It’s the start of a new year and there is plenty to do.
First, we need to learn how to write 2022 on checks (yes, I still write checks) and on correspondence. Last year, it wasn’t until April that the 2021 entry became automatic. Of course, at my age as gray cells have a harder time remembering, I have to stop and remember not to put 19 in front of the year.
Income tax is something to be concerned about as the calendar enters a new year. Where are all these receipts? Did I get all W-2? Are you sure I cannot count the fish in the koi pond as dependents? April 15th will be here before we know it.
There is the annual need to rummage the closets to see if there is anything that has not been worn in the past three years. There is an unwritten rule in the house that if something new is brought in, an equal item with a certain age should be given or thrown away. Either the closets are shrinking or I am not meeting this requirement. I will do better this year.
Cleaning is something that is always on the to-do list, and not just the routine of vacuuming and dusting furniture. As I sit in the upstairs office and peek over four bookcases, there are books, papers, brochures, and even files that should be looked at to see what should be left for another. year and what should go. Do I really have to keep the Aiken 2016 phone book?
As I browse the shelves, I notice undergraduate, high school, and college yearbooks that I rarely look into. I hang on to them out of sentimentality, but they will only be more cumbersome to dispose of when I’m gone. I could free most of a shelf if there weren’t any.
My musical tastes have refined over the years, and many LPs from a long time ago haven’t been listened to in years. Still, they stay on a lower shelf taking up space and collecting dust and can easily be replaced with new technology. Yes, I have heard of downloading music from the iTunes Store.
Speaking of technology, why do I still have a shelf full of VHS tapes? While there are a few films, tapes of the Braves winning the 1995 World Series and even one of the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the 1971 series, most are home videos with family members and vacations. All I have to do is transfer them to digital format, which I should be thinking about doing this year.
Besides, why am I still hanging on to dozens of DVDs since streaming is so easy to do? And I always have a box full of CDs with some of my favorite singers. OK, I admit I also kept some tapes with music. If I hold on to all of this old technology, I’ll be ready when the internet goes down. (And in case you were wondering, I still have a VHS machine, DVD viewer, and CD / tape availability on my record player.)
As I look around the desk and notice the top of the shelves, there are a number of sentimental items up there that need to be looked at. There is my one and only golf trophy won at an educators tournament in Aiken County when I was teaching in public schools. Why am I keeping this?
There are four stones that have significance from the church, but I don’t remember what it is. There is a model of Turner Field, the former home of the Braves, and a few plaques reminiscent of things I have been involved in. Why am I hanging on to it? There is a baseball signed by Jim Kaat that has just been voted for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ll keep this, but a few other trinkets should probably be evaluated for possible removal.
Another thing to do this year is to keep working, and it looks like I haven’t already managed to do that in this room. While it started off as an exercise in what to do in the New Year, the last seven paragraphs dealt with a section of a room. Note to self: avoid going down into rabbit burrows.