Way back in February, I read a short essay by Nick Paumgarten in The New Yorker about the magazine's move from Times Square down to the Financial Distrcit. One passage, as he wrote about the difficulties of getting ready for the move has stuck with me:
The process felt a little like going through the belongings of a dead loved one, except that the dead loved one was you. What was worth saving? Not as much as you'd anticipated, once you got into the spirit of paperlessness. Pile up those mine carts with fool's gold. The thing that's worth keeping is the thing you do next.
At the time, I was in the process of emptying - one way or another - and selling my childhood home. His analogy wasn't an analogy for me. When I found myself briefly crippled by grief or nostalgia (or both), overwhelmed by what felt like impossible decisions, I would repeat his words to myself - "The thing that's worth keeping is the thing you do next." They helped me pull myself together; helped me move forward and feel pretty good about my decisions in the process.
We closed on the house in April (the single most horific experience of my life; real-estate is an ugly business) but I've found that Paumgarten's words continue to provide guidance.
The thing that's worth keeping is the thing you do next.
Okay. Here we go.