I've spent day going through old documents that are like a time line of my life before Twitter. So many scraps of paper! It started with a practical goal of sorting out tax documents. I knew the seven-year rule but still anxiety gripped me What if I need this later? I kept asking myself. I was too scared to let go. Traveling back in time can be jarring. It made me wonder why we hang onto the past so tightly. I was shocked at all the trivial things I hung onto. All had lost their importance over the years. The only thing I kept were old pieces I’d written. Because in writing, nothing is ever wasted. I can’t say the same for the old gas accounts and birthday cards from people who, sadly, I no longer remember.
I fed piles of paper into the shredder and listened to the sharp teeth tear my life on paper into pieces that could never be stuck together again. When I finished, I appreciated all the empty space in the filing cabinet. The weight of the past had shifted. Maybe the Australian Tax Department's seven-year rule should be applied to all aspects of life? Maybe after seven years it’s time to work our way out of grudges and misery; take a different attitude; get a therapist if necessary, do the work. Get a mental shredder. Oh… and file the tax return.