Farewell to 42

Tomorrow is my 43rd birthday and it's time to say goodbye to 42. It's been an interesting year with plenty of good stuff, but also a medical problem last summer that really threw me off course. I'm doing better now, but it's an ongoing battle. Medication is preventing the episodes of blindness, but the anxiety remains (though to a lesser degree). I'm still very limited in where and how far I can drive without panicking. It's been pretty awful, actually. I haven't been motivated to do much with my yearlong project to Discover 42. And that's OK.

I had such an amazing time with my 40 Things and Project 41 that it was inevitable that one of my yearly projects wouldn't be quite as awesome. Discover 42 wasn't bad. I did get rid of 42 pounds of stuff and learned a lot of fun facts about the number 42. I watched some cool 42-related movies. Most recently, I've challenged myself to get rid of 42 inches of paperwork and other stuff from the files.

As I mentioned before, we have two filing cabinets that are rapidly filling up because we regularly put stuff in and almost never take stuff out.  I'm slowly going through every file and weeding out everything that can either be scanned and recycled or simply recycled. It is taking a really, really long time. But I am making progress. Visible progress. I decided I would keep going, measuring the discards, until I had discarded a staggering 42 inches.

While donating 42 pounds of unwanted belongings was easy, recycling 42 inches of paperwork is hard and really time-consuming, especially stopping to scan anything sentimental or potentially important and shred anything with private information. For the most part, it has not been fun. But it's been very satisfying to reclaim that wasted space.

Here's what 6 inches of old appliance manuals (that we can now find online) and warranties (long since expired) looks like.

Goodbye, 3" of outdated maps!

Farewell, 1.5 inches of paint chips

So long, last 1" of store-bought greeting cards that have been languishing ignored in my craft room for the past decade when I started making my own cards!

I've also said good riddance to really old phone lists, service records for a car I no longer own, recipes featuring ingredients Steve can't eat, and a bunch of other stuff that has no place crowding up our lives. I passed 42" and I'm still going. I'm not even close to done. Ugh. The good news though? Along the way, I found my missing ballroom dance portraits! Hurray!

So long, 42! I'm looking forward to 43. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about my plans.


  1. Now the maps I would have a REALLY hard time getting rid of!!!!! I have used those on canvasses in the past, and am ALWAYS looking for some in vintage shops (for a good price of course! I am cheap!! LOL!!!) :) Happy EARLY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Welcome to my age!! :)

  2. I love this idea for celebrating 42 by getting rid of 42 lbs of stuff and 42 inches of paperwork. Fab! I agree that the paperwork would be tougher. But boy do I need to go through my filing cabinet. Happy early birthday!

  3. You've definitely hit some bumps this year, but you've also proven to yourself, your family, your friends, and everyone who keeps up with you here, how much spirit and courage you have. Discover 42 may not have been everything you wanted, but you've done some amazing things this year - participated in the Creative Live webcast, taught Trevor cursive over the summer, your Mythbusters shows finally aired, you showed support for a fellow crafter (Izzy) by celebrating her final day of chemo, you survived the Star Wars birthday party (LOL) and your family had the awesome trip across Canada, among so many other wonderful moments ... maybe it was a year of 42 blessings for you.
    I know I wouldn't be able to handle the blindness and anxiety as well as you have. I often tell you what an inspiration you are to me, and it's very true. I hope you find even more answers and continue to improve. I know you won't let it stop you from creating and doing amazing things. :) Happy Birthday, Cindy! ((hugs))

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad we're friends. :)

  4. I love that you finished what you could and look at all the stuff you "shed" this last year! Great photos, a great adventure and I'm so glad that you have come through the crazy health issues this year with lots of improvement. I hope this next year treats you much better!! :)


I moderate comments, so you will not see yours appear right away. Please check back if you had a question; I promise to answer it as soon as I see it. Thank you for taking the time to comment!