Shredder Versus Farm Burning Barrel

May 28, 2012

Doesn’t the inflow of paper into your life just drive you crazy?

How about the stack of stuff that’s riding around in your truck, car, or dare I say it, piled in the bathroom?

We’ve all got too much paper and too little time to deal with it. My worst moment recently was finding an important financial printout that was inexplicably lying amidst a pile of McDonald’s dirty cups and wrappers on the floor of my truck. Worse yet, I had been looking for this particular “very important” paper for a month. And, there it was — out in front of God and the garbage man — my very private personal data. I still haven’t figured out why that particular document was in my truck.

Getting back to my shredder dilemma…

I think our small office has put at least 5 units out in the local land fill in the past 3 years. Yeah, I’m tough on them. My paranoia about my “stuff” ending up on (I made that up!) keeps that little machine humming. That factor is also linked with my need to get rid of credit cards. In heated moments of debt cleansing, I know I’ve shoved too many of them into that little hole aptly labeled  “Insert Credit Card.” Maybe that’s what actually killed the last shredder.

Rather than buy yet one more piece of disposable equipment, I thought of my mother’s love for her “burning barrel.” It was a giant, rusty red and blackened container that probably started out full of who knows what (hint: we lived on a farm).  I don’t remember anyone else ever using it like she did. In fact, if my 92-year-old mother could still set a weekly fire in the barrel, I think it would fix any health complaints.

Lightbulb Idea:  I don’t have a burning barrel, but I can see our chiminea on the patio from my office. Maybe I won’t buy a shredder. Maybe I’ll just strike a match.

Reality: Josh, my volunteer fire fighting son-in-law says that it’s bad business to start a fire of any kind during a drought. Yeah, he’s probably right …again, darn it.

Solution Found:  Jackie Wright, a friend of mine, who works for New Perspectives, an investment services company,  has already solved the shredder purchase question in her blog: Home Grown Wisdom.

The funny thing is that Jackie points out that we can enjoy using the shredder as a stress reliever. Suddenly, I really understand my Mom’s relationship with her  “burning barrel.”

Anybody got a match?






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