We just got back from a road trip to Oklahoma to see family there ~ and look at "The Farm" - which I'd been calling "The Property" and was corrected. Technically, it is property (mostly pastureland) that my sister, brother and I will inherit, and at which current time there is no farming happening... so despite being told to call it 'The Farm' ~ I will continue to call it 'The Property.'
We had a great trip - road tested the new Town & Country Van (2013 Touring Edition), and took along Rascal... overnighted in Albuquerque, and spent 5 nights in Oklahoma City with my dad and step-mom, caught up with my sister and her kids, and generally had a real vacation... doing something totally different than our life here.
I have 6 or 7 plastic bins and boxes full of pictures, negatives, journals, calendars etc... to scrapbook from the time I started collecting things about my life. I've scrapbooked (in the traditional sense) since I knew what it was. I'm still not sure why, exactly - I would make a guess in the area of self-validation. To remember the life I've lived, and to be proud of what I've done (or not done, ha ha). To keep alive memories that may have been buried or forgotten, which I believe are worth remembering.
But my deal with myself is that if, by the end of 2014, these things are not properly scrapbooked, the bins emptied, and the journals read for the timeline and details to "tell the memory book story," then I will let it all go.
Visiting my dad's - he has bookshelves and his computer filled with pictures. Family. Genealogy-type things. It gives us a sense of where we fit in our family, I suppose...? Pride in the hard-working family stock I come from, that is for sure (and where is that in me?). Dad and I didn't have a chance to talk about his ultimate goal for the pictures... what he sees his finished (but what is really a work-in-progress project) product to look like.
I understand that I come by my love of history, family, pictures... very naturally, I see now.
The other thing I came away with from my trip was understanding something dad said about attachment. He said something about 'being attached makes everything more difficult.' If we could detach ourselves from things (and people, even), then going through life would be much easier.
And this is all just stuff. these bins of my life, my memories... And why do I want to spend time (precious time) putting my life into order? Who will I leave it for? I don't see anyone wanting my life's memories after I'm dead. And when I think about that, I become sad that I don't have children. Then I think about raising a child today and the political climate, the moral climate, etc... and I'm so relieved I don't have a child to protect.
And life is about now. Right? Remembering we are all connected, we are all part of the human story - regardless of any kind of religious belief or unbelief - we all share this earth, this space, this time. And I believe that building personal relationships that help each other now is more important than the past.
[Side Note: I tend to remember the negative, guilt-inducing, shameful, painful memories of my life, and the pictures/journals give me balance in restoring what delicate sense of self-esteem I have. This is a constant battle for me... keeping the good memories and the painful memories balanced... helping me stay afloat in the sea of depression that threatens to drown me, dragging me into a swirling whirlpool below the surface, where I lose the sunlight and all the colors that keep me optimistic and joyful.]
This turned out to be more post than I intended.
The bottom line: What do I want most to accomplish in this life?