So, I’m moving out of another apartment at the end of this month. This will be my 15th move1 since the spring of 1999. I’ve written from time-to-time about how good I’ve gotten at it.
I definitely haven’t aspired to this transience, but that’s just the way things have gone. Even though I’m just getting started with packing, I’m confident that I’ll be able to get things boxed up and ready without a lot of teeth-gnashing. I’ve got a whole weekend without any other obligations coming up, and a fine storage facility to start stashing my stuff.
It never hurts to get rid of some things when you move, though. I eliminated a mess of books the last time (predominantly from grabbing public domain digital versions instead), and I might cut out some more on this go-’round. At various times since I moved into my current place, I also thinned out my wardrobe, sold or stored more DVDs, and dumped some bulky electronics. I could see CDs going into semi-permanent storage this time, and ditto for all these old toys that are rapidly losing their sentimental value.
Some of those who know me will try to point out that I still have lots of stuff, and don’t want to part with a good portion of it. My attachment to those sorts of possessions, though, have more to do with lifestyle and income than sentiment, though. Of course I don’t want to lose or get rid of my computer(s), TV, cameras, and other favorite gadgets; they are how I make myself seen on the Internet, stay in touch with people I know, and enjoy my hobbies. Any of them could replaced, if they had to be, some at substantial cost. I have, in recent moves, made a habit of cutting loose from things that might be considered highly sentimental.
There are times that I wonder, then, if making snap decisions about my sentimental attachment to “things” has dulled my overall capacity for sentiment. “Stuff” that I own doesn’t really affect me that way very often anymore. My desire to reflect on the past and dwell in warm memories seems to be reduced. Is this change attributable to my detachment from certain possessions, a by-product of my brain–altering pills, or a simple matter of getting older?
In a way, the technological times that we live in have made preserving memory so much easier. What are my most valued possessions? The photos that remind me of the people, things, and places that I’ve experienced hold that distinction. I’ve got 90-ish percent of those tucked away on a hard drive the size of a deck of cards. I just need to keep good backups.
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