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My Faves: The People I Keep

Creating a new cell-phone directory tested my commitment in ways I didn't expect.

From my journal: A few weeks ago the cell-phone people notified me that I was eligible for a new phone at a rock-bottom price and that I should stop by their store and do a deal. A day or two later, I converted from TREO to Blackberry.

A technician transferred the contact data—my electronic "phone book"—from the old phone to the new one. "You've got a lot of stuff in the memory," he said referring to the over-three thousand names and numbers I'd accumulated during the past years. "You might want to think of purging it."

In the days that followed I did what the techie suggested, and shrunk the list from 3,000 names to about 1,500. I ended up with 1,500 keepers and 1,500 deleted…people that is.

It is not always an easy task to separate the keepers from the deleted. The exercise forced me to do some reflecting about the nature of my personal relationships.

I quickly saw that the "keepers" fell into four categories. There were my loved ones: wife, children, and grandchildren ...

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