Monday, November 2, 2009

Will shred for therapy

After 11 years of accumulating shared bank statements, bills, tax and other financial records, Sophie and I finally sorted through the mounds of paper, filed the stuff we need to keep for the long term and created two big piles for the stuff we should get rid of. Anything without any identifying information could be bagged and readied to go straight to the recycling center at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes or one of the other nonprofits we support. (These nonprofits are paid a small fee by a recycling firm called Abitibi to store drop-off recycling bins for supporters to donate their newspapers, junk mail, magazines, etc., for collection. The firm pays the nonprofits by the ton, totaling, perhaps, $100 a month or so.) Stuff with confidential information would have to go through the shredder, before going into bags for the Abitibi "paper retrievers." Only one question remained.

Who would shred?

"I can't do it," came the familiar response when I asked Bandar if she could try something a little new and different. With a little coaxing, she agreed to give it a try and soon enough had put a full year's worth of paper through our little machine, jamming it every 10th insert or so.

I wasn't looking for efficiency by enlisting Bandar for this assignment. Rather, the simple and repetitive motion of leaning forward, picking up a piece of paper, twisting slightly and feeding the paper into the machine is a perfect mimic of some of the other exercises assigned by Bandar's occupational therapist. Every little bit helps.

After 10 minutes or so, Bandar was exhausted and asked me if she could "go laying down." She was actually pleased for her contribution.

Just 10 days from now, I expect Bandar to complete the task.

More good times.


  1. god, I love the picture! Susie Sharp

  2. Ho ho. Funny, Steve. Our papers are a mess too. Mike has his "system' and I have mine and it's not working out. He has boxes and boxes of something in his closet. I think electric bills from 1994.

    If I die before him, I'm sure he'll become one of those senile pack rats who never throws anything away....Uh, wait.....

    Dad bought us a filing cabinet to try to keep it all straight. I had everything nicely stored in separately labeled files. But it quickly got out of control.

    I think if he and I dedicated a day to going through our papers (how in the world did you and Sophie do it?), I'd have enough shredding to keep Bandar busy through 2011. May I borrow her when the time comes?

  3. maybe you could start a company called senior shreaders ....