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  • Leah Cee

Out with the old, in with nothing new

As another year careens to a close, it's a poignant time to reflect on all of the unused items that lay patiently in my home, waiting to get the "just in case" call up.

Another 12 months of not reading all those books that made up part of my annual ritualistic resolution.

Another 12 months of not listening to a single CD on my rather antiquated Sony boom box.

Another 12 months of not finished projects I set out to do on this very day with enthusiasm that waned as each second ticked past midnight.

Another 12 months of looking at a pile of DVD's in my collection that, quite frankly, I'm not interested in spending another minute thinking about.

So, it is now, on December 31, 2022, that changes are going to be made.

I am in the very fortunate position of living in the digital age with an abundance of entertainment services available to me at the click of a button. I listen to my favourite music on the radio, TV or on Spotify. In fact, I couldn't possibly listen to all the music on Spotify even if I started now and finished in 30 years. A lifetime of musical memories and scores of new music, in all manner of genres - right there - in my tiny little smart phone. The CD's that I've held so dear to me in their physical form are no longer required on my shelves, for it's the music that's important. Not the plastic case or the paper sleeve encased inside. Someone else can enjoy the CDs on their shelves.

My DVDs formed part of a beloved and once sizeable collection of musical theatre history. A way to remind me of shows I saw on Broadway or the West End and allowed me to re-live them whenever it took my fancy. In retrospect, watching a musical on TV at home is nothing like seeing it live. I find my concentration tapers off within minutes of pressing play. Sure there are classics, and they always will be, but a quick flick through streaming services and there they are - ready to be played whenever my heart desires. At a cost - yes. But my space also comes at a cost to my mental load, and that is more important than holding onto a Guys and Dolls DVD because someday I might want to save $5 on streaming. Someone else can enjoy the DVDs on their shelves.

Books are my sticking point. Books are hard to part with. Why? Because they represent my fantasy self. A self that lazes on a sunlounger under a wide brimmed hat, poolside, reading pages of my favourite literature during the long, sun-drenched days of summer. In reality, I resemble a meercat - never for a moment taking my eyes off my child in the public pool for the split second I do - she's ascended the tallest water slide tower, had a panic attack and refuses to come down via the 60 foot ladder or twisty turny enclosed slide. And so the books stay put, standing to attention in the hope that I one day delve into their discoloured pages and fulfil my literacy aspirations. They're not all going to go, but the space is going to be reserved for the books that I truly love. The other compositions can be passed on. Someone else can enjoy those books on their shelves.

Fantasy self:

Reality self:

And finally the unfinished projects that require my absolute attention - something that is in very short supply. The paper shredding, the scanning of photos, the creation of digital photo albums, the family history compilation, the writing of blogs. My creative outlets - all pushed aside while my brain deals with the stuff filling my shelves.

It's not a resolution - it's a plan. And it's happening. 2023 - clutterfree.

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