When I moved to Edinburgh, I went poking around the charity shops in Stockbridge and I found these retro cake plates. I don’t remember how much they were, probably like £2 for all of them. I loooooved them. I still do. They are MY cake plates. And I make and eat and serve a whole lot of cake.
So about a year ago when I was doing some hardcore kitchen cleaning and extraneous-crap-purging, I looked at my stack of plates and saw 5 where I thought there should be 6. But I couldn’t remember. I went back and forth between being ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN there had been 6 and believing that actually there were only ever 5 and I’d debated over buying them at all for that reason. And as there is no one who could confirm either, this non-issue took over my brain for a whole friggin’ day.
Until I had this moment where I was like, ‘OH MY GOD, KATE, IT DOES NOT EVEN MATTER, and this is also solid proof YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE’.
The first tipping point. It’s always something weird.
How on earth do some plates make you understand why you need to go take a trip?
I’ve said before that I am not all about getting rid of all one’s earthly possessions because I LIKE stuff, and I like MY stuff. But that was the moment when I realised I need to not be completely attached to it. Why was I freaking out about the existence of a 6th cake plate when what I really wanted was to NOT be tied down to shit. CAKE PLATES. I will not be tied to cake plates. Who can ride a bunch of trains across half the northern hemisphere if they’re worried about cake plates? Eeeeeesh.
So I think about these plates every time I’m in prep mode. Particularly today when I was setting up my Crashplan account to try out the service. My computer is easily the single most expensive thing I will be carrying with me, but I want to make sure I’m not too attached. It’s a nice thing. But the computer itself isn’t the important thing, it’s what’s on it. With a proper backup system, the very real possibility of theft or massive damage isn’t really a thing I need to freak out about. It would be annoying as hell, sure, but it’s not my life.
This is also how I’m trying to look at every single thing I take with me. I’ve got a lot of specific and sometimes pricey gear to make living out of a very small bag easier, but if it all disappears, I don’t want to feel all panicky or distracted. The main thing I’m concerned about is my health and personal safety. As long as I can keep that in good standing, I’d like to think I’ll be able to handle losing some stuff. No big attachments.
The prep that goes into creating that attitude reveals what you feel is important REAL FAST though, because setting up backups and figuring out insurance and all that is boring and time-consuming. And I am not about to spend hours of my life backing up or insuring shit I wouldn’t miss.
(There is also a tangent in my head here about how we’ve gone past the point where we can have a zombie/flu/rage/blackout/nuclear apocalypse situation and still have concrete memories to carry around in the rebuilding, because now everyone keeps their life in the cloud and there are no hard copies to be in pockets and backpacks getting worn out with love and nostalgia in the big bad post-apocalypse world. This makes me look at my Kindle with consternation. It also makes me want to print pictures. I’m a little strange.)
As for the plates, in the big clear-out, they stay. Of course they do. But if another one is missing when they come out of storage, I’m not gonna spend a whole day wondering about it. (Ain’t nobody got time for that when they have to brag-post 3 months of pictures on the interweb.)