Life’s too short

This week I’ve been throwing out CDs. It’s part of a general trend I’ve noticed as I get old(er) – I’m less willing to waste my time on crap. What’s more, I’m also resigned to the fact that I don’t even have time for all the good stuff. To this end, I’ve decided that the bookshelves and CD racks I currently have (and which are currently full) will not be extended or added to. If I want something new, I’ll throw out something old. Not that I’ll ditch favourites, obviously, but I don’t really have 200 favourite CDs (does anyone?). Just this week I’ve found three CDs taking up valuable shelf space which I know for sure I’ll never listen to again, and I’ve got my eye on several more.

So, goodbye Drawing Restraint 9. I love all your normal albums, Bjork, but your soundtrack for your boyfriend’s avant-garde film is alternately tedious and grating.
Au Revoir Rockhal, triple CD compilation of Luxembourgish rock and pop I received as a free gift when attending a conference in (where else?) Luxembourg.

Similarly with TV – I’ve already given up on Torchwood, but I’ve also abandoned hope of keeping up with, or even starting, some of the most acclaimed shows on at the moment, simply because I have lots of other acclaimed shows to watch, and there aren’t enought hours in the day to work, spend time with my children, eat, sleep, blog, socialise, read, etc, etc, etc, and watch five (or is it more?) series of The Sopranos.
Armando Iannucci wrote a perceptive article on this subject recently, with this as its central thesis:

“I now realise the sooner we set limits to the amount of stuff we’re prepared to be entertained by, the happier we will all be.”

And it’s not just cultural artefacts. My parents love to go shopping, but increasingly they don’t buy anything. The stuff they see, lovely as it is, they have no need for, and whenever they’re tempted to, one of them says to the other – “But it’s just stuff“. I’ve taken a leaf out of their book – shops for me now are like galleries or museums – full of fascinating objects that are interesting to look at at think about, but I have no need to own them (even if I had somewhere to put them).


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