I did some quarterly purging at my house this weekend and I have come to some stark realizations.
My son and I are paper hoarders.
I have known I was enamored with all things paper since I was a small child. My mother fondly tells people that I carried around a bible or an advertisement out of the Sunday paper as a toddler. I loved to keep pictures and quotes that I cut out of magazines and newspapers as a child and into my teen years. Most of these things seemed really important at the time, but a couple of days or weeks down the road they lost their appeal and went into the trash.
Fast forward years down the road and I find myself doing the same things.
I am constantly printing recipes and piling them on my bookshelf. Once the pile gets too big I am forced to organize them and put them into binders for later use. Do I use them? Yes, but not before I have to sift through my pile to find them. I tend to be super organized, but the paper thing is the exception.
Every time I change bags or coats I find little notes with books I want to read or recipes I want to tell someone about. I have never really thought about this until I tried to tidy up my son’s desk. His desk looks a lot like my bookshelf. There are notes on things he wants to create and drawings of very important Lego creations. They are jammed in every free space and notebook that he has.
His current passion in life is designing his Halloween costume for 2013 and all things Lego. These are monumentally important to a 10-year-old boy.
I sat down and talked to him about why he has all these bits of paper and ideas laying around and he told me it was because they remind him of what he enjoys doing.
Why didn’t I think of that?
All my papers that I tend to hoard directly relate to the things that I enjoy doing the most in my free time; reading and cooking.
I thought about his admission and it’s true: I tend to surround myself with papers that relate to what brings me joy. There is something very soothing to be able to look at these things and plan what I am going to cook and create dishes to nourish my family. I plan my menus two weeks at a time and am constantly trying new recipes and techniques. I love to create and introduce my loved ones to new, different tastes.
My paper pile-up is just an extension of that.
I am a voracious reader and am constantly on the hunt for the next greatest book to read. My holds list for the library is border line embarrassing at this point.
We are trying to implement strategies of how to better organize our ideas. I am trying to file recipes as soon as I get them and have started keeping a notebook of books that I want to read.
My boy is trying to organize things, too. He has started a folder system for his Halloween ideas and Lego finds and really wants to better organize his ideas. I don’t think we will ever stop paper hoarding and I have become OK with that.
Stopping would mean that we have lost the passion in our pursuit of our dreams and hobbies. Hopefully, we can keep the paper from burying our pursuit of happiness.
Kristi Davis is married with two sons. She blogs regularly for fruitamoms.com.