Anal Retention

One of my worse traits is my anal retentiveness. As I unpack, I am forced to admit this over and over. I threw away a whole lot of stuff before this move and yet I am continuously shocked at myself for what I have kept. I am like this with both physical goods and electronic data. I have 7 years of email on my computer, CD after CD burned of things that I’ll never look at again and so forth.

Thus, when I was having problems with my lone Windows machine throwing fatal exceptions and not running things I wanted to run, it was a big deal when I chose to reinstall without obsessively archiving. I did a cursory look through to see if I had anything irreplacable and then blew away my partitions and started over without archiving anything. This means that I will have some programs that I had installed on there that I’ll never be able to install again because I don’t have access to the disks anymore. Que sera, I’ll live. It helps a little that I was beset with this giant wave of apathy as I thought about archiving and I thought about the programs I might need to try to keep behind. “Why bother?” I thought, and went forward. That was kind of a freeing moment for me, and it felt good.

I’m the worst combination of anally retentive and disorganized when it comes to possessions. I think I need to keep everything, but I don’t file it findably. I know that somewhere in my possessions, I have all this stuff but I can never access it when I need it. Well, dude, that’s morally equivalent to not actually having it, wouldn’t you say? I really am trying to turn over a new leaf. I’m trying to make sure that everything that comes out of a box goes into a place just for things like that. When I have unpacked everything, there should be zero boxes of miscellaneous shit in my possession. I’m also trying to be ruthless as I unload them, pitching the stuff I know has no value.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.