I have so much sh#t in the house that I normally would have gotten rid of by now, that I’m almost paralyzed about it. This has to do with the most obvious: Where do I start??????
Every 2 summers for the last 15 years, I ordered two huge waste and recycling bins. Then I got rid of what I didn’t need. Or I’d take it to Goodwill. Or I’d give it to Guadalupe, the woman who does the deep cleaning in my house, once/ month (whose family uses everything I can give them).
Furniture. Clothes. Pots. Pans. Books. Old files. Papers. Paint. Old camping gear. Shoes and boots worn down to the bone. Batteries and lightbulbs to the electronic waste dump. Boxes. Broken orchard and garden tools.
I retired from teaching 4 years ago, and thought I’d get this done at least once/ year. I’d have plenty of time.
But NO NO NO! Retirement did nothing for me on this front. Nada. Even on days, usually Thursdays or various afternoons, when nothing was on the calendar, I ignored all the piles. Days where I had not scheduled: workouts, spin classes, socializing with friends., Maj Jongg games with my ladies group. Days with no doctor appointments. Days with no shopping for food, cooking, or cleaning on my calendar.
So last year I said to myself, as I have done 1,000 times: ” dammit Janice, you’re a therapist. What would you say to a client who had these issues (after all that empathic mirroring)?” The answer to my unnerving immobility on this sh#t, came quicker than my mind could even be allowed to ponder: “Where the hell do I start?”
The Garage. My office. My 6 file cabinets. My files/ charts/ notes of clients from over 40 years ago (locked away). My clothes. My closet. The taxes from 20 years ago (OMG!). The patio furniture. My back yard/ garden.
And what about all the Silver Lining Playbook VCR tapes from Bulls, Bears, Sox, & Star Treks – that have more dust on them, and piled higher and deeper in the caverns of my closets and drawers?
I have t-shirts going back to political events that I can’t part with. Or ones with tons of holes in them, from the 6 Bulls Championships (thank you Jerry). I still wear a few of those to bed, and hardly want to wash them, for fear of ripping them up.
I have sh#t under my laptop desk, of books telling me how to use Windows: The User’s Guide, Version 3.1, Microsoft Word, How to Use the Internet, Windows XP for Dummies, and dozens or CDs which have been out of date or useless for upteen years (whose counting anyway?).
I have banners of friends’ artwork from 1985. Seriously (thank you Sisko). I have love letters from my husband in 1971 when we were missing each other so badly, 800 miles apart (priceless). I have knitting from “who knows when”. And crochet kitchen hot pads that literally are gathering dust in the garage.
And old kitchen towels that I promised to use as rags, but still remain on the bottom shelf of my cabinets. Or decrepid coffee mugs with handles that can’t even fit in a car’s drink holder now (and my car is 12 years old). Plastic glasses are hidden in the back of shelves that have cracks in them.
My kids rooms. Furniture over 25 years old, from Ikea no less, that just sit there. Furniture and beds only used 2 – 3 weeks/ year when they come from DC and NYC to visit. In one of the rooms, I’ve got an Ikea couch that becomes a double bed. I’ve tried to actually give some of these pieces away to young families on the block, but my husband stops me.
He insists that, as new grandparents, he hopes to have our little ones spend more time in those rooms, and will need all that furniture. Plus, he insists, the Michael Jordan/ Scottie Pippen/ Frank Thomas/ Bears posters, just can’t come off the walls. “Okay”, I say, “I guess they tie the room together.”
So you tell me, pretty please. WTF is it, that I can’t get my ass in gear and say to myself, “Janice, just do one thing at a time. One shelf at a time. One recycling bin at a time. Just one at a time, lady.”
Really, Janice. Are you just bullshi##ing yourself? Of course I am.
I’d rather watch a Blackhawks game and postgame. I’d rather sit under my trees and watch the bees from our beehive, pollinate the plums or apricots. I’d rather make Limoncello Liquer from my Meyer Lemon trees, or just eat the lemons whole. Or make jam from my fruit trees.
I’d rather ride my bike through the park. I’d rather watch some old Star Treks on Netflix. I’ve sadly, become a huge TV fan of Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD. That’s some screen time there.
I’d rather sit on my rider mower, and mow the “back 40” of it’s tall weeds. I’d rather plant my tomatoes and peppers. I’d rather make a hot pepper mix, can them, and have the best damn quesadilla with a bunch of those on them.
And certainly, I’d much rather spend 3 – 4 weeks, visiting my kids in DC and NYC. How wonderful and marvelous is that? Time with my adult kids, with a wedding this June and another grandchild being born in April.
Of course I’d make a swing to Chicago. I’d go to Sox games. Go ride a bike along the Lake. Hang out with my nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings, all the new kiddies being born, and spend a day in Lincoln Park or “Grant Park” with Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute, and museums.
And definitely, one of THE BEST, MOST FUN activities that has me smiling and shaking my head: I’ve become the co-coordinator of my Bowen High School 50th Reunion, in August 2018. Just seeing everyone again (I’m one of several who moved away), it brings back great memories of friendships and classes and teachers and making out (and more?) at Rainbow Beach. This is making my life more than full.
Organizing and planning this big event, is not an excuse. It’s a GOOD REASON which makes me happy. And I love being happy.
And that’s why I have procrastinated all these years, of getting rid of the sh#t I don’t need.