i'm not really much for holidays. i don't decorate, or really make a big thing about most days. i don't like to think any one day is any more special than any other day, or that we should hold our celebrations, gifts, or appreciations until one day.
so imagine my surprise when i found today to be symbolically renewing. andrew and the dogs were away, so i spent the day cleaning and organizing. and when i say "cleaning and organizing," i mean cleaning and organizing everything in my path, starting with papers. i spread all of my papers out, organizing them into piles and filing them. i still have several big piles that need to be filed after subdividing them--too tired to keep going tonight--but after consulting the irs web site, i determined that i could shred a lot of records i'd been keeping. the result: an incredibly liberating period of shredding in which i realized i was shredding every remaining financial record i'd had with my former husband.
now, my former husband was a fabulous man. a great husband, even. i have no regrets. we made a great go of our nine years together and parted amicably. he even ended up marrying a woman to whom i'd introduced him a year before (telling him if we ever broke up, she was really the perfect woman for him, ironically), and as far as i know they live happily together with their new family (i forget where). i know he's happy somewhere with her, being a good husband to her and a good father to their children.
but three months ago, i married the man of my new choices, the man of my heart now, the man of my future. so as i fed those last pages into the shredder and watched its teeth munch away at 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000, my hyphenated name and his, and more clutter i didn't need, i felt a whoosh of relief. i did feel a little catch in my throat--the kind you feel when you burn something and worry that you might have tossed something in you might need again, because i used to think i had to keep tax records for seven years--but mostly just relief. i love throwing unnecessary things away. what could be better than unnecessary parts of my past?