Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's 6 a.m. and I'm up already

and have been for a while. And it's Saturday. The cats don't "get" Saturday, so at a bit after 5 Higgins placed himself near my shoulder and began purring and breathing into my face. His dish wasn't actually empty, but maybe half empty, and that is dangerously close to empty. A cat could waste away while Lazy Mom sleeps. I mean, damn, Mom, the sun will be up in an hour and a half, why are you still in bed?

Damn cat.

The dogs went out, took care of business, came in and resumed snoring. I'm up. Laundry is running. It's dark, dreary and damp today, and I plan to spend the day in the house, paring down my possessions. An odd thing to do before Christmas, you say? I'm on a mission. 2006 is the year I will re-design my life, and it starts with ringing out (throwing out) the old. But it won't be followed by much bringing in of the new.

And apparently I'm not the only one - this strong sense of "We've got too much stuff and it doesn't mean anything," appears to be hitting many of my friends. Mention cleaning out a closet and it elicits a frenzy of "I'm so sick of all the clutter it's making me crazy!" I feel suffocated by my stuff, burdened by the feeling that I work to support a storage facility for an old life, and it is holding me back from starting a new one.

I'm going to have to suck it up and have a garage sale - I've procrastinated for months but next month I've got to do it. I loathe garage sales, I dread this like a root canal, but I can't even find a charity to come pick up some of the small furniture items and odds and ends I need to unload, and it's not like I don't need the money. I'm going to go through my knitting magazines and do a Virtual Garage Sale, round two on additional yarns and magazines. I'm also going to launch some books into the world via BookCrossing.

This is the year that the kids and I dropped the pressure of Doing Christmas - Boy is booked to work on Christmas Day and it's highly likely Girl will be working too (theme parks are open 365 days a year) so we're planning on doing a Christmas Eve lunch in a restaurant, and we'll exchange gifts and have a nice time. I don't have to cook, and I can spend Christmas Day curled up with a good audiobook and my knitting. I really, really like this.

It has taken me a couple of years to adjust to my life as it is now. I've had a lot of false starts of "a fresh start," but I guess I wasn't really ready yet. Suddenly I'm restless and ready to get out there and start over. I've been moving forward since my husband died, I've improved my career options, fixed up the house, etc., but now I'm ready to really make some big changes. I have plans for 2006. It's going to be a really wild year.


Martha said...

Ms. C.
Shall I begin this w/a "Happy Holidays" greeting? Ha.
This is another of your posts that I can relate to as I have been cleaning cleaning cleaning for three months & there is more to go. Am sifting through every nook & cranny: kitchen drawers & cabinets, quilt fabrics & books & gizmos, all the closets for clothes & linens, things from my g'parents, jewelry & earrings I no longer wear, basement crap, CDs & tapes, books, etc.
You name it & I'm looking thru it!
It truly does free up space on every level from the physical to the emotional. Good luck & let us know how it goes.
XOXO to you,

Catherine said...

I've been half-heartedly cleaning for two years now, but I'm on a mission now - if I haven't used it in over two years I do not NEED it anymore. Period.

Janet said...

I hear you... I am finally getting rid of things I haven't used in years, some of them marriage-related. (I gave to the Salvation Army today the cake cutter and server from my wedding, for instance.) Obviously the end of my marriage was very different from yours, of course. But the fact that it's taken me a few years to let some things go, things from The Old Life, seems similar.
Your Christmas plans sound good, BTW.
And Simone gives me similar wakeup calls every day. I need to teach her the five-days-on-two-days-off routine! :-)
Happy Holidays! LOL.

Anonymous said...

I think many women, when we reacha "certain age" feel the need to pare down. My New Years Resolution is to list 2 things on ebay every week. I learn a new craft and buy all the stuff, and now it is time to go in the other direction. I need the room and I am goin g nuts with all this crap.
So I am with you, sister, on the cleaning out thing.

Amie said...

Two things a week... that's a great plan, e-bay or otherwise. It's a number consistant enough to be effective, and yet not large enough to be intimidating....

I'm not of "that certain age" but wow do I feel a need to pare down...

Catherine said...

Two things on ebay a week is a fantastic idea. I'm doing the more drastic but needed 10 bags of trash a week. Nice stuff goes to charity, but you know, when I really look at a lot of what is lurking in the garage, it has no collector's item value, it has no practical use, it is just an incubator for mold and dust. Trash time.