I thought that I’d better get on with it. No use in putting it off any longer. Today I started clearing out my office. Well, when I say started I almost managed to complete it. Herculean tasks are often not as big in reality as in the mind.
The drawers were easy, the top two at least. The top two are so shallow you can’t get much more than a stapler and a few pens in them so they were relatively tidy. I found a few surprises – a photograph of me from twenty years ago, a card from the mother of a chap that worked for me once thanking me for being a good boss to him, a lucky monkey charm I won in a
The bottom drawer proved to be more of a challenge. It’s deep and spacious and over the years has become a sort of post box for all that correspondence I needed to keep for a while, but not forever. Of course a while became a longer while, and then an even longer while, until I began to think that my drawer might really keep my correspondence forever.
Forever? Silly me.
It took me hours to sort through it. I even unblocked my shredder (the one that jammed ten months ago, blocked with documents of high sensitivity) so that I could cover my tracks and keep my secrets a little safer. It felt like I was shredding my past, feeding myself into the machine and watching it all go as if it had never happened.
Maybe I was.
The cupboard was easy. Behind its clever sliding door it was mainly full of precious things that I wanted to keep and stored there for safe keeping. Important stuff – my rubber duck collection, my set of Arthur Mee encyclopaedias, my easy button (that was easy), my help button (alert, alert, helpless incompetent asshole in the vicinity), my bullshit button (bullshit detected, take precautions). Stuff collected along the meander of the last thirty years or so, a meaningless certificate, some photographs, a dozen assorted phone chargers, my plug adaptors (US,
I wondered where that hair brush had got to.
I filled four big black bin bags with rubbish, paper mainly, documentation of things I’d worked on - personality and management style assessments, old notebooks, diary pages, papers on this, papers on that. A lifetime’s important activity, all not so very important now – shredded and awaiting recycle at the local centre.
All that’s left for me to do is pick up my boxes and bags, tidy down my desk, and unbalance my balance stones. I’m giving them away if anybody wants one, well some of them, some I really have to keep – the ones that hold my soul.
It’s only an office and I’m not quite gone yet. It’s still mine for a week or two, some time left to enjoy it - but I’m ready.
At least -- as ready as I’ll ever be.