GETTING MORE TALE #828: The Ones That Got Away
A year ago we did a massive de-clutter. We had gotten to the point where we accumulated too much stuff. Especially after Jen’s mom passed away. We probably kept too much of her stuff out of sentiment. But in a very short period of time we made massive purge; a painful purge. And it wasn’t the first. As you go through life you get rid of things. You can’t carry all your possessions with you through your whole life.
Although I have forgotten many of the myriad DVDs, books, T-shirts and collectibles that I tossed to the curb, there are some that I now regret losing. Doner’s regret is a very real thing. Some decisions were made in haste and others were made without sufficient foresight.
I used to record all of my CDs and LPs to cassette so that I could play them in the car. Once I had a car CD player, I didn’t need to keep doing that. Eventually I decided to give away all my excess cassettes and that’s how they ended up in a Thunder Bay landfill. I only regret giving away a small handful of my tapes. I wish I had hung onto some of the more obscure ones, and anything that I made cool artwork for. I guess I didn’t imagine that one day people would want to look at photos of old cassettes and read reviews of them.
In years past, any time I have done a major de-cluttering, I’ve thrown a massive garage sale. Sorting through and pricing items gives you some time to process what you’re doing, and make final decisions. It’s an ideal way of getting rid of stuff. But even so, I have made mistakes that I regret now. My childhood rock magazine collection — what I would give to have some of those issues again. They would come in handy with what I’m doing now. I had just about every issue of Hit Parader from 1987 through to 1990. From there I moved on to RIP, Metal Edge and the various guitar magazines available. When I purged my magazines, I hung onto just a small handful, but knowing they were irreplaceable, I kept all my M.E.A.T. Thank God I did! I’d never be able to replace them all if I hadn’t, and those things have been invaluable research sources. At least I know my magazines went to a good home. My old friend Len came to the garage sale and took every one. I know he is someone who would appreciate them for what they are.
I got rid of the magazines when I got married. I had to make space for my awesome new wife and her boxes and boxes full of clothes! Around the same time, I passed all my old Star Wars toys down to my sister Kathryn. Again, I have no regrets. They went to the right person to care for them. I admit I do get a nostalgic craving to hold my Han Solo one more time, but I think that could be arranged if necessary.
More recently, I’m kicking myself for giving away all my Star Trek DVDs. All the movies (I had the double DVD collector sets), and all the seasons of the Original Series. The entire “Fan Collective” series, which were so good. Gone in one trip to the Goodwill store. Decision made far too quickly and I’ve been regretting it ever since. Why donate instead of sell? Because we were trying to do this very quickly. Hiring an organizer is expensive. Getting a couple bucks per disc wasn’t worth trying to hawk them all. I put them in a huge bag, dropped them off at Goodwill and tried to feel good about the regained space.
Don’t get me wrong — I needed the space. But my purge went too far.
So now I have to re-buy all the Trek movies. I can do without the series as they are all on Netflix, but I need the films back. I don’t know what to buy: blu-ray, DVD, whatever has the best content? This would have been simpler had I just kept them all. A couple weeks ago I re-bought an old Star Wars comic that I somehow lost. It must have left the house accidentally jammed between something else because I never would have gotten rid of issue #47, “Droid World”. It’s the only issue that means anything to me and the only one I want to have. I used to try and draw all the different robots inside over and over again. Cost me $5 to replace, but oh well. Never should have left the house.
At least I didn’t let a single CD go. That organiser tried, oh did she ever try.
“So what are we doing with these?” she asked about the three CD towers and numerous mountains of dics in my workspace.
“These are all staying.” I replied bluntly. “These are my life and they are non-negotiable.”
“You know that you can put all of this on a computer now and not have to worry about storing all of these? I mean when can you listen to all of this?”
The same questions everybody asks. Everybody who’s not a music fan that is.
“I’m putting them on my computer all the time. That’s what this setup is for. But I collect CDs, some of these are irreplaceable. I love them all. I could tell you where I got almost every single one. I read the notes inside. I look at the artwork.”
Trying to explain it was like talking to a wall. “But all that stuff is online!” She was begging me to reconsider but guess what. I still have all my CDs.
Still trying to work on a decent storage layout, but I’m not a carpenter. I can barely hammer a nail. I need people to help with stuff like that. It’ll happen one day. But the discs. aren’t. leaving. And just on a logistical level, I need to have my music backed up to a hard copy like CD anyway just in case something happened to my 2-terrabyte digital library!
I would never recommend hiring a professional organiser to any of my music fans. They won’t understand your needs and you could end up making mistakes. Don’t make the same ones I did, but do stick to your guns when it comes to your albums!