Life in a Northern Town

I’m a hopeless nostalgic. Let’s just get that out of the way to start with.  In grade school, I kept every last scrap of paper.  Every assignment, quiz, test, everything.  From Kindergarten through seventh grade, I had a Wegmans paper bag chock full of every memory for each year.  We moved out of town the year I was in eighth grade and for some reason, I made the decision to store this stuff in my sister and brother in-law’s basement.  That was a poor decision because my brother in-law is the polar opposite of me and he promptly threw all of my stuff out.  I was ticked off when we moved back to town later in the year and my stuff was gone but I probably should have known better.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a nostalgic bone in his body and on top of that, he hates clutter.

I bring this up because, among the many changes in my life this year, my employer is moving out of our current location this week to a nicer place down the road.  I’ve been in this office for eighteen years! That’s 936 weeks.  4680 days.  37,440 hours of my life that I’ve spent in this place.  That’s more hours than I’ve spent in any other one place in my life.  Number two son, who is in his freshman year in college, was three months old when I started this job.

Over the past week or two, I’ve been cleaning out my desk drawers and everything else in my office.  I have art projects the kids made in grade school, old pictures, divorce papers, and the front page of the Buffalo News the day after the Sabres lost Game 6 to Carolina(damn staff infection!).  I found a custom made, family calendar from 2008 with pictures of everyone.  2008 seems like yesterday but the kids were little.  So was I, actually.  I think it’s time to go on a diet!  The lovely Missus is a good cook 🙂

It’s just funny to me how much of my life that I’ve spent in this space.  This has been a year of change, with a graduation, an empty nest, the loss of a close friend, a new owner of my company, and probably a few other things that I can’t recall right now.  Moving out of this space is one change that I won’t mind at all though.

2 thoughts on “Life in a Northern Town

  1. I think the lens through which we view our lives changes a good bit at various intervals. We are about to experience one of those significant “mile marker” birthdays and for me it is causing a dramatic change in my “lens”. My Missus and I recently had a similar experience to what you described as we cleared the basement of some “clutter” to have some repair work done. While sorting we frequently stopped to look at individual items in the vast collection that had nostalgic value. They often reminded us of how quickly time passed raising the kids. It was a difficult process, but making decisions about what to keep and what was no longer relevant required acceptance and application of, if begrudgingly, a new lens. I put it in these terms: “In 6 years when I am retired and we plan to move, which of these items will we feel so strongly about that we’ll want to pack them up again and take them with us.” The Missus had a really hard time of letting go of many of the kids’ toys and other items they would have only used in their infancy. I kept reminding her that we are moving headlong into a new phase of our life and that we had to accept inevitable changes and prepare to move on. I found myself discarding a lot of things that at various points in my life were really important (i.e. wrestling season reports from when I was a coach, a copy of my masters thesis, yearbooks from schools in which I worked as a teacher, etc.) I am not changing jobs, I have been in the same office for the better part of the last 18 years, and we are not moving anywhere anytime soon, but I definitely feel that I am “moving out of a space” this year.

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