Every year I keep up with all sorts of paper work and documents about my banking and financial ventures to do as most of us do – combine it all into a report to send into the government for them to then tell me how much money they will take from me. As much as I hate this process, there is also a part of it which I find a little bit enjoyable.
You see I am a pretty detail oriented person and keep up with WAY too much paper work as well as documentation, so I will always have proof of something when needed. After a number of years of this – I ended up with all sorts of little file folders, crammed to the max with all my financial documents each year. Finally I found out from my tax person that I really only needed to keep the most recent 5 years worth of documentation and receipts, etc. I could throw the rest out but just hold onto my actual tax preparation documentation for older years. This was going to allow me to get rid of TONS of clutter.
So that year I sat down and got rid of all those past years, and narrowed it down to the most recent five years. I was doing some SERIOUS document shredding during those days. It took a while but I finally got it all compiled down to ONE BOX of file folders. It was pretty sweet. Now each year I have this little “right of passage” time into the next year, by taking the most recent years documents and putting it into the oldest file folder and getting rid of that years information.
For Example – this past year I did my 2008 taxes – so I bundle all the info up with my tax preparation report and go back to the file folder from 2003 – I then remove all the old info and trash it – but keep my tax preparation report from 2003 to hold onto. Then each year the cycle continues. This could just be a simple process and take only a few minutes, but I like to stop and look back through some of the stuff from 5 years ago and it helps remind me – where I was, what I was doing, and some highlights/milestones of my life from 5 years back. This can be an exciting, refreshing, humbling, and challenging experience.
Normally I do this near the start of the new year when I am wrapping up all the paperwork from the previous year to prepare my tax report. This year took a lot longer than I had planned, but today I am finally getting around to the “BIG SWITCH”. So today I am glancing back over stuff from 2003.
2003 was a pretty big year for me – and as the title of this post indicates it is sort of a me taking a STROLL CIRCLE down memory SPARTA LANE. You see 2003 was the first year that I was TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY living in Raleigh and working ONLY with Campus Christian Fellowship at NC State University. I had moved to Raleigh to begin my ministry there in July of 2001, but continued a part time role working back in Elizabeth City working with Mid-Atlantic Christian University (formerly Roanoke Bible College) – I kept up that role through the 01-02 School year. This was an extremely hectic year as I drove back and forth and worked at both places, but it was something I felt I needed to do and something that I did enjoy. So I only lived and worked in Raleigh FULL-TIME from about May 2002 on – this meant that 2003 was my first ENTIRE CALENDAR year there in Raleigh.
During this year I also moved living situations 3 different times. I moved from my first apartment in Apex, NC in with my life-long friend Kevin who had a home @ 108 Sparta Lane there in Apex (only about 5 min from my apt.) – I moved in about February of 2003 and lived there till I took another MAJOR STEP in life and purchased my first home. I bought a townhouse in Fuquay Varina, NC in August of 2003, it was located and 1928 STROLL CIRCLE (thus the reference for the title of this post).
These were definitely exciting times. You see I also had navigating our campus ministry finding it’s first ever “Ministry Center” location and we moved in ALSO during July/August of 2003 – RIGHT BEFORE the school year began (man was that exhausting). It was also during these same months that I had my first ever INTERN come and work with our campus ministry there at NC State. My good friend Aaron moved to Raleigh after graduating from Mid-Atlantic Christian University and moved into my new home there in Fuquay – needless to say it was fun times.
So you see – this task of going through old paperwork and stupid financial files has truly turned into a time of reflection and reliving old memories for me. As much as I dread the reason that I’m filing all these papers, at least I am enjoying the memories that it brings flooding back.
Well enough distraction from my task at hand – let me get back to the job of “cleaning out”, but thanks for joining me on this little MENTAL JOG down MEMORY – actually I mean – SPARTA LANE!