Today’s Purge

is approx. 4 notebooks worth of info from when I was a day trader, back before people did that. I traded computer stocks, mostly, before the computer dot-com boom/bust. Made money, but not a lot. Always either ahead of the curve or at the tail end — that’s me!

Among the notebooks with my day trading records was one other, a writing notebook, where I tracked what I’d submitted, where, the class comments I got from the writing classes I took, etc. Interesting to see so many “old friends.” That notebook I almost entirely kept intact, unlike the financial stuff.

This writings are over 20 years old, from 1982 or so. I was tech. writing for a living and trying to find a way to free-lance instead. This predates the day trading, by a year or two.

My reluctance to toss the writing is for mining purposes. I may be able to transform an old piece into something new. Everything is fodder for a writer.

My reluctance to toss the financial stuff is that it’s the record of something I did, and did well, if not spectacularly, for a while. Like the cards from my childhood sf catalog, none of it is useful, now — but getting rid of the debris means that the triumph is over. Which of course is nonsense. I still did whatever I did without the artifacts to “prove” it and remind myself.  The catalog cards have been slowly but surely turned into gift tags, Christmas cards and tossed. The financial stuff will get shredded and recycled.

Unchanged are the facts that I made a card catalog of about 500 sf paperbacks in junior high and I made money for about two years day trading. Without the “documentation” to prove it or remind myself, the facts remain. And who cares anyway, except me?  I turned the card catalog into a piece of the memoir. The day trading isn’t important to the growth of my self-esteem, so it’s not there.

But it’s four empty notebooks, about 8″ of paper that won’t need housing any more — and that, definitely, is a PLUS!


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