My nightmare with the Marie Kondo method
SPARK this, Marie Kondo.
I'm blaming the pint-sized colossus of cleanliness for inspiring my daft decision to embark on a digital detox, after binge-watching her addictive Tidying Up series on Netflix.
I don't mean I've actually abandoned my electronic devices, I'm not that insane … although after the last week I am perilously close.
No, instead I've decided to tackle the chore that has sat upon my to-do list for an entire decade, gathering mental if not physical dust.
That's right, I've gone full KonMari method on my photo files.
But instead of sparking joy as Ms Kondo directed, I've sparked chaos.
With five computers, multiple phones and even an actual digital camera, we're talking the big kahuna of Kodak moments.
So far I've managed to transfer all photographic evidence of our family history to an external hard drive, which, while immediately relieving my anxiety of having our memories hacked by technological terrorists (ie the children), has filled me with absolute overwhelm.
We're talking well over 50,000 images and videos - and that's only dating back to 2007.
Not to mention (even though I am mentioning it) we're missing a huge batch that was permanently deleted two years ago when my son secretly changed my iPhone code - and then promptly forgot the new passcode.
Of course there was no backup.
Thus my determination to transfer all photo files to a safe space ASAP - although apparently I define "as soon as possible" as 24 months.
But now that I have all these photos saved (which was actually much more difficult than I imagined - I'm talking tears on the keyboard, literal rage at the machine), what am I going to do with them?
My aim is to frame the best of the best for a photo wall … but at this rate I'm going to need China's Great Wall.
The remainder of the photos are destined for photo books courtesy of Kmart, snapfish or whomever is cheapest … but who is going to build, not to mention pay for, the library they'll need to be housed in?
While I love the ease and accessibility of having a camera in the shape of a phone on my person at all times, right now I'm feeling downright nostalgic for old-school snapshots.
Remember those days when every photo was thoughtful and considered? If you paid your money for a roll of 36 pics on film - not to mention the fee for developing it - you thought long and hard about what was worth recording for posterity.
Instead, now I have 89 photos of my son jumping off a rock, plus slow-mo videos.
Then there are the literally hundreds of photos they've secretly taken of themselves. Plus the dozens of accidental screenshots I take because I'm over 40 and being old means you immediately develop an allergy to anything technological.
Just deleting the waste-of-cyberspace shots will take days.
Even once I've accomplished that, there's the headache of sorting everything into separate files for future photo books. Despite each pic being born with a digital birthdate, they've since arranged themselves in anything but a chronological order.
To be honest, I was bad enough at creating photo albums even when I had minimal hard copies. I'm ashamed to admit my wedding photos are stored in a shopping bag. Although at least no one can delete them from there.
And speaking of deleting, let's talk about the process of actually looking at these photos from the last decade.
I'll admit that seeing the kids as babies and gorgeous little toddlers really did spark joy.
But seeing my own face in rapid transition from 2007 to 2019 … that just stoked despair.
I tried not to express these feelings since expression is very obviously the cause of certain lines now permanently etched. Turns out I don't have resting bitch face but resting WTF face.
But I'm not giving up.
With a combination of Botox and continued digital detox, I will soon be ready to smile at the camera again.
In fact, when this is all over and my happy snaps are picture perfect on my wall, it truly will be a joyous moment.
Just don't tell that cow Kondo.