Saturday, November 8, 2008

Taking Inventory

At work we are conducting our annual inventory. I’m no longer directly involved in the process, but I remember the headaches, frustration, and anxiety of trying to reach an acceptable discrepancy between what you have on hand and what you should have.

This morning, I have been cleaning house, and I thought about all the stuff that I have crammed into this house after eighteen years of living here. I can’t imagine taking inventory of all the items I own. In the first place, I would have to find everything. I’m still looking for the computer connection for my MP3 player. If I ever find it, will it be in a logical place, or some place where I stuck it to get it out of the way? It wouldn’t get counted in the inventory if it’s still missing.

Jim used to call me Imelda Marcos Junior because of all the shoes I have. The last time I counted (at his insistence!) I had fifty pair. As far as how many pair I have now—we won’t go there. I watch these people on TV help packrats like me clean their closets. “You have a hundred tee-shirts? Oh. My. God. Throw ninety-seven of them in this big trash can and we will buy you a new wardrobe.” Nope. Keep your new wardrobe. I like my memories. I just need a bigger closet!

If my 401K completely disappears, I could live by selling my stuff on E-Bay. I wouldn’t even miss most of my “inventory” for a few years.

I no longer count my collectibles. I display part of them and pack part of them away. Seasonal decorating gets to be such a pain, that I wonder why I do it. I need to take down Halloween and put up Thanksgiving. Fortunately, those two overlap some. I hate to take down my fiber-optic witch before anyone gets to see it. Last year I left my decorations up for a few extra days and my granddaughter said, “Halloween is OVER, Grandma Linda!”

Sometimes when I have a moment of quiet time, I begin to think strange thoughts. Last night as I drove home, I began to think about things I’ve done in my life that I wish I hadn’t. Things that I knew were wrong, but plunged into them anyway. I began to take inventory of my dark side. When we ruminate, it’s our failings that bear heavy on the soul and seem to clog up the inventory. In fairness to myself, I should inventory my accomplishments and the good things too.

I’ve always heard that we should count our blessings which sounds like another inventory. Thankfully, I couldn’t possibly inventory my blessings either. Not even an industrial strength calculator would be capable of that task.

So, at work, inventory is bogged down and holding up my October month end closing, but in my personal life, I’m just plugging along. I’m the only one accountable for any discrepancies between what I have and what I should have, and more importantly, the person I am and the person I should be.
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