Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

The Stuff We Keep

Shifting office space can be stressful and revealing. You discover stashes of stuff you had no idea you kept.

Mickey Mouse watchMy stash included such gems as:

  • Eight consecutive years of Foreign Affairs journals – all dating from the 1980s.
  • A collection of yellow markers in various shapes and sizes.
  • Calendars from the 1990s.
  • A Mickey Mouse watch still in its case.
  • Notepads from a previous job.
  • A notepad from The Oregonian (no idea where that came from).
  • Business cards for people representing organizations that no longer exist.
  • Meeting notes that are indecipherable (and probably always have been).
  • A zillion paperclips.
  • Books I never knew I had (or wanted).
  • A large art poster of a beaver.
  • Capitol Club books more than a decade old.
  • Pens that didn’t have any ink.
  • A shot glass from Tennessee (I’ve never been to Tennessee).
  • A rubber toy with a donkey and elephant facing in opposite directions.
  • A news clipping that I remember looking for a dozen or so years ago.
  • Passwords without any reference what they are for.
  • Cables and wires for devices that may be in a museum.
  • A deck of cards featuring the visage of Winston Churchill.
  • A fan that a Japanese wrestler gave to me when we wrestled in an exhibition match in high school.
  • A hot-lead line of type with my college newspaper byline.
  • A Portland Rockies baseball.
  • Numerous computer disks with no titles.

Of course, I also found some real treasure – sweet cards for my birthday and Father’s Day, passwords for current accounts and the Mickey Mouse watch still in its case.

My move to another office space resulted in three tubs of recycled material and several boxes of files and  “must-keep” items carted off to basement storage.

Like a smoker addicted to nicotine, I’m promising myself to keep my desktop clean and be more organized in my work space. Maybe I need to take selfles periodically to see if my word is any good. I don’t think there is a patch to avoid a messy desk.

At least for now, I have a clean slate. My family pictures are in place. My files are neatly filed in alphabetical order. And my copy of “Showdown at Gucci Gulch” is nearby so I can remember days gone by when tax reform actually occurred. In case tax reform doesn’t occur again any time soon, I also have “The Yogi Book” and “The Snark Handbook” close at hand.

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