A question from a friend: Is there anything you're secretly (or not so secretly) glad to have lost in that little house fire incident?
Lots of things. I've always been a bit of a magpie, storing everything with the rationale that I might need it someday. I never devoted the time or effort to clean it all out, and even if I had, the end result might have been the same: "I can't throw this away-- I might need it someday." So, in a way, this fire was a blessing because it did my cleaning for me. I've never denied that sometimes I need a push (or a disaster) to get started.
The loss of stuff can be broken into four categories:
A) Irreplaceable stuff I never looked at/used: It's a shame, but it's gone.
B) Replaceable stuff I never looked at/used: Who cares?
C) Irreplaceable stuff I frequently looked at/used: Losing this stuff hurts.
D) Replaceable stuff I frequently looked at/used: It can be replaced, so who cares?
Take for example my 700 videotapes. Some of these are homemade tapes, camcorder tapes, or extremely rare movies that are no longer available (or extremely difficult to find). I miss those. But am I really upset that I lost my copy of the Tribbles episode of Star Trek? Not in the least.
Same thing with my 2000 books. Some of those books are irreplaceable: an 1883 edition of Leaves of Grass, for instance. But my copy of Thomas L. Friedman's The World is Flat? No problem to replace.
The other thing is that not everything that can be replaced must be replaced. Do I need a copy of Thomas L. Friedman's The World is Flat? Probably not. Do I need a copy of the Tribbles episode of Star Trek? Not in the least. So, as I've known from about the week after the incident, this fire really might be a great gift.
Little fire incident?