Who needs therapy when you can organize?
So I’m in a big, throw it away or donate it, stage of my life. You hear everyone talking about it…Simplify, simplify, simplify. I have never been one to do this. I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder per say…maybe a sentimental collector…aaaaahhh who am I kidding…
It all began in the end of 2009. My mother got remarried. We had a party to end all parties. It was such an amazing joyous night. We danced until we couldn’t stand anymore. When I awoke the next day, still high off the excitement, I was called and told one of my longest and best friends died unexpectedly a few minutes earlier. It was such a one end of the spectrum to the next, emotional weekend that somehow I was able to navigate it with this false strength. Thank goodness for shock sometimes:) It was the start of a major turning point in my life. She had lived with her mother in a gigantic home. All the friends rallied around her mama and really tried to figure out a plan for moving on. She was living in a home filled (no…PACKED) with her daughters things. Every nook and cranny was filled to the rim with clothes, shoes, tchotchkes, papers, you name it. Her collections of clothing had grown out of her closet down the hall. Even the dining room was filled with racks of beautiful clothing. You couldn’t eat in there anymore. There were little post it notes that she had written on everywhere. “I love You”, “Smile”, some bible verses. Every spec of wall had a picture of her face looking at you.
I went home that night and told myself I can’t live like that. I needed to start throwing or giving away the things that were not being used. All these “things” in my house that I don’t see or even touch…but I cant get rid of because they were from something special. Something my kids might want one day. Racks of clothes I’ll wear when I lose a bunch of weight. Or something from dad…that was the biggie. I started with the mission of filling my trash can to the rim each week. I sorted through every drawer and cabinet and still held on to some ridiculous things. I got lax and then forgot about this resolution…. It was so easy to look at someone else’s life and tell them to part with things!
By keeping everything untouched my friends mom somehow made things feel the same. Days went by, than weeks, then months. Still nothing was touched. Sometimes I would go and just sit in her closet and it would feel for a moment she was still there. Now here we are in 2011 and her mother has sold the home. We must figure out where to put everything. “Storage” her mom said. “You want to spend all this money a month to keep this home full of stuff you’ll never use or even see again?” I said. “Let’s be strong about this, let’s be smart, you need to move on.” We started sorting, days went by and it didn’t even make a dent. Everywhere you turned was something to remind you of this missing piece and that smell….everything had her smell.
It’s amazing how much a smell can drop you. There are pictures yes, but you grow up looking at pictures of dead people. You kind of build up a tolerance to it. But a smell just sneaks up on you. It can be from a place that has nothing to do with someone…the movies and someone walks by with your mothers perfume and you instantly think of her. I was walking in the mall once and the smell of a candle took me back to a bad memory and I was instantly in a horrible mood. Smells have no warning. No one says “I’ll be wearing a shirt washed in Tide when I meet you today. Wanted to give you a heads up…I know Tide reminds you of being scared and hiding under a blanket when you were little”.
Anyways, this brings me to a few nights ago. I’ve been planning a present for myself, my brother and my sister. I thought of it 10 years ago and its taken me this long to follow through. I’ve wanted to make quilts out of my daddy’s clothing (he passed away 11 years ago). I’ve had these boxes of clothes taking up space in one of my closets for 11 years! “I’m so busy I’ll start it next month” I kept telling myself. They were never opened, never looked at except when being thrown on a truck when we moved. Okay google, help me find a quilter near me…done. Anna is her name. “Bring all the clothes over and drop them off. We will start coming up with some designs.” “Okay how about the 7th of June?” I hung up the phone and walked downstairs, pulled out one of the boxes and pushed them back in. This might be a bad idea…. Maybe I should call and cancel.
A few hours later my brother, who had not known anything about my big quilt idea, called and asked if I wanted his collection of our dads clothes. His wife is pregnant and he is clearing out a closet for their growing family. I knew this was the right time. If my brother could hand over these treasured items that he too had clenched so tightly…I must do the same.
I thought back to my friends mother. When I had been there looking at her hold on to all these things I was so judgmental. So frustrated that she couldn’t see how unhealthy this was and here I was doing the same thing! Not for one year, but for ELEVEN! I had a massive realization that a huge part of my healing process was jailed by these stupid boxes. I’d venture so far as to say I kept them in perfect condition in case he needed them again. Crazy I know! So I marched myself downstairs after my huge discovery and yanked them out of my closet. I was gonna do this!!
I pulled out the boxes, lined them up in front of me and stared at them for ten minutes. Why is this so fricken hard? They are clothes, they are not my dad. I opened them up and saw that I had zip locked them in plastic. I prepared myself for his smell. I could do this. This would be the last time I would ever smell him again…. I slowly opened one bag after another with my nose smashed inside each bag. Pulled each item out and inhaled the collar, the armpits, the sleeves. Every inch of every item. And you know what? The smell was gone. There was nothing but the scent of cardboard and plastic. My heart sank. I’d packed up these “things” in hopes of preserving a part my dad and like him, it was gone. I suddenly was so angry at him and these stupid bags. How could they have done this to me. I needed that smell. Even just one more time. I sat there sobbing. I hugged onto the shirt I remembered him sailing in the most, I held the shirt I had shaved his head in, when he had started losing his hair after chemo. I wrapped the arms of his soft sweater around my neck and tried with all my might to remember the feeling of his arms around me. I cried for myself, I cried for my mom, my sister and my brother. I cried for my kids. How different their lives would be if they had my daddy. I cried for Dashel. I pictured Raim and Dash in tiny gloves with ropes in their little hands, concentrating as Grandpa yelled out orders on the sailboat. I imagined Saylor with her back to my daddy’s chest, manning the wheel of the ‘Nirvana’ with the wind in her hair. He would have been so proud. He would have brought so much adventure and fun into their lives. I cried for the weak parts of me that need his strength, the temper in me that needs his reason, the talents in me that need his encouragement. These boxes had a major part of me hidden, bagged and duct tapped away. I looked around and realized my whole house is a huge locked filing cabinet of undealt with emotions.
Giving over those clothes to be cut up was saying goodbye to the last bit of my daddy. Me holding onto that last bit had kept me from moving on. Sounds so obvious but I had never understood that! I have had this calm feeling slowly fall over the last few days. I feel naked. I am who I am and this fresh open wound of a person is ready to start again. I am ready to become all I was meant to be. It is on me now, to be what my daddy was to me, to my kids. I have a longing to start… to be better, to be transparent, and to be what my daddy believed I could be as a human:)
I encourage you. Look around and start giving it up. Start fresh. You know what I’m talking about! You know that cabinet full of crap you will never use. Empty it out for the new things to come in your life. Empty those boxes of china you are saving for that ‘special occasion’ and use them as your everyday dishes! There is a high you will get from an empty chest of drawers. If you don’t believe me try it! You might just find part of you has been locked away too!
*****So I am about to start uploading some Vlogs I have made over the past years. Since they are before the “housewife” blog was created (from hereon out referred to as -before housewife “BH”) they will be titled with negative numbers. I will date them back to their creation date. So you would have to scroll to the bottom to view, if your interested. That is if I can even figure out how to upload these stupid things! Moving right along****
So I have a new product in my home. I have had it for 2 months now.
I used to get water delivered to my house because our tap quality is very low. We would go through sooo much water and with the hubby on tour a ton of the time, I would have to lug those stupid heavy jugs up a flight of stairs (yes, the genius who designed my house put the kitchen on the 2nd floor) and then have to flip them upside down onto the dispenser. Which by the way, how the butt do you accomplish ‘the flip’ without a major spill? Never figured that out! So what I’m getting at is that we spent a ton of money and effort getting clean and healthy drinking water into our home.
While at the gogreenexpo a few months ago we purchased this awesome dispenser.
Where is the water jug you ask? It doesn’t need one! Does it need to be plugged into a waterline then? Nope, just a power cord into your wall. So where does the water come from? The AIR!!!
It is called the Dolphin 1 from the manufacturer Air2Water. Here is their synopsis of how it works:
Just last night Saylor (my 3 1/2 year old daughter) was given a cup of tap water and she said “This is yucky water mommy”. So the difference in taste is VERY noticeable, even from bottled. For lack of a better term the water tastes ‘naked’.
Okay, so today I am going to share a moronic thing that families do.
Let’s say I am a kidnapper….just for fun. Hmmmm…who do I take, where will I find my new kid? I am driving around when suddenly I see a minivan with stick figure people on the back window. They are labeled Daddy, Mommy, Timmy, Sara and Baby Mila. How convenient for me a psychopath! As I follow them, I see Timmy dropped off at school and mommy drives away. I hang out until school let’s out. The possibilities are endless at this point now that I know so much about this family. “Hi Timmy. I’m friends with your momma. She wanted me to pick you up because she got stuck at Sara’s school. Little Mila got really sick”.
So if you are one of these families I hope you get hot with embarrassment. Why do people do this!!!!???? They are everywhere!!! It’s so stupid!!!! Is there any logical reason for letting strangers know your entire family and all their names!? Please enlighten me if there is!
So peeps, as your driving today take notice. It’s amazing. It can be the new slug bug(Is that what you call it?). 2 points if the family ALSO has a “proud parent of an honor roll student from __________ Elementary”
I mean, COME ON!!!!