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getting my house in order

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Well, so much for exercising at home while I am rehabbing my injury and wearing BUB (BigUglyBoot - thanks for naming "him", Sparkler Jitzuroe ; ) I had the best intentions, so much so that I blogged about it. But, I have proven to myself once again that I am a person who does much better exercising in a gym and exercising outdoors. I haven't given up on the thought completely, and I have a great little workout planned out, thanks to suggestions from my 9 year old son, and from some of you Sparklers. I ran into the trainer who owns the gym I go to, at a social function, and he suggested I NOT exercise (can you believe it) because of the instability issue that comes from wearing a boot, and because of the possibility of re-injuring myself. Not exercising, of course, does not mean stapling myself to a couch for the duration of my rehab period. I found an alternative to formal exercise, that still involves getting sweaty and breathing heavy (no, I am not talking about THAT, you naughty minded Sparklers). What I am referring to is cleaning and organizing. I have been on a roll. No closet, no drawer, no nook or cranny is safe from my "get it in order" fervor. It is amazing how much energy I have to spend when I am not going to boot camp, or for a run or a hike or a long, fast walk. For me, being idle too long causes me to go into a funk and I knew I could not afford that. So, I began my quest. I have taken so much stuff to the Goodwill, lately, that I think I am developing a relationship with the hard-working people who do the thankless, overwhelming job of accepting and sorting donations. I have taken a couple trips to the city dump -my 9 year old says it smells of 'diapers and rotten fish'. I have to agree and, again, I am very impressed with the hard working souls who labor there and I hope they get paid a LOT! I have done the relatively painless jobs, like sorting through the Tupperware cupboard (are all the containers hanging out where lost socks live? why so many homeless lids?) and I have done the emotional chore of sifting through my children's memorabilia and decided what is to be kept (any sweet note they wrote, favorite books that were lovingly read over and over, beloved 'blankies', awards they worked hard for) and what can go (thanks-for-showing-up&being-o
n-the-team type trophies, random CD's, school papers). And, I even tackled one of the scariest jobs. We have a huge desk that contained old paperwork, and outdated computer supplies, and random things like numerous phone books and bus schedules. Every time I looked at that desk, I would get a little case of procrastination paralysis, and I would put off the job of cleaning it out. I am actually a pretty organized person, overall, but like most normal human beings, I have areas of my home where stuff would accumulate and I would avoid it. Part of the problem, of course, is not wanting to throw out something that might "someday" prove useful, or getting rid of something that we paid good money for, or.....well, you know, all the normal reasons. But, I detest clutter more than I hate waste, so out it goes, either to bless someone else or, if it truly has no use for anyone, to the landfill. Much as I hate the thought of cluttering the planet, trash is trash whether it is in the downstairs of my home, or in a landfill so it might as well go where it belongs. Anyway, I sat down on the floor and I began the dreaded task of tackling the stuff in the big desk and, VOILA! I did it. I can walk by that desk now, and have a good feeling of accomplishment instead of that little jolt of dread I used to get whenever I looked at it. I have more to do, but I have already done a lot. What on earth does this have to do with Sparkpeople and our quest for fitness and reasonable weight? Well, for me, it has a lot to do with my quest to be healthier. When I am avoiding my life, I eat more. I eat foolish amounts of foolish food in a quest to distract myself from what needs to be done, and how I am feeling about avoiding what needs to be done. When I am busy and productive and taking care of the business of daily living, I have far fewer cravings and I eat more sensibly and I experience less stress and anxiety. So, I will continue on my "organizing as exercising" campaign. The Big Daddy of organizing projects awaits me. PHOTOS! Hundreds and hundreds of loose photos, dozens of old photo albums, numerous photos that are framed but sitting in a stack. Yikes. This one scares me but I have been gathering tips and ideas on how to tackle it, so I will bravely proceed ; ) I appreciate any tips you have, by the way. I primed myself for this big task by tackling a box of my mother-in-law's photos. By the way, I think I deserve a daughter-in-law medal for tackling that job. Her ex-husband was a hunter and there were graphic photos of his "trophies" - ugggghhhhh, so nasty. Anyway, I got through that job and it gave me incentive to tackle my own photos. Some things I learned by going through her photos:
1. Don't take so !#@ many pictures!
2. Just because you take a photo, doesn't mean it has to be developed.
3. Just because a photo is developed, doesn't mean you need to keep it, esp if it is blurry, or unflattering to someone, especially if it is an awful picture of your daughter-in-law who is doing you a big-@$$ed favor of cleaning out your apartment, and your storage unit, and your THOUSANDS of photos!
4. I love short hair but I look better when it is a bit longer.
5. When I thought I was fat, in my 30's and early 40's, I actually had a nice figure. I wish I had it today because, I promise, I would appreciate it. We must appreciate what we have when we have it!
6. I thought my children were breathtakingly gorgeous and the most exquisitely adorable babies, toddlers, etc. I was right! My mother-in-law thought her kids were the most exquisitely adorable - she was also right!
7. Youth and beauty, which some people in our culture apparently seem to think they will possess forever, is oh-so-temporary. My mother-in-law was a stunner as a young woman, think a less exotic looking young Elizabeth Taylor. Really, she was a petite beauty. Now, the lifestyle mistakes that she very candidly admits to regretting, show up and they show up hard. Obesity, loss of mobility, loss of teeth, onset of diabetes related dementia - the bill came due on her bad habits, and it is huge. She has been generous about sharing her regrets and I have been grateful to learn a lot from her.
8. You do not need to possess youth and beauty to be lovable - humility and gratitude will do nicely. I feel more loved now than I did when I was 20something and tiny and cute. My mother-in-law, in changing some destructive behaviors and becoming much more honest, now has her family lovingly gathered around her after a period of painful estrangement.

So, more lessons to come as I tackle my own enormous amount of photos (so that my daughter or daughter-in-law(s) don't have to : ) emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ahhhhh I love #8 and need an extra thump on the head (often) to be reminded of it!!!

    Good for you on staying mobile throughout your recovery. Even though this was not gym time, it WAS a huge weight lifted off of you. Hoorah for that!

    I am completely with you regarding photos. I don't have too many, and don't print much if any. Well, I do have some adorable ones of you though : )))

    Be well!
    1628 days ago
    Excellent always!

    During one of my DH's many recoveries (from surgeries), a nurse got INTO his face (he's a big, assertive guy, but that didn't slow her down one bit!) and said in a very stern voice, "Look, bub...your body is working day and night as hard as it can to H-E-A-L. Your asking it to do OTHER activities is depleting its energy from its highest priority: Healing. Ya got what I'm sayin' to you, bro?"

    He straightened up, flew right and healed.

    Your thoughts on how we react to clutter (and in my case, procrastinating about making decisions) by eating, etc. rings loud & clear for me. What an intuitive person you are!

    I can't thank you enough for verbalizing this and "getting in my face", just as the nurse did. It'd be less stressful to just do it than to worry about it .....endlessly & eat while worrying!
    Thanks a million! emoticon
    1631 days ago
    Wow you're on a mission!! Can I hire you to go through my pictures?? :)
    1633 days ago
    "When I am avoiding my life, I eat more. I eat foolish amounts of foolish food in a quest to distract myself from what needs to be done, and how I am feeling about avoiding what needs to be done. When I am busy and productive and taking care of the business of daily living, I have far fewer cravings and I eat more sensibly and I experience less stress and anxiety." This is me! Thank you for the reminder...great blog!

    I, like you, enjoy organizing and getting rid of clutter and feel so great after doing so. Keep up the good work!
    1634 days ago
    Housework is listed on SP as an exercise. Just reading all you did made me tired. I have to do this myself. I've been trying to work with Flylady (www.flylady,net), but it's been slower than I thought it would be. Life keeps getting in the way. Would you like to come to my place and clean it?
    1634 days ago
    Welcome congrats on getting your house in order. As to not exercising at the gym, does your gym have one of those "arm cycle thingies" (I don't know what they're called) that would allow you to sit and do cardio with your arms?

    All the best...
    1634 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Congratulations on getting all of the de-cluttering done in your house with your injury. You are doing a fantastic job. Please don't overdue it though. I need to finish my apartment too. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.
    1634 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Been on a declutter quest here also. - a LOT of progress but a LOT of future conquests. Going to print your blog & post on bathroom mirror as a daily reminder to tackle some of the clutter each day.
    1634 days ago
    I love organizing. Also, I really love the after-organizing rush. :-D Glad you are still chugging right along, even if it wasn't your Plan A. And hunting trophy photos... um... YUCK. I have a hard enough time *listening to descriptions* of stuff like that in my medical terminology class. To have that as an actual visual would just be mortifying.
    1634 days ago
    It does feel awesome to purge the just k doesn't it. I go in and look at my guest room every day, then I go look at my messy bedroom and realize I need to get that taken care of too...soon. soon. Soon. Going away for a few days you!!
    1634 days ago
    I have been going through pictures looking for some good ones of my Mom for her memorial, Luckily, it isn't right away because I keep drifting down memory lane! I am fine with slow progress on that task.

    I was cleaning out the garage and became frustrated. I came in and sat down and asked my Wife what she was watching, "a show about hoarders" was her reply. WOW! It was like an energy shot! I turned up the music and really looked at things I was going to keep and asked why? no good answer, it went to donation or trash!

    The joy you will receive from being more organized and less cluttered feel incredible, plus it lasts awhile when you see it time and time again!

    1634 days ago
    When I first retired I cleaned a cupboard, closet or drawer or two every day. For approximately five minutes I was organized and then everything got messy again. How does that happen? I used to say that my goal in life was to get organized. Now of course, my priorities have changed. I want to keep this weight off and I also am trying hard so that I won't have any regrets when I lose my Du. I'm afraid I am going to be more successful at keeping the weight off than the "having no regrets" thing. It is just too easy to take these days when everything seems sorta normal for granted. I know I will look back someday and wish I would have appreciated my everyday normal time with him more. That makes me so sad. I hope you are improving by leaps and bounds everyday and can soon be back to your normal self. Isn't that the best life--NORMAL? I think normal is highly underrated.
    1634 days ago
    Very philosophical cleaning going on here! emoticon
    1634 days ago
    Great blog. I need you to come and help me de-clutter! I could especially identify with what you said about "procrastination paralysis"! emoticon
    1634 days ago
    OH I got into the "being sweaty and heavy breathing!" LOL

    Seriously, though, you know for me de-cluttering is cathartic. The physical act of making the decision that a piece of paper or other object is useful . . . or not, and donating it or tossing it really physically clears space up. Just like tossing out the OLD, UNUSEFUL psychological clutter that takes up brain space that could be used for other more useful purposes!

    So, good for you. De-clutter away! And good lessons going thru your MIL's photos. Definitely deserve a DIL of the year medal for that! I helped my Mom sort pictures and it was lots of work but in the end, so worth it!

    HUGS and hope that BUB gets cast aside quickly. **SIGH**
    1635 days ago
    Ha! You did find tasks such as sorting through drawers, cupboards, and pictures as I suggested in a previous comment. (No, I'm not trying to take credit for logical suggestions! emoticon ) Productive jobs, remain undone, when other things can loom more enjoyable and less tedious. emoticon on making good use of your current limitations, emoticon emoticon
    1635 days ago
    Organizing as exercising: sounds like a great plan! And the photos project particularly worthwhile!! (Some people just scan 'em all and then no longer keep the hard copies: I'm not that brave).
    1635 days ago
    Arrgghhh... I need to do this to my clutter.. pantry is particularly a problem. I need to use up all those boxes and cans of stuff. I'm heading in there right now to see what I can organize!

    1635 days ago
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