Saturday, October 06, 2012
"Not everything in life can be faced. But nothing in life can be changed until it is faced."
NOTE: BLOG EDITED FOR LENGTH
On a colder autumn morning, I prepare for my marathon decluttering session yesterday. Yesterday I had the freaky misfortune of knocking of blender pitcher full of green smoothie out of the fridge and over the top of my left ankle bone. For a terrible moment, I wondered if I had just broken my ankle or possibly chipped the bone as pain shot through me. I left that mess all over the floor, amazed at just how heavy that old Beehive blender is with all that heavy glass in it, sturdy but heavy, and not very well balanced on the bottom.
Even with all that happening, I managed to completely declutter the bathroom, tossing out a giant bag of stuff that needed to go, celebrating that I no longer have any prescription drugs or even many OTC medicines to worry about. The green smoothie way has been that good for me.
Yesterday's decluttering also meant that I tossed out a very old, worn rug that my husband loved still but was threadbare, beyond hope, and now covered with an entire pitcher full of delicious smoothie, complete with avocado. So I got up the courage to toss it out, realizing that it was beyond repair, and we need this gone from our lives. (Not to mention this helping my allergies to no longer have it there.)
Meanwhile I have set a goal to donate 60 more books, and that selection process is getting harder because there are books that are keepers. But I have to admit that I might never read a certain stack of books, spend all the hours to become fluent in that particular foreign language, or teach myself that now outdated computer software program.
Sometimes I wonder why I didn't read my book before, like "The Life of Pi," and others I might want to read again like "Left To Tell."
That quote from James Baldwin really spoke to me as I thought about all I have to face to declutter 14 boxes, the fight against being swept along the rivers of memory, nostalgia, or worst of all, the bitter dark river of regret or pain. I've gotten so much better about not picking up an outfit and dwelling over someone called me fat or worse or how that new outfit with the tags on it never got worn. Not beating myself up for wasting money, time, etc., all from the past, is part of that journey, too.
I get to declutter 14 more white boxes from 30 yeas ago. This part of the decluttering journey is amazing because it is like opening time capsules of my past. Often now I remember the good times I had almost forgotten and smile as the memory of that young woman I was 30 years ago with all my hearts and dreams. (Yes, I am 51, and refuse to call myself middle aged.)
So now I listen to Pandora, that cool discovery that turns my computer into a radio station or music box. My husband and I discovered Pandora in a tiny Vermont Internet cafe where the only desktop computer had been turned into an amazing music marvel, playing Dhanjo Reinhardt gypsy jazz music.
Now Pandora plays the "Wooden Ships" music choices, the wonderful music of the Woodstock 60s, while I contemplate having to tackle more boxes and stack up more stuff to give away, not long before I get to help lug 14 more boxes into my living room to go through the past one more time. I get faster at the letting go each time, determined to get this all done.
As James Baldwin said, "Not everything can be faced, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." In my case, not everything can be faced at once, but nothing can be changed until some things are faced.
I am working up to this, the freeing of myself by getting through more boxes, giving away more stuff to charity, recycling more, tossing out more.
Note: The unedited included reference to George Carlin's joke about how people buy bigger and bigger houses to hold more stuff. Even their stuff has stuff. Great joke! And so true!