My forthcoming move South has me facing the inevitable: I have to pack-up my ‘things’. I pride myself on being fairly conservative. I am not a rat pack by any means. Nonetheless after nearly four decades on the planet, one tends to amass ‘things’, even if it is reasonable and legitimate in the eyes of the beholder.
Now some of you will think I’ve gone batty when I say that I am planning on halving my beloved record collection to 500 pieces. I have been collecting for 25 years and if I have a ‘prized possession’, it’s my record collection. But should we even have prized possessions? People are of infinite value, shouldn’t we have prized people over possessions? These are some of the internal struggles moving one’s ‘things’ evokes.
So how did I come to this decision? Aside from the fact that I am not particularly thrilled about hauling 16 boxes of vinyl down South (1000 LP’s weighs about 600 pounds), I came up with a list of four ‘heart revealing’ questions to help determine which albums I should keep and which ones I should sell before moving:
a) Do I listen to it? Sounds pretty basic but like any collection, sometimes we have items we aren’t enjoying regularly.
b) Is it available to listen to on Spotify? I am caught somewhere between the vintage and digital age. I use Spotify to listen to music in the car, the shower and in the office. If the album is common enough or only has 1-2 songs on it I actually like, could I declutter my life by letting go of a physical copy?
c) Is it very hard to find? This is where things get tricky because there are some albums I may not enjoy completely, but truth be told, it will be hard to find again or worse, is unavailable in a digital online streaming format.
d) Will I truly miss it? Am I holding on to it for bragging rights or because I find identify in having it?
At the end of the day purging is never easy because it’s heart revealing. When we purge our lives of ‘stuff’ for whatever reason we are confronted with a sobering question:
Does what you can hold in your hand hold your heart?
Reality is no one lays on their death bed troubled because they never got to play a 1st pressing of a Beatles LP. Regrets are usually centred around missed opportunities with people and relationships. When we put things in perspective we ought to prize people over any possession, including things like a record collection.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
When all was said and done, I was successful and halved my record collection down to 500 pieces. Here’s the proof…