OLG Old Lady Gardener #40 The weight of photos

I ran across a blog post the other day that talked about the number of photos on you phone and the stories behind them. (So sorry I did not copy who wrote this post so I can’t give you credit.)

I have thought about that for a couple days. There are so many photos and as I scroll through them so many of them are green. Yep, you guess it. They are plants. Oh there are people there once in a while but many more plants. Often the same plants but taken at different time or the same variety of plant but found in a new location. (image 2004)

I wonder now what I think or what was I thinking when I took these. What was my plan for them? How did I plan to use them? I always use a few here as I post about gardens and seasons but really there are thousands of photos here. Many of them do tell stories and I find them interesting to go back and think about them but some are just plants. Some of them are not even well taken. They are holding a great deal of space. Is it time to clean up these photos?

We have talked about down sizing? Not the type where you move to a small house but where you clean out your existing space to make more room and to not have boxes and piles of stuff for our children to have to sort through. I don’t often think about the space here on my computer or I pad or phone. There are files and files from when I was teaching. No one, including me will be using those files. It is time to delete. (image 2007)

What about photos? Is it time to let go of the five years of photos taken at the spring tulip festival? I will be going to the festival again this year. How many more photos will I take?

Or should I delete the photos taken of students and artists when I was running an arts integration program for the schools? Those students are now out of high school, at least some of them. I can’t use them without permission? I have no way of finding them? And why would I use them?

Why is it that we hold on to all these digital records? They hide in our computers, and phones and it feels as if it is not taking up space and yet it does. I have come to realize they take up digital space but also emotional space. At some point they have begun to feel heavy. Just too much stuff. Way too many photos, too many stories lay hidden in this old computer and this old gardeners brain. Great stories but only for me really. (image 2007)

I have always seen them as important but at some point they are over load and are just not looked at any more. Think about it how many times do you go back and look at all those photos on your phone. Yeah, I look at the ones from the last year or so but what about the ones from 2011 or 2015 or even before that? I am sure as I go back and look there are some that are a must keep. There are photos of my Mother who has been gone now for awhile. A few of those will be important to keep but certainly not all of them.

Now I need to find a way to organize, file and then delete the extra photos. I have a feeling the work will in many ways be hard but I am pretty sure I will feel lighter once it is done. Yes, should I have been doing this on these long, dark winter nights and during these snow storms where I could not get out? I didn’t feel the need but somehow now I do. Call it spring cleaning. (image 2010)

I know as I wait for the snow to melt and the ground to dry this might be a good task for me. I also know I may be facing the fact that a torn rotator cuff may be keeping out of the garden during these first spring months. (They are saying 6 to 8 weeks! Yikes, I don’t even want to talk about that!!! Maybe going through garden pictures will be a good idea.)

So how many photos or old files to you have lurking on your computer or phone or I pad? Do you take time to sort through them, file them and delete some? It might be time!

It might also be time to pull a few of them out and tell their story. Especially those photos of family and the stories they hold from our children.

(I must admit that my poor kids will find mainly plant photos since I am pretty good at taking plant pictures. Plants not usually more and they don’t make faces at you when you ask them for a photo. Sorry kids I am working on taking more family photos but I just enjoy the time I have with you and don’t stop to record it.)

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to OLG Old Lady Gardener #40 The weight of photos

  1. lobodal says:

    I think your plant photos are beautiful. Maybe transferring them to one of those digital photo albums would free up phone space but house your flower photos?

  2. Anita Ferreri says:

    I LOVE your plant photos….but like you I have many, too many, photos hiding in my phone, I have deleted MANY, but I LOVE the joy they bring to me when Google offers me an “on this day” perspective…so many, too many will remain…my children will just turn off my phone..and while sad, that too is ok as they will move forward…

  3. Ramona says:

    I have way too many pics, but I find it hard to delete the ones I don’t want and to organize the ones I want to keep. I think there’s a way to find the duplicates in your phone and that might be a good place to start. Do NOT delete the pansy photo. It is exquisite!

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