I don’t know about you, but I have trouble throwing things away.
As near as I can figure, I’m only about a trashcan-and-a-half from being featured on one of those cable TV shows where the guy’s family intervenes to clean out his house.
Not that I’m actually what you might call a hoarder. You CAN walk from room to room through my house (stay on the path), and my cubicle at work isn’t literally overflowing; but, if you’d check my Outlook, you’d find lots and lots of work history stuffed into various files.
Which can come in handy.
For example, just a week or so ago, I was emailed questions about the last time NPPD put together and rolled out an IRP. At first, I couldn’t even remember what IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) stood for. After a moment or three combing through the cobwebs in my brain, I turned to my trusty email files.
Eureka! There be gold in them there files. Or at least IRP stuff.
So it dawns on me, at the intersection of my 15-year anniversary with NPPD, my older son’s 15th birthday, and an afternoon that practically BEGS for spring cleaning – sunlight spilling in through the windows next to my computer, that I am a collector. Of emails (as I’ve said before), of scraps of paper, of thoughts, of memories.
Spring cleaning? Ha.
I look around my messy (true!) work station, and two observations strike me: One, I like to scribble random notes to myself on scraps of paper. Whatever is handy. And two, over the years I’ve taped, pinned and hung many things regarding a variety of topics on my cubicle’s walls. I find the postings interesting, thought provoking, sentimental and inspirational.
Let’s see what YOU think.
Now, I don’t have space or time enough in this blog to describe and comment on EVERYTHING adhered to my walls; I’ll pick just a few and have leftover fodder for another cud-chewing blog at some later date. OK?
I have lots of photos of my children. Some from when they were little, to school pix that show their development over the years. I look at them often with love and hope.
Next, I’ve got pictures they have drawn for me: pirate ships; the cat, Arlo; railroad tracks and several renditions of our family. Not so much lately, but when they were younger, my kids were budding Picassos, all. I don’t know why we don’t draw as much when we get older. It’s a shame.
I’ve got a plastic-framed piece of parchment on my wall saying I earned a master’s of Arts and Sciences from the University of Nebraska and am “entitled to enjoy all the rights, honors and privileges pertaining to that degree.” I’m not certain what that means, exactly.
I have the first-place award I received from the Nebraska Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition for a sports column I wrote long ago about the Fourth of July. It had something to do with fireworks, summer and boyhood, if I remember correctly.
Then, I’ve collected numerous noteworthy sayings by famous and not-so-famous people. Here are a few:
“It is better to be alone than in bad company.” George Washington
“If you would have leisure, you must use your time well.” Ben Franklin (And, Frankly, I’m not very good at this one.)
“Everything yields to diligence.” Thomas Jefferson (I’m better at this. I have patience and being stubborn is among my more prominent characteristics.)
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (Emerson, with his work “Self Reliance,” has always been something of a hero to me. I’m glad he’s on my wall.)
I’m running out of room so I’ll pick only a couple more.
“No one succeeds by allowing himself (or herself for that matter) to be deflected from the most important business of life, which is making the most of the best that is in him (or her).” From Ellis Parker Butler’s “Goat Feathers”
Honestly, I don’t know who Ellis Parker Butler is, and I don’t know “Goat Feathers” from “Sheep Shoes,” but I admire his conviction to work at getting better. It is an honorable goal. I think the trick is discovering what your “best” in you is. It seems to me that definitions could vary from person to person, which is probably a good thing now that I consider it.
Finally, I have two other pieces on my wall that impact greatly how I try to live my life: OUR MISSION: “Safely generate and deliver reliable, low-cost, sustainable energy and provide outstanding customer service.” And, OUR VISION: “Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for Nebraskans, now, and in the future.”
Those are some powerful words to live by. I’ll keep them.