This is the time of year for rolling over the files. It’s a little late in the season, but I’m working on it. I’m doing it at the office, and I’m doing it at home.
Paper files stack up in piles waiting to fit into boxes, and electronic files sit on internal hard drives waiting to be transferred to external hard drives. And then there are the websites.
My writing table at home is cluttered with file folders, file baskets, and file boxes. All that has to be cleared away, so that I can work at the table again.
Once I lived in a house with an attic, which seemed like a cavern into which unlimited fileboxes could be loaded. Now I live in an apartment with a storage closet. For every new box that goes in, an old box has to come out.
It took a couple of years just to whittle the files down from a huge mass filling the living room to a medium-sized mass filling the storage closet. Now the whittling is getting harder. I have a sheet with guidelines on how long to keep files—tax files, bank files and so on. But at my law office, I have seen cases turn on whether a client could find a document from 20 years ago.
My most important files are not even on the sheet of guidelines. These are my pictures, letters, manuscripts, and ephemera from the many organizations that I have been a part of, many events I have attended, and many causes I have supported. I can’t get rid of those.
I’ve been rolling over my websites, too. This is involuntary, due to yet another break in the line of software I use to create the websites. The craveylaw.com website is fairly far along in the process. The robincravey.com website is currently reduced to a single page. I noticed that taking down that site knocked the supports out from under a lot of the information that formerly came up in an online search of my name. The tiltedplanetpress.com site is still static, without an update in over a year, just waiting. I’m getting there.
Creation of this blog site has been something of an admission of defeat, but also a break for daylight. I had to get something going while all the main sites were rebuilt. (Why? Do you have to ask?) But it is also very liberating to just write something, select a picture, and post it. Well, there’s the editing and rewriting. (Oh, you rewrite? Yes.)
Once I delighted in page layout. I stood for hours at slanted layout tables and glowing light tables. Moving layout to the computer turned it into a sitdown activity. Assembling carefully cut pieces of paper was reduced to pushing images around a screen. It’s more powerful, sure. More efficient, probably. Electrons don’t grow on trees.
Going through old files, real or virtual, brings back memories of course. Evaluate the memories. Which ones are worth saving?