The end of an analog life

moving boxesI’m going to take a break from the usual stream of marketing tips, tricks, and observations here on {grow} to get a little personal and weird. I think that is good once in a while, right?

This week I have been forced to come face-to-face with the end of my analog life … and it is distressing.

I am preparing to make a house move. And, in fact, with the kids out of the house, it’s time to downsize. That means there is no more room for a lifetime of accumulated crap.

As I write this, I am facing a mountain of my “analog” treasures — record albums, CDs. yearbooks, books, boxes of photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, work samples of magazines I edited decades ago. Boxes and boxes and boxes.

And I have had two revelations.

1) It all must go.

2) I really don’t want it to go.

Even after giving away what I can, I have already filled two garbage bins with my treasures.  And with each toss, a little piece of me dies. Yes, I am sad that I have entered a phase of my life dedicated to removing, rather than accumulating. But there is something much deeper going on here.

baby pictureFirst, I am realizing that I am the final generation that will ever face this problem. I am part of a near-extinct species who has an extensive paper record of our lives. Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. Judging by the garbage bin, I have killed a lot of trees in my life. But there is something more visual, more human … and more cool … about these big photo albums, ticket stubs, and hand-written letters from old girlfriends. For people growing up today, all of these things will be relegated to a file on a smart phone or an upload to “the cloud.” Our tactile days are coming to an end.

willie stargellSecond, I’m sad because I’m realizing that nobody really knows, or cares about any of this.  Here’s this mountain of … stuff. At some point in my life every single scrap was important and amazing in some way. And when I toss it in the trash, the world will be exactly the same. My pile, my memories, my life … gone in a poof. My babies, my pets, my friends, my loves, my bands, my jobs, my cars, my homes, my awards, my travels. Poof.

I’m sure these are feelings experienced to some extent by anyone who reaches this life stage. Hey, I’m lucky I made it this far!

But there is still something chilling and profound about being the last of my kind who will ever have to throw his life away forever … piece by lovely, tattered, beautiful piece.

By the way, after reading today’s post, one of my Twitter followers sent me this advertisement.  Seems to capture the sentiment in a perfect, and hilarious way!

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  • Helen Robertson

    Arrrgh, I feel your pain, going through the exact same thing.
    Trying to look on the bright side, new beginnings and adventures, but it’s still a little gut wrenching.

  • I used to be a bit of a hoarder but I got past that point about six years ago. I gave away over 300 books. Mostly fiction, but a lot of theory stuff too. I realised that I was probably never going to re-read the stuff.

    I keep photos and I’ve kept the letters my father wrote to me during a tough time in my younger days, oh and I’ve kept fourteen years of daily diary writing. But one day those will go too, no doubt.

    I don’t miss what I’ve given or thrown away. Not really.

    Maybe there’ll be a fizzle of white noise when my digital presence goes one day. Until then I guess I’ll just keep going, head down.

  • Sunny

    At least you have kids to pass some of your digital treasures to. I realized a while back that when I die, basically everything that I have will be liquidated and some charity will receive a tidy little sum. No one wants my treasured Prince and Revolution Purple Rain cassette that really doesn’t work so well anymore. 😉

  • I so empathize with you.
    Had to do the same a few years ago when we moved into a much smaller home.

    Thing is though, after a few years of not having all that stuff, I realized it really didn’t mean that much.
    Even when I had it, I rarely looked at it. I just took comfort in knowing it was there.

    The truly important things, like my kid’s drawings from school, grad certificates, photos etc, I’ve kept.

    I can’t imagine you’d throw away albums. Maybe if we handed down to our children those “artifacts from the analog age”, they would cherish them and in turn, pass them along.

    Just as vinyl is making a comeback, perhaps, paper photos in leather bound albums will be cool again. 🙂

  • RandyBowden

    I just spent an hour on the phone with my father talking about the possibility of moving him and my mother to an assisted living facility and this subject came up. “What will we do with our stuff, want you take it?” But we have our own stuff that needs to be whittled down! Photos, VHS, DVD, Cassettes and plenty more photos along with a large folder filled with ALL my grade school papers that my mother gave to me on my last visit. I certainly do not think of myself as a hoarder but when I look around as fast as some goes the empty space fills!

    Sadly, there is much more being added to our generations memories.

  • Mark,

    Happy Father’s Day! We all need a way into our way-back machines. As long as our hippocampi still light up, digital or analog triggers simply help us access our memories. But our brain provides the meaning and emotion. So pitch the dust-gathering crap… and hang on fiercely to the fuel for your flux capacitor. That way you can always get back to the future through your way-back machine. Cheers,

  • Yvonne Root

    I’m concertedly saving some of my analog life FOR my grandchildren. One of my biggest regrets is throwing away the many letters my grandmother lovingly wrote to my mom. A journal of Grannie’s life handwritten in 4 or 5 page bits and pieces, describing her accomplishments as well as her failures, her joys and her agony are lost and gone by my hand. Very Sad.

    My husband’s small collection of record albums was recently described by my niece as giant CDs. The cost of a needle which allows the albums to be played is excessive — and worth it when I find myself dancing in the arms of the man who wooed me with love songs from those giant CDs.

  • Brian McA

    All is not lost Mark; I think that if one is blessed with the ‘magpie’ gene, a way will be found. My (digital) daughter at 18 has a fine collection. During a recent clean out of her room my wife came across lots of real world artefacts, including the cardboard coffee cup holder from her very first Starbucks visit (confession: I was so proud of her). Yes, there is a lot of digital consumed via the Starbucks wifi, but this is empirical evidence that there will always be things that us magpies can pick up and bring back to our nests for, well, I’m not really sure what for, really.

    “My name is Brian, and I’m a ….”

  • I have hundreds of albums sitting in my closet and a record player I refuse to get rid of. There is a Smith-Corona typewriter that helped me get through most of college too, but that hasn’t been given away either.

    Some things are staying because I just can’t let them go…yet.

  • gut wrenching is the rigth way to describe it Helen!

  • You know, I don;t think I’ll miss it either, but staring it down is the hard part! Good to hear from you my friend.

  • Awww. That is true. My kids want a few things but 95% has been dispersed!

  • Actually my rock and roll son took all the vinyl and called a few days later to tell me what cool stuff I had collected, so it is in good hands for now. In college was the entertainment editor for my college newspaper for awhile and we would get actual record albums with interviews with the stars of the day and special song collections, which I kept so i do have some rarities and I’m lucky he appreciates them.

  • That is a tough one my friend. Luckily my parents have downsized dramatically and my mother always threw things out right away. She horded nothing! : )

  • Ha! great comment as always Bill. I did hold on to my personal dilithium crystals : )

  • Yowza! Good for you Yvonne!

  • I am literally laughing out loud. That is a great story. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Jeffrey Slater

    Someday soon I will need to go through this same exercise and I am both dreading it and looking forward to it too. I hope I can eliminate most of the weight and bulk but some things are so precious I don’t know how to let them go. The most important things are my photo albums my grandfather created for me and my siblings.
    In my heart I know that all that I cherish is weightless and can always be with me…a life of moments.

  • This is so funny, I also held on to an old MANUAL typewriter because it was the first thing I ever wrote a newspaper column on. The thing weighs a ton but it is a beautiful thing. They will have to tear it from my cold dead hands. : )

  • I held on to most family albums, figuring my kids will want them some day (I hope!) but threw out thousands of loose photos. I did find a photo of my best friend, who died of leukemia 10 years ago. It made me cry. I kept it. Digital be damned some times, you know? Thanks for the great comment Jeffrey!

  • Linda D’Alessandro

    I moved three weeks ago and I am still unpacking boxes, boxes with new stuff and boxes with old stuff. Mark, this post is so timely, because I am dealing right now with the same opposite feelings: rationally I know it all must go, emotionally I cannot let it go, or at least I am not ready now. Every book, VHS, music cassette, porcelain piece, hand stitched bed linen is tangible, has a story and is part of my multinational identity. The new house is big enough to store everything, but one day I know I will have to downsize, too, and I hope I will be ready to let it go. I will print this beautiful post (yes, I will keep an analog copy!), as a reminder! Thanks!

  • Glad I can be a contributor to your clutter Linda : )

  • Beverly

    Isn’t it nice that now we realize there are more of us out there? Took me six months to accept it when we moved, but now that I’m past that, it feels lighter, cleaner. So hang in there. Just be sure to keep the good blog posts coming.

  • Chrissie Designs

    My garage is still full of ‘stuff’ that I cleared out of my house but still have not sorted or shifted!
    Ray is right I never look at it. All the memories are stored in my head so it is time to let them go.
    Thanks Mark for giving me a real good push.
    Thanks also for your motivational presentation in Cardiff and for the chat we had at lunch time. About to launch my own work blog so wish me luck!

  • selmaoh

    I’m only 29 and I totally empathise with you. I have moved country and had to leave a lot of my analogue treasures behind. I think nothing will ever replace tangible goods. I love the feeling of opening a new CD and reading the booklet that comes with it, smelling a book and actually touching a photograph. I’m young but it saddens me that we live in a time where everything is found online, downloaded and stored in ‘the cloud’. I miss the old days!!!

  • This actually put a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. It’s true, but… yes, it’s sad. Thank you Mark for showing us we’re not alone.

  • Talk about resonating! It’s something that we all seem to go through. Part of embracing the digital age, I guess.

    I downshifted in 2005 – I was merciless – the only treasure’s I kept were my dad’s baby book from the 1930’s and keepsakes from the milestones in my children’s lives.

    It’s not an easy thing to do. We get so attached to stuff. But you won’t miss most of it. In fact it will probably make you feel a lot better and less encumbered.

    The only things that have crept back in are books. I read most things digitally, but with some books you just have to read and interact with a paper version.

    Good luck with the move and thanks for sharing – personal and weird is good!

  • MaureenMonte

    I love your baby photo. 🙂 I can see a little tweet “thought bubble” over your head reading, “In 25 years, I’m going to be the keynote presenter at IBM’s Inside Sales organization in Killarney…” And you were!

  • That, I will do. Promise : )

  • Great meeting at a superb event. Good luck with your venture!

  • I told my 27-year-old son that I was getting rid of all this stuff and he said he still has a collection of books because he “wants one thing in his life that he doesn’t have to plug in!”

  • Thanks for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment Claire!

  • I can see books definitely creeping back in too. Such an impulse buy. They are surrounding you before you know it. I am reading more eBooks but find it difficult to read them outside, for example.

  • No it was more like, “feed me!”

  • Julie Musial

    I love this post. I have a friend with the same demographics as you. He could be your clone. Now I realize you’re all cut from the same mold and that’s ok. Thanks for the great article.

  • This hits me straight in the heart. I’m a quill pen person living in a digital world, and it pains me that the ephemera of our lives is being lost. I recently read Ransom Riggs book, “Talking Pictures-Images and Messages Rescued From the Past”, in which he shares photos that have little notes and messages written on them. Bits and pieces of lives unknown (a quirky habit: Riggs collected photos with writing on them at antique fairs).

    I have several boxes labelled “Keeps”, in which I store those bits of memories. Every so often a do a purge, but I must admit: some of the pieces of the past will stay with me forever. Your final sentences chill me with that very realization that we are the last of the analog “species”. Makes me kinda’ sad:(

  • There are things that I have lost along the way that I still wish I had around. There’s piles of stuff that mean nothing to anyone else that I haven’t gotten rid of yet. For some of it, there is the regret of loss. For all of though, my life is the same with or without it.

  • Maggie Young

    I am a huge fan of collecting analog memories, and am almost distrustful of keeping my memories on a hard drive or the cloud. I love looking through my collections as a reminder of who I once was and who I’ve become. Plus, I think all of want our progeny to see these artifacts to better understand their familial identity.

  • Noooo!!! Don’t throw it all away!! You have grandchildren and great-grandchildren to think of who will LOVE to see the relics of the past!! I know it sounds hokey but I love the things that I have from my ancestors and think of it this way.. you could be holding on to a vast fortune of relics for generations to come!!

  • Claudia Licher

    It’s so weird – I’ve lately come to realize that, in recent years, I’ve added only few items to my analog earthly possessions 🙂
    One thing that struck me the most is the fact that nearly all the printed photographs of our son were printed by my mother. Even those in our own home. I can’t even say I’ve compensated for that lack by posting pictures on Facebook, because I haven’t. The only precious new things are our son’s works of art (piling up).
    In fact, I may end up with more stuff from my parents than I’ll ever collect myself. Just this weekend, we returned home with 4 books by Larry Niven. My parents don’t want them back – they’re trying to decide what to keep, and what to throw out…

  • Mark, you have put your finger on the very crisis of the digital world – the loss of memory. The irony of all the forms of digital, virtual cloud storage is that we are able to remember less. And our own memories are less important than ever before.

    Over the years, I have also saved many analog things in what I call my “memory box” which I open and sift through every once in a while. I save things because I realize that they trigger memories that would otherwise be lost without the item that is associated with that memory.

    That’s why it’s so hard to dump all that analog stuff – because it’s like throwing away memories that you will never have again.

    My advice: keep a “small” box of memory triggers for as long as you can. Memory is a terrible thing to lose.

  • Brad Lovett

    I feel your pain. It’s amazing how much paper stuff I’ve lost in moves, my
    divorce, etc. Younger photos of my kids in the pre-Facebook era, photos of my long-deceased grandparents, and of course, all that vinyl. I never had an extensive collection but it was a big part of my childhood and teenage-hood. It’s nice that I can find most of those albums and 45s on Spotify-I can even find recordings of the radio stations I listened to growing up (shoutout to

    Having said that….there is still a place for good old analog. A friend was just complaining that he lost an interview for a newspaper piece when his smartphone app malfunctioned. What he wouldn’t have given for a good old cassette recorder! I’ve seen situations where it seems like the youngins’ motto is “never use a simple analog solution when a multi-step complicated digital solution will do”

    What about those old photos and newspaper clippings? Who knows what digital format will replace what we have now? We really need to have some paper copies for posterity. Imagine if all your family photos are on VHS tape and no one has a player!

    All is not lost-I have friends who are a married couple who met online, and they saved paper copies of all the emails they exchanged.

  • This story makes me sad and happy at the same time. It was everything mentioned in the roll calls before the “poofs” that had me smiling as I thought about my own list and each poof that made me sad. So I must snap out of it and agree with you that all of us are lucky to live long enough to accumulate great memories. The tactile treasures are wonderful reminders. But clutter is clutter, whether it’s in the mind or in the countless drawers, storage containers and albums.

    Now I’m waiting to see what solutions you come up with for all of us in the same situation. Surely you are scanning those hard copies before discarding or piling them into those vaccuumable bags they advertise on television. If you do convert your analog memories to digital, I’ll be interested to hear how you organize them.

    In the meantime, if any of us are guilty of hoarding, there could be worse things than being surrounded by great reminders of a full life. Have a great day Mark and good luck with your move. It really does sound like an interesting opportunity to rethink things.

  • Problem: all of these analog momentos are much safer stored in a box than on a smartphone or in a cloud. I can still go to the desk in my parents house that has two drawers stuffed with developed film (pictures!) and immediately, with no compatibility or battery issues, be taken back to my childhood. We can debate whether this is a trip worth taking (it is), and whether someone should physically store or pack and move these treasures we cling to but so infrequently look at. I think the digital generation will have a tough time taking this stroll back in time. Maybe it’s something that won’t sadden them because they won’t know what they’re missing.

    Yesterday on Facebook, I saw many vintage photographs of dads, and they brought me almost as much joy as the Facebook son or daughter that posted them. Those people are fortunate to have those photos. Unless my kids have the right adapter thirty years on, pictures of me will be trapped on my iPhone. I believe this is unfortunate.

  • JonTurino

    I also can empathize with you Mark. Had to do the same thing about 12 years ago. Dozens of carousels of 35mm slides from the seminars I used to give, along with copies of the workbooks are all gone, never to be recovered after a hard drive crash a few years later. Magazine articles I had written, technical papers I had given, etc. I did keep the photos of my family. I like your analogy of the digital vs. analog ages. You’ll get through this.

  • Adrienne Cregar Jandler

    Wow – kudos to you for scraping up the courage to give it all the dump. I’m still sitting on piles of stuff… there’s nothing like the dog-eared edges and faded out pages of a photo album to bring on the nostalgia.I have considered scanning old letters so I at least have a digital record of some of it, but then wonder if it, too, will be relegated to an online repository – never to be seen again. It’s an odd feeling, indeed.

  • I did a fairly extensive purge of “stuff” a couple of years ago. A lot of it were things like old (office) manuals, ancient financial documents, etc. I have to say mentally *and* emotionally, it was huge for me – I felt as if someone had cleaned up the cobwebs in my head (they are starting to hang around again!).

    BUT – I kept some of the paper stuff that had sentimental value, or kept, say, one of several similar documents, because I thought it might be interesting, many years from now, to look at the “history” of our lives, as it were. I’m definitely hanging on to old photos, and photo albums… I still have the dried flowers from my wedding bouquet… all the emails (printed out) my husband wrote to me during our courtship… the tactile experience, as you point out, is not easily replaced.

    These are the archives of our lives. My husband still has all his old ticket stubs (in fact, we have to get a new box for them, I think), dating back to his teens, I believe. And every time he opens that box, I hear a new, or different story. And I love it.

    As far as no one knowing/caring… if nothing else, what you are holding on to will serve as tangible ways for your children to tell their children what a remarkable man their grandfather was.

  • Craig Lindberg

    Mark, I was trained by experts (Mom and Dad) who proved, yes proved that once you throw it away, within 3 weeks you’ll need it. Sorry Mark but I fear an unusual audit is coming your way that will require at least one of the several boxes you just pitched 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I can relate and foresee a similar watershed in my near future. Skol!

  • Copywriter Matt

    As a guy who’s clinging still clinging to his CDs and baseball cards, I completely understand. When you own something it should be tangible. Best of luck!

  • Everyone has a cousin or uncle who looks like me. It’s a rule.

  • I’m still in the grieving process. : (

  • I did keep a few things. My Pittsburgh Pirates Yearbooks. A pile of ’em. There’s a good part of my childhood there. : ) Thanks Brian!

  • That is a really good point Maggie. What happens when the cloud goes down? Which, it will! : )

  • Too late. The man who bounces them on them on his lap will just have to be one big mystery : ) I did save a lot of photo albums.

  • I take care of a little boy on the weekends and I have printed out a few photos of our adventures together for him to keep in an album but other than that, it has been at least 5 years since I printed out a photo!

  • I’ve wondered about this Jay. I have a terrible memory. I wonder if it is because I don;t have to have one. When you consider the ancient teachers and philosophers could memorize entire texts — where does that leave us? I think we are losing that “muscle.”

  • Ha! You can’t look to me for solutions on this one. And I KNOW you have quite a few interesting memories piled around that office of yours! : )

  • Really lovely comment Chris. Beautifully said. In my case, I was facing a situation where I was going to have to pay to store these boxes for an unknown period of time. For me, it had to go : (

  • I actually came across a few slides too. Boy that technology seems so old but it was not that long ago!

  • Just could not take the time to scan much. And in the end, who really cares? That was the real wake-up call! Thanks Adrienne.

  • Awwwww. Thanks for the kind words and beautiful comment Shonali!

  • That is hilarious. If that audit comes int he next two weeks, you will be the first one I call!

  • The biggest regret I have is selling my baseball cards. I was broke at the time (just graduated from college) and it is still painful today!

  • I agree we may be losing the memory muscle and that is such an interesting way to look at it. As much as memory has evolutionary reasons to have persisted, sometimes I think memory loss, or our ability to forget, is itself just as much an adaptation for survival. But, as someone who has watched a loved one struggle with dementia and memory loss, memories have become very important to daily life for me. When people and cultures and societies cease to have memories, I fear we will be as lost and unable to care for ourselves as a person with dementia.

  • MargsC

    I just sat down at my computer to catch up on my “reading” having spent the entire long weekend clearing out “stuff”. My husband is “chuck it all out” and I am “keep everything because it’s history”. How surreal to read your article in the midst of all this chaos. I’m sending it on to him, I wonder if it will make an impact?

    In the end, I chucked quite a lot, but managed to hang onto many things too – my daughter’s most special baby clothes, my old school blazer… things that have meaning to ME.

    But that’s exactly it – one day my daughter will have to clear out all the piles and piles of papers, photos, clothes, memorabilia… and what will it mean to her? Without the story behind each item, it becomes meaningless. I’ve had the same experience with my mother, my father and my father-in-law. It’s awful, nobody wants to keep the “junk”, nobody wants to throw it away – but in the end, it only had meaning to the person who is gone.

    So should one keep all these things? For those odd occasions when you might haul them out, or come across them by chance?

    Or should one leave a clean slate for those who survive you, taking the burden off them?

    Tough one?

  • Ken O’Connor

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    There is a fine line between antique collecting and hoarding.

    I am trying to help my Dad as best I can during his transition out of Analog, but he has allowed too much emotion to attach to his belongings. I tried to explain to him that being so sentimental is actually very materialistic, since he can’t bear to part ways with a single thing. It’s really about the emotions associated with those things, rather than the value of the “thing”, I understand that. Asking him to “Manage his emotions” feels cold to him, but when I explain that he has far too much stuff, he turns off the conversation.

    How should we children of this “sentimental” generation help our parents about something we know is in their best interests?

  • geofflivingston

    Awesome post, Mark. Love the real world/life reflections here. Thanks for opening the kimono a bit!

  • Kristine Allcroft

    Dear Mark:
    As an analog person caught in a digital world, I feel for you. And, after having just gone through a post-mortem downsizing at my mom’s, I admire your courage and fortitude for tackling this now.
    But remember:
    Print shops are still in business! People still like the comfort of holding things in their hands as concrete remembrances of thoughts and events. And, as long as the legal system still requires us to get things notarized on paper, there will still be paper documentation necessary.
    Good luck with the rest of your move!!

  • I vote for clean slate. But … I did keep my daughter’s baby shoes. : )

  • That’s a hard one. I guess my sense is, he’s his own man. Let him keep whatever he wants to keep if it helps him get through life.

  • A bit. Have to keep pushing : )

  • After just spending an hour signing papers to sell my house, I am simply amazed at the amount of paper still required in this world!!!

  • Here’s the corollary though. I am fan of Henry David Thoreau, especially the Walden Pond book. I love this because he stresses the elegance of a simple life. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Digital allows us to do that and live with a MUCH less cluttered mind!

  • A box of keepsakes you carry with you for your life IS a simple concept. A basement full of crap you can’t bring yourself to throw away makes life way more complicated 😉

  • Awesome that you are willing to downsize. That’s so anti-American … but you will feel so much more free after it’s gone. Here’s my reflection on that:

  • The video was hilarious! You might want to hang onto your Vinyl record album – my 17 year old son has told me they are making a comeback.

    A few weekends ago I had all of my kids in town and we spent an entire evening sorting through shoe-boxes of old photos, I even pulled out my senior year scrap book. We laughed until we cried while passing pictures around the dining room table.

    I experienced some similar thoughts that night and wondered how generations of the future will share moments and create memories like that night – there was something very ‘real’ about the experience.

    Best wishes and good luck with your move!

  • I threw out my yearbooks. Believe me, you don’t wanna see those! All I can say is that I grew up in the heart of the disco era!!

  • Gennifer Richie

    I sent this to my mom to read, and she cried. Poof.

  • Awww. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but at least I got a reaction, Gennifer? Tell your mom hello for me. : )

  • Hey Mark,

    I still have my collection of magazines: Mad Magazine (stacks) and Famous Monsters of Filmland. Nerdball, right? Had those since I was a kid and so hard to part with. They the boxes of old photos. It really is hard to let go of this stuff, esp for old guys like us 😉 My wife and I are starting to downsize now. My youngest is only 13, but we’re putting our large house on the market and will be moving into a much smaller house in the same neighborhood, to save money and start living the life. Anyway, we all need a good purge every now and then 😉 Good luck on your journey, Sir!

  • Thanks Craig. Always loved Mad as a kid!

  • Mark, as someone who is in the in-between generation, with a collection of both digital and analog mementos, I think I see it a little differently.

    Your only choice at the time was to collect analog versions. I’m seeing a different choice as my kids grow: most things are digital, select favorites are brought to life in analog form.

    A couple of current examples in our life today:
    1. We have a photo album my parents created for us, of our family growing up. It is laid out, every photo is labeled and dated and it fills two 3-inch binders. I also have a DVD FULL of the pictures it was pulled from, but because they pulled together only the best (from 1,000’s of old slides, my dad loved photography), it is a precious analog item.
    2. We have 1,000’s of pictures of our boys, thanks to the low cost of taking and storing digital photos today. For Christmas last year, we made mugs for family, with photos of the boys. My wife uses that mug every morning, she even hand washes it to keep the photos bright (in a house with three boys under 6, NOTHING gets hand washed, even if it isn’t supposed to be dishwasher safe).

    We will have a choice about what is analog, and what is digital, in our lives, and I am hopeful that choice will give us the best of both of the worlds you reference.

    That is my hope. Thanks for sharing your story, and congratulations on the move!

  • Awesome commentary Eric. Thank you so much for this gift!

  • pixzen

    I’m not sad about this era at all, in fact I’m overjoyed at being able to get rid of my analog life and embracing the digital world. It all fits in my pocket now, and is very liberating.

  • Wow, I was in a similar situation a short while back. Couldn’t get rid of everything though. Still have boxes of old family photos in the garage waiting to be scanned one of these days.

  • pixzen

    Agreed…. in the end it just becomes junk someone else has to toss out….

  • Gordon

    Nothing like nostalgia to key a good trail of comments. All Ye who wondered here, embrace the medium, Label and Tag and Back Up redundantly. No wind or basement flood or 1/2 sized house can take this away. And for the time being, you can still read the Sunday New York Times on paper…

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  • Pat

    Thanks for the great post — we all have experiences with clutter! I have two cures for the problem: 1) Move every 2-3 years, or simulate a move by packing up a rental truck and driving it around the block. It will be easier to let go of stuff as you realize certain items are not worth the trouble to load into boxes; and 2) Record and then watch a marathon 5 or more episodes of the TV program “Hoarding” in a row — it is so frightening to see how worst-case hoarders live their lives that you would be inspired to immediately get rid of possessions that others would consider to be junk!

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