Saturday, March 23, 2013

Simple Things Sunday: week #11, 2013

I missed my first STS last week. A very full week, of newborns and finished galleries and taxes and soccer and packing. The project I really want to be focused on is my office. We updated my old desk with a new corner desk but I have to admit, it is almost as cluttered already.

My focus over the next week will continue to be getting rid of more stuff, so then I can focus on how to organize what remains in a way that works for me. [Warning: self-justification coming] I don’t own a lot of shoes---I normally wear the same two pairs all season. Make-up organizers make me laugh because I own one stick of lipstick and all my make-up could fit into a sandwich baggie. But…(you knew that was coming), I am overly sentimental and keep way too many “mementos” as well as papers. Oy, the papers. I think it is a teacher habit of mine---because you never know when you might use that idea or project. I’m working hard on trusting that if I need something someday, I’ll be able to find it online.

2013 03 07_1065mixed tapes

Exhibit A: a bag FULL of old mixed tapes.

I can’t look at it too long, because it pained me to get rid of these, even though we don’t own a tape player and I rarely played any of them in the past decade.

2013 03 03_1156MZMO93tape

I love music, and I love compilations. Every staff I led made a mixed tape. Even my 9th grade honors English class made a mixed CD. MZMO’ers, did you remember what song you chose 20 yrs ago? My pick, Itsy Bitsy Spider, is actually “Coming Round Again” by Carly Simon.

2013 03 03_1161mixed tape by Marie

I was only able to do it after taking a photo of the liner notes of the ones that were the most meaningful to me. Above is a mix from 1991 by my friend Marie with a photo of us.  How could I throw that away? So many great mixes that friends sent us during our music-deprived years in the Peace Corps. In this day when handwritten letters are rare, I loved seeing the handwriting of old friends. And I kept the first (and only) mixed tape Brian made me that summer of 1991. One is okay. 300+ is not.

Baby steps. Learning to let go, so there will be more room for all the good tunes and good memories the future holds.

This post is part of Rebecca Cooper’s Simple Things Sunday series, which she describes as “taking the time to photograph the everyday details…to enjoy the beauty in the ordinary and to be reminded of just how important the simple things are.” Rebecca’s series is now on hiatus, but I hope to continue posting a simple & personal photo each Sunday.


  1. Love this post. We're sentimental about the same things. (What would you even send someone nowadays? A playlist on Pandora?) 98% of my tapes have been dumped over the years, but I still have maybe a score in a drawer in CA, souvenirs from an age as dead as the dodo, though dear to memory.

    1. I recently tried to "gift" a friend a playlist on iTunes...which it once allowed, but no longer. I found it easier, though not easy, to toss my RFE mix knowing it was already enshrined on CD.


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