Some projects take a lot of time. Sorting through old snapshots is one of those. I haven't written anything for the last week because I've been communicating with my past.
It recently occurred to me that having ten photo albums sitting in a box in the attic was a waste of space and of the pictures. Why keep them if I was never going to look at them? So down they came and I began the arduous task of going through them.
The first thing I discovered was that I had an emotional response to many of them as good or bad memories came flooding back. The second thing I learned was that I had been pretty good about labeling. Thankfully, I had a fair idea of who all the people were. Third, there were a lot of duplicates, blurry images, and otherwise unnecessary pictures.
So, over the course of the last two weeks, I sifted through my life. Five photos of a boring party with work associates I never liked went into the trash along with three of the male stripper taken at a friend's 30th birthday party. (Trust me - one was plenty. I hope that guy found another line of work.) And so it went from college through several book signings. Some stayed, a lot didn't. The ones that made me smile I kept. The ones that made me cry, I kept. The ones that didn't do anything for me were tossed.
Do you get philosophical when you look at old photos? I sure did. For years I had trouble thinking about an old boyfriend. Now, looking at a picture of him, I know that it is a good thing that we didn't stay together. A snapshot of my childhood home reminded me how happy I was when I found out the family would be moving to a Chicago suburb. (I've loved Chicago since I was a kid.) One can't help but ponder how life would have been altered if the events in the photos had not taken place.
Eventually I achieved my goal, after whittling the collection down to about 800 pictures, and dropped them off at filmtransfer.com to be digitized. Will I look at them when they are on my hard drive? You bet. Family photos make wonderful wallpaper that you can change as often as you like. It's a great way to communicate with your past while enjoying and appreciating your present.