attack another drawer to recycle, toss or shred stuff I just do not need to keep. I figure if I do a little bit every day it won't be so overwhelming come winter.

But one thing I hadn't counted on was how it would feel to do this every morning. I've ended up discovering a very random collection of stuff (umbrellas, eight year old boxes of raisins, sippy cups?) but it's the note pads and old calendars that really get to me. Because the words there reflect different chunks of my life that now rarely cross my mind.

The perspective can be good. I can remember how stressed I was let's say six years ago about a certain project and now reading the words I don't feel stress at all (heck, I can't even remember some of the stuff that seemed SO IMPORTANT back then). Anyway, this gives me great hope that the things that are so stressful to me today will one day be equally unimportant in my life.

But some things I've read are really poignant to me. Like today I pulled out an old calendar--2002 At a Glance. I guess I relied more on paper calendars than back then than I do now, because there is so much detail in what I wrote. One that really brought me back in time was a little doodly note I scratched out on May 25, 2002.

"Grief is really hard work. You'd think I'd be much thinner now."

My dad had died on May 16th, which is why I wrote the note--losing him was just heartbreaking and I was trying to go on, but it was really hard. The reason this struck me so much is because this is EXACTLY the kind of thing my dad would have said. I miss him so much still, but I also feel some peace in the fact that his goofy way of looking at the world lives on. Not just in me, but in my brothers and sisters and all of us. I'll always regret that he never got to meet Danny and Benji. He would have been in heaven. Wait, I'm pretty sure that's where he is now! (Yes, this is an example of goofy.)

By the way, in case you're wondering, I tossed this calendar out with the rest. I always think of the Indigo Girl's song that says "don't take a picture, remember this in your heart". I just can't keep everything. Well, maybe just a few things... ;-)

Alrighty then. Back to my regularly scheduled work day. Wonder what tomorrow's 5 minutes of cleaning will bring! -M

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