If you knew me, you know that I used to live with tons of clutter and junk. Every surface was covered or piled full of stuff. Knick knacks were everywhere.
There was no rhyme or reason. Every room was full of piles of stuff I wanted to save or needed to file away. But the trouble was, I didn't have a place to put it, but I felt like I should just keep it.
It drove me nuts.
Eventually, we were moving to Florida and bought a twenty-eight foot RV. Obviously, we could only take important things with us or some things that really meant something to us.
This was a huge challenge for me.
I piled everything I could into the RV, and everything else was piled into boxes and placed in Mom's attic. I didn't think twice about it, I just piled it all away, throwing away very little. All the junk in her attic even caused her ceiling to bow a little. After all, it was an entire house full of stuff.
I have no idea what I was thinking. Was I piling away an entire life? Did I think I would return and need all this stuff, much less want it? Did I think everything would be the same when I returned?
It turned out that the answer was no.
We loved living in our RV. Of course we bought some cool stuff to bring home, but we learned to love living with less.
We eventually returned home to Texas, only a few hours from home. We moved into a small house and had nothing but the stuff in our RV. We had pretty much given all our furniture away, so we just bought what we needed.
Within a few months we packed up and moved back home to Austin.
That's when I had to face the stuff. All the stuff in Mom's attic.
When we moved into the place we live in now, Mom started bringing all the stuff to me slowly.
Box by box.
Within a few months of moving into our first real home together, we had Z. By then, the house wasn't cluttered at all, but not organized either. It was much better though. We had started to build a life in our home together. Without all the stuff.
After Z was born and maternity leave was over, which I never wanted to return to work from, there was turmoil at work, and I quit.
It was a huge leap for me.
It was probably the scariest thing I've ever done. Having a child, when I never considered myself much of a kid person, was huge. Then there was staying at home full time.
It felt right, even if it didn't fit into my story.
Suddenly, I let life begin to write itself.
I surrendered and threw myself into the line of fire.
I was a stay at home mom.
I had no idea what I was doing. Z was an awesome baby, so we just had fun all day.
I figured out how to do stuff around the house, and began to organize a little.
I never had any sort of a schedule. I just did what needed to be done.
The kid was hungry. I sat down and fed him. Cuddling and bonding was a huge bonus there.
The laundry was dirty. I washed it.
The dishes needed to be washed. So I washed them.
I figured out a system and I didn't even know it.
I did what needed to be done.
Everything told me when it needed to be done.
Then I added in a to-do list. I was happy to tick things off. Then I realized, I was focusing so much on ticking things off that I lost a little focus of what was in front of me.
It is no coincidence that this happened most intensely right after my Grandmother passed away. Plus, I really wanted the kids to grow up in a de-cluttered and organized home. I was pregnant with baby number two and if I didn't get more organized now, it wouldn't happen for years.
Eventually, I unpacked each of those boxes I had stored. About 90% of each box was worthy of being tossed out or given away. It blew my mind. What the hell did I save that for? Wow.
I disposed of truckloads of stuff. My niece had a garage sale and kept whatever she made from it. You have no idea the amount of stuff I got rid of.
It was so refreshing. It felt so good to get rid of everything that had bogged me down for so many years.
Within a week, I cleaned all seven closets in the house and organized them from top to bottom. If you know me this was a huge huge task. Z was happy playing with all the junk, so that was cool. We kind of did it together, as much as a two year old can clean closets.
I bought containers, and made room and space for a lot of stuff. All the unnecessary or old junk was given away or tossed.
It was literally the hugest Spring cleaning of my life.
Over the next year and a half I've bought shelfs, boxes, and used what was in our home to give everything a place. It felt really good.
The things we have, are here for a reason.
Yes, I still have a storage shed, and what is in there will be sorted and tossed. I couldn't do it all, but that's ok.
In the beginning, was also able to make more time to sit on the cushion, more often, with only one child. So I realized what I was doing more than ever before. I wasn't dealing with a lot of stuff and feelings, like I hadn't dealt with the stuff.
I not only had the stuff to go through but the other stuff, the mental stuff. Everything in my mind was only begin half brought to the surface. It's not like I can think things away, but when I don't deal with what's in front of me, it festers, like an open, untreated wound.
Sometimes I like to learn the hard way.
My mind, like the stuff, wasn't being given enough attention.
It was all right in front of me.
So I sat some more.
I realized that he problem was the grasping of stuff.
I had hit the nail on the head.
Having an organized home, which always takes arranging and re-arranging, prioritizing and sorting, adding and removing, is much like my life.
It's when I don't deal with stuff that it just sits and takes space. It bothers me, even if it isn't on the surface.
I need to feel things fully, right then and there.
Sometimes it bugs the hell out of me to know that the shed has boxes I haven't gone through, just like sometimes it bugs the hell out of me that not all issues in my mind, have been sorted through, understood or not, and released.
There's always something to do. There's always work to be done.
I don't need a list. I need to do what needs to be done.
I don't need to let things sit. I need to focus on them right away, or categorize them and put them somewhere to file.One of the important things is, nothing has to be perfect.
Another important thing is, what's right in front of me, my boys.
Stuff can sit on a shelf for a little while. Boxes can wait to be sorted. The dishes will get done, just put them in the sink.
There is no thing as perfect. Yet, everything is perfect and whole, as it is, if I can just see it.
There is always something to do, but I don't have to go crazy trying to do it all at once. It's impossible.
It will all get done, but I'll never be done. Done is an illusion.
Just as: there is no destination. There is only the journey.
There is always a time and a place.
I need to be with what is in front of me.
If it surfaces, hopefully I will deal with it.
I can categorize it as it crosses my path, or better yet, just say hello, and carry on, like an acquaintance passing on the street.
When I do, everyone is happier. The entire family is better off.
Now, back to my cushion.