I realised yesterday that I have a slight problem about letting go. I have a reputation for being the one to come to for information, because I hang on to it, both in fact and in my memory. For example, when the village school was advertising for a new headteacher earlier in the year and Al was given the task of writing part of the information pack, I looked out the previous pack from eight years before which I still had, although I hadn’t been a governor there for nearly five years. Last year, I was asked for some details of the constitution of the governing body and I was able to provide the reason for the changes that had been made a decade or so previously – someone on the Parish Council had asked why it no longer had a governor representative, and it seems that I was the only one who knew.
Nothing particularly unusual here of course, and many people have careful files going back decades. Mine are mainly in stacks of box files, in my memory or on the computer and not very organised at all. Yesterday, however, I decided that there are far too many duplicate photographs on the computer, so I spent a while eliminating those, but then I realised that all the photos themselves are in iPhotos so, apart from the ones I use for my desktop background, which changes every 15 minutes, and the files I have from past sales (because the photos of china haven’t been labelled with the lot numbers in iPhotos), there was no need to keep them at all. I started putting files in the trash folder.
And then the time came to go to “empty trash.” And I couldn’t. What if iPhotos was down when I wanted to look at a holiday snap that wasn’t in my desktop photos file? I’m not sure what I mean by iPhotos being down, but I found I couldn’t risk it. I recognise this is absurd. I will do it again and complete the task next time. But I was startled by the feeling of panic that I felt at the thought of throwing away those files.