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  • Writer's pictureMelina Meador

Cleaning Out the File Cabinet

Yesterday I tackled the file cabinet. It wasn't that it was so disorganized - just unused. It's still solid, outliving my needs. I appreciate it for what it gave me when I was a young adult just pushing off into the deep waters.

I bought the metal two drawer unit at my grandparent's garage sale when I was twenty-three. Actually I think they had it for sale but gave it to me when I expressed interest. I remember Grandma Doris' eyes lighting up when I told her I needed one. Oh yes you do, she probably thought.

So I took it down Arnold hill to my newly purchased home. For a while I just had a few files in it but until yesterday, it was FULL UP. Fifteen years of responsibility takes up room. And really it just represented my adult single life since my husband and I use an online filing system.

But an online system doesn't have a good place for the fan mail you got from Japan, or the handwritten goodbye letters from your co-workers at a wonderful job, or the newsletter you created for the team you led at that job.

For those things you don't just want a picture on a computer screen. Those things are better enjoyed when held by hand.

I'm ready to pass on the cabinet. Not sure if another young person just starting out would need this piece of furniture. I know to me it represented stability when I was scared because I'd just bought a house and had a mortgage, and adult living seemed lonely. That cabinet sitting in my bedroom closet said "You will be O.K." And you know, I was O.K. Some times more than others. Taxes filed, mementos treasured, wills signed, loan documents kept, W-2's and 1099's paper clipped, legal agreements...these are the jetsam and flotsam of modern, western life.

I'm still collecting these apparently important items but I'm thankful for the "cloud" , that there's less of that kind of paper in my life.

Probably what represents stability for me right now is our kitchen table, or maybe even my own two legs. Maybe it's the... boy, this is going to sound strange, but maybe stability for me these days is being able to keep my nails buffed and cared for. (They are not at the moment, and are driving me batty.)

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