It’s amazing what you discover digging through personal and/or work files accumulated over several years. Both treasure and trash!
Being a packrat, I’m inclined to hold onto things. “I might need this someday,” has long been my motto. Too often I’ve discarded something, assuming it wouldn’t be needed in a million years – only to discover, soon after consigning it to the trash, I needed it after all.
Realistically, most things we retain year after year never again require attention. Even if we need them, we’ve forgotten we had them. Some documents should be remembered, however. For example, the report on my physical exam about 20 years ago at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas: Uncovering the report in my files the other day, I was stunned at how prescient it was.
It noted my low fitness level at the time due to my “relatively sedentary lifestyle,” and recommended starting a regular aerobic exercise regimen. The report also cited cholesterol scores that, while not alarming, “warranted further attention.” (Attention I failed to provide for too long.)
The report said nothing of an enlarged aorta, but my family history, low exercise level and questionable cholesterol numbers all were harbingers of bypass surgery I would face nearly 17 years later.
Most other old files were not nearly so revelatory. Typically they fitted into either “I forgot I had that” or “Why did I hang onto that?” categories. But reviewing the Cooper Clinic file showed me what happens “should old acquaintances be forgot,” as Auld Lang Syne would remind us.
My failure to heed those warnings brought to mind the admonition of 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let anyone that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Who, me – exercise? Eat right? Today, finally, I’m doing what the report suggested. Better late than never!