I am not one for letting go of things. For the first half of my life (let’s be optimistic and say to age 50), it has been quite the opposite. I seem to be a magnet for things that interest me. And it is getting to be time to do something about that.
But first, I must concentrate on letting go of some other things. I must keep this short, because I have a lot of work to do. The short version is that my office partner has decided to move on to other things, which has resulted in our need to vacate our office of ten years by the end of the year. Yes, you have counted correctly – another two weeks.
I have made arrangements to move my practice into a smaller space, but much of what we have accumulated over the past fifteen to twenty years has got to go. A ten foot long conference table, some surplus desks, file cabinets, assorted chairs, new homes must be found for it all.
Horizontal surfaces have a way of accumulating things. Furniture, files, supplies. Some of it is useful, but some of it has remained in place as the usefulness slowly leeched out of it.
Particularly painful was throwing out shelves of books. I am of an age when we used to do legal research with books. Very expensive books. But these books, which looked so nice on shelves, have become virtually useless. All of the information is now online, and all but the largest law offices have already ditched them. I didn’t want to throw them out, but I must be honest and examine my attachment to them, which I must admit is purely emotional. And the memory of how much we paid for them until we cancelled the print subscription in the late 1990s. But there is no room, so out they went.
So I am spending what time I can by sorting, packing and pitching those things that are not essential to my livelihood. This is very much an uphill battle for me, continually reminding myself that my office is for the generation of revenue and not some comfortable old club.
I hope that at the end of this process, the result will be a good one. Rivers and harbors must be dredged from time to time to remove useless accumulations of silt and other flotsam. You don’t really notice the accumulation from day to day, but it is there. So let’s think of this as a different kind of dredging operation, one that will improve the efficiency of what I do from day to day.
After this cleansing move, I will vow to be better about my tendencies towards accretion of stuff. And there will be time to turn my efforts to my closets, garage and basement at home. Momentum and inertia can be forces for good sometimes, particularly when you are in that state of being revved up and making improvements in life.
So for now, when in doubt, throw it out. The hard part comes when I start this project at home with things that have a lot more sentimental attachment than things accumulated at the office. Will I be able to muster the same level of enthusiasm when I do not have a hard deadline staring me in the face? Stay tuned.