Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Secret to Surviving

In his classic song, "The Gambler", American troubadour Kenny Rogers asserts that "... the secret to survivin' is knowin' what to throw away and knowin' what to keep." In contrast, I am not a gambler; very little of my stuff is essential to survival. I need a strategy for making the throw away/keep decision. And I have one. If I don't use an item regularly or do not anticipate using it again, I will dispose of it. I plan to start with stuff I haven't used for the last ten or twenty years and with stuff I know I'll never use again. After having disposed of that stuff or restored it to a place of regular use, I plan to work my forward little by little to the present. My intent is to reach the point where I will have tossed, donated, sold, or otherwise disposed of everything I haven't used for the past year. Face it, if I haven't needed or used something for a year, then I probably don't need to keep it around. If I need it again, I should be able to buy, borrow, or rent one and hopefully give it back when I'm finished using it. The only problem will be stuff with historic or sentimental value -- wall maps from the Browningsville School, tobacco spears from Dad's farm, Grand Dad's plumb bob &c. With any luck, I'll be able to donate some of it to the Montgomery County, MD. historic society. Failing that, I'll probably inflict it on my kids. I've already started. I gave my machinist's tool chest and tools to my nephew who is a machinist. He will use them. It felt good.