I hadn’t realized the weight of cassette tapes throughout all the time I’d listened to them in my old car until I had to move five milk cartons full of them. They’re heavy! As I looked through the top stacks of cassettes, too, I realized I didn’t care enough about one, two, then twenty cassettes, before asking myself: What if I only kept five cassettes? Some changes in perspectives help shape your major life goals.
I’ll have three queues: donate, sell, and keep.
I’ll donate anything I don’t have a profound attachment to in most major regards. What if I’ll never hear this album again? Rare will be the tragic surgery caused by that trauma, common will be the forgotten scratch on the arm. I keep harping on music as a downsizing theme because it is an impersonal thing. Even when we personalize cassettes, they were once mass manufactured.
Cassettes can be almost always easily replaced.
We attach value to objects because of the memories we had when we encountered them. If we can redirect those memories to not be triggered by objects so much, we can reduce our wastefulness in regards to ownership of excessive possessions; not collections. It’s fine to have a collection or two of things you really enjoy; objects that all inspire you to become a better person, collectively remind you of something, or even are entertaining are all fine.
Cassettes no longer enthuse me.
It’s their time to go on to homes where their future owners might be enthused by them, and if there is none, then at least the thrift store might have made an effort to try before trashing them. That is outside my control. I cannot empathize with the plight of objects and if that makes me cold, then so be it, because I cannot be weighed down by the mental burden of objects.
If it’s broken, I can throw it away now.
This morning, there was a pen that held a vague memory from years ago. I got it when I was downtown in a prestigious week of training on advanced technology. The course probably cost the company a thousand dollars of budget… So that pen stopped working. Into the trash it went. I’ll donate another pen with mixed memories next.
These essays aren’t about the albums…
What happens when I address more personal items? Since I’m learning the discretion to keep only the objects I love the most – and, more importantly, love interacting with, rather than merely based on aesthetics – I can close the books on memories that don’t encourage me to be better or to pick me up and remind me that things are good when I’m not feeling that great.
Albums are just an easy training ground.
I’ve been cataloging them for years, so let’s say I get the itch to hear something. If it’s not freely available to stream or “freely available,” I can consult my local retailers.
If not, someone might just have that tape still…
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: During my work weeks, I’ll have my living room clogged with one major project [currently: cassettes], and my dining room clogged with another [currently: computer hardware], so that when I get an idle moment I might look over some of the items in these projects and chisel away at them.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photos: Five crates full of tapes, yo.|
|Written On: May 22nd [25 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|