This week I was going through my receipts for taxes, and one in particular brought tears to my eyes. What was it for? Wish that I could say an awesome dinner meeting, but it was for Office Depot. Last year I bought a file cabinet, and it is one of my greatest memories.
Right about now, you must be ready to stop reading this blog, but WAIT! What could I possibly say about a file cabinet that would make this piece remotely interesting? Stay with me for a minute.
As women (and I suspect some men too), we all have certain items that we have bought that have special meaning. I have many: my boys’ antique white crib that I cannot seem to give away; the TV which was the first major appliance that my husband and I bought and saved for together; my black shiny skinny pants that probably will never fit me again. These are just a few examples of what might seem like ridiculously stupid items to someone else but mean a great deal to me. The file cabinet is now added to the list.
Think about what you would put on your list of Never Give Away and Why? Do you have a few items? Bet you do. No matter how organized we all are, we always have a couple of things stashed away for the memories alone.
My cheaply constructed, black file cabinet is one of these items. It made the recent move with me to my new office, and I just know that the file cabinet will be with me forever. Why? In mid-2010, I decided to chase my mompreneurial dreams. After staying home with my boys for 10 years, I decided that I was ready for a major change. I began to investigate going back to a traditional job a few years ago, but it became clear that I needed to pursue making my product idea a reality. If I did not, the what-if’s would haunt me.
I set upon my adventure with a gusto that was not to be believed. My passion for the project was overwhelming, and it allowed me to accomplish quite a bit in a very short period of time. On the flip side, my haste also led to some mistakes…
…I had a week where I was buying up domain names for every brand name that struck my fancy; there were a few days that I was going to make extra cash by selling bedazzled items and bedazzled a few days away; I sent out a few too many emails with typos (a pet peeve of mine). Thankfully, I can laugh about these relatively harmless mistakes!
However, the file cabinet was a smart & responsible purchase. A file cabinet with a lock to hold my important financial & LLC related papers, contracts with my prototype artist and design firm, and my BUSINESS PLAN (ha). These documents are all parts of my adventure that I have taken my time on, met with accountants, local sculptors, and not rushed through in writing and investigating. I do not know what to say other than, These items mean the world to me.
That is how I know that the cheap black file cabinet that I am sure will be sporting a fresh ding in it soon (from a stray football) will always mean something to me. It is evidence of my newly found self and what I have done responsibly along the way. That is not to say that I will not make many more mistakes as my adventure continues, but I can always enter the file cabinet in my memory and remember how I got from point A to B.
Do not feel obligated to go out and buy yourself a file cabinet, but imagine if you had an imaginary file cabinet. In that file cabinet, you could file away all the stories and memories, both funny and useful, that made you who are today. Whether you have started a successful business, travelled an amazing career path, or spent a number of years home with your kids, use your imaginary file cabinet to remind you of all the hard work that you have done.
Take a few minutes and think about your imaginary file cabinet. This is a great exercise to do if you are frustrated, need to regroup, or maybe help out a colleague who is stuck.
What memories would you put in your files?
How would you label the hanging folders? By years, categories, accomplishments, mistakes?
If you had to share one file, what would it be?
One memory that I never ever want to forget is my original blog masthead:
I would love for you to share your memory – Rachel