A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Chili and I got new iPhones. Once all the data was moved from the old phones to the new ones, I set about “cleaning house,” as it were. I had a bunch of really crappy iPhone pictures in the photo album and a number of contacts in my phone that really didn’t need to be there. I spent about a half hour deleting my mother’s number and all the contacts for my her doctors and hospice workers, a couple of former students I know I’ll likely not want to reach again, that sort of thing. I also finally decided to delete both April’s address card and WeedWoman’s information from my address book.
There is something both profoundly sad and genuinely freeing about this action. I think a lot of the way I feel has to do with being able to concede that there are some things – and some people – who need to be relegated to the past, for whatever reason, and that act of letting go gives me permission to stop thinking about them in terms of the present. Deleting someone from my address book doesn’t mean I’ll never think of them again, but it does give me leave to start thinking about them as things that were, not things that are or could be.
I’m working, slowly but surely, to do this same kind of housekeeping on my other media, as well. The other day, I went through the links on my blog and eliminated all but the blogs I still follow. This afternoon, I went through my google reader and unsubscribed to a bunch of blogs that I have either taken to just skimming or that, for a number of reasons, I can’t bring myself to read anymore. It was a big step for me to do this; there’s a certain sense of loyalty that I feel, and hitting that “unsubscribe” button was both scary and liberating at the same time.