I had all of my photos in a folder on my desktop computer (backed up monthly onto a Western Digital 1 terabyte portable hard drive), but the organizational system left a lot to be desired. In fact, I had trouble finding things and ended up not filing a ton of pictures. Now, after about 4 hours of work, everything makes sense, and the organizational rules I put in place will make it easier to add more photographs in the future. I was also able to eliminate a few hundred duplicate photos in the process.
Granted, the above isn't all the exciting to anyone but me.
The impetus for the above re-organization? Probably threefold actually:
- Not having my old photos well organized actually discouraged me from taking more pictures.
- I always enjoy looking at old photographs (not of me) anyway.
- I've been given some additional photographs of my father, so it made sense clean things up a bit.
(Dad, late 40's I think; courtesy of my half-sister Theresa)
There is a fourth reason as well: I'm trying to be more purposeful with my non-working time. That sounds like a Harvard phrase for "less lazy", but it's actually not. I feel as if I am missing opportunities in life sometimes. Yes, we all need "down time", but I'm not at my best when I feel as if I lack a direction or purpose. I need to have something to accomplish. Thinking back over 2017, I was at my best when I had graduate school (which was also maddening on many, many levels) work. At my worst? I'd have to say that was when I would sit in this office, just looking at a computer screen, mostly trying to avoid grieving over the loss of a 28-year-old job and 51-year-old brother. A failed strategy, and while I don't claim that organizing photographs is a cure, I think it's part of a larger acknowledgment of sorts.
(My Penn State college ID, 1982)
So yes, in a way of sorts there is a connection between grief and old photographs: I sometimes find both equally embarrassing, but hiding either makes little sense.