What Am I Doing?!
There are a number of banker boxes stacked throughout my house. They contain colorful file folders stuffed with race paraphernalia – course maps, bibs, brochures, receipts from travels. I kept it all as a paper trail, a record of where I’d run and what I’d done. I used to keep a detailed spreadsheet for each race, calculating to the penny the cost of my wandering marathoning. But it’s all just unanalyzed data, the very model of garbage in, garbage out. So why can’t I just take out the trash?
Why am I keeping all this stuff? For a time it was with an eye toward a posterity. This is me. This is who I am. But that’s ridiculous. Who cares that I spent $4.34 for a muffin because the Orlando Airport is an monopoly wherein competition is held at bay via TSA checkpoints.
And yet despite the morbid realizations brought to the fore by the recent best selling self-help book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, I can’t quite bring myself to döstädning. And given that I’m posting all this on a narcissistic personal running blog website, the irony of my inability to distinguish between what is worthy of preservation and what should be relegated to both the literal and figurative trash bin of history is not lost on me.
Sigh. For you see I’m all too aware that there is a self-centered gravity well within me that DOES want to know about that muffin. Was it one of the all-too-frequent blueberry muffins that had a SINGLE blueberry in it, that therefore fit the technical definition of a blueberry muffin prompting me to realize that if I wanted a multi-berry muffin I should have ordered a *blueberries* muffin? Or was it just an overpriced muffin grabbed on the go to avoid the hunger pains during a Southwest Airlines shuffle across the country? Did I have it because I knew when I got to some destination I’d have to rent a car and drive into the horizon for hours in search of a marathon start line because it was cheaper than flying in to a closer city’s airport? Does it matter? Did it ever?
Why am I keeping this stuff? Is it to remind me of where I’ve been, to hopefully point me to where I’m going? Some … if not most… of these folders haven’t been touched since they were first thrown into a box years ago. Isn’t that the definition of meaningless data, collected, unexamined, pointless?
It may be time to finally acknowledge there will never be, nor should there ever have been, a physical Run Kevin Run archive.
But does that mean I should digitize the records?
Ya know, just in case?