The Night The Stuff Went Down

I think I’m having decluttering remorse.
Almost like waking up after a blackout, trying to remember each item I tossed.
“I threw away what last night?”
I don’t really need to item by item remember, because it ALL went.
What was in the last room that I attacked with the rage born from exhaustion and frustration?
Just everything I had thought was important enough to move from house to house, even if I never opened the boxes.
The next day was moving day, and I thought the last room would only take a few hours. Although the anxiety I felt every time I went in there over the past year should have warned me.
It was just a corner filled with boxes. Boxes I hadn’t opened since two houses ago, some hadn’t been opened for twenty years.
I had spent the last three weeks decluttering. Selling and giving away the contents of a ten-room house, cellar and garage.
I was on a roll. How hard could this last corner be?
I had thrown away my wedding heels a few months ago, so I thought I had toughened up.
The contents of several boxes had been scattered for weeks, opened and left, the victim of my confusion. Well, I had no choice now.

Tonight, was my deadline and I dug in, armed with kitchen trash bags. It didn’t take long for me to go downstairs and find the huge, green bags.
I always knew I was a good packer, but I don’t know how I fit so much content into those boxes.
I filled at least six green bags with CD’s and cassettes and that was just the beginning.
Some of the CD’S had been special to me. Our ten-year anniversary by Alabama I had signed, “Then Again…Forever, you and me.” I kept that one.
I had listened to and loved each CD at some time in my past.
As I looked through them, I was overwhelmed by how many there were and I began to grab handfuls, shoving them into the green bags.
So many material things I no longer needed or wanted, but surely my frustration added volume to the trash pile.
I was angry, and I was sad, and I just wanted to be free from stuff. Too much stuff.
Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt and much of my frustration was because I was replaying those memories as I threw each thing away.
My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.
My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did. As I took pictures, I realized that I was trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a wedding dress.
The dress had fit like it was designed for me, draping my tiny hips, and it had made Mum smile, because back then, I seldom wore dresses. As I ran my fingers down the silky dress, I could see her smiling face.
I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.
She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remembered how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.
I threw the still rosy corsage away too tonight, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs.
We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Us, living in separate houses. Big ouch.
Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.
He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.
His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.
The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and hundreds of presents he had bought me.
I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen house and thirty-eight years, and through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.
I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. Not anymore. Recovering codependent, yes, I am.
Now, as I rerun the night of the huge declutter through my mind, I am proud and sad and proud.
I let it go, I let it go.
I let it all go so I could move on, move into my twenty-foot Coachmen Nano Apex travel trailer and on to the next chapter of this story I am living as I create it.
I took pictures of things that touched my heart as I tossed, and that was enough stuff, for me.

 

 

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When Angels Whisper…

What is she running from?

Everything. Chaos, drama, hate, confusion, connections, clutter, obligations, memories, betrayals, lost love, bad love, good love, wasted dreams, pain, wrinkles and old age.

Is that all?

Probably not. She’s a writer. I’m sure she could add to my list.

I heard her tell her four-year-old granddaughter that she moves so much because she is a gypsy.

Well, that sounds better than she’s a runner. And she just might be a gypsy,
but I think she’s confused and looking for home.

Doesn’t she know home is where you make it?

No, she keeps making a home and leaving. This time she left 95% of her belongings behind.
Stuff she’s held onto for fifteen moves.

Why?

She swore she’d never buy another house or let another person manipulate her life.
She wants to have the choice to drive away at a moment’s notice.
I heard her tell her daughter that’s why she bought the tiny house on wheels.

Well, who owns fifteen houses in six states in thirty-eight years anyway?
An extremely tired gypsy?

No, a hurt little girl, looking for her happy ending.

Well, she’s alone now. Is that her happy ending?

Yes and no. She’s happy to be able to think for herself, to make her own choices,
to be free, but she wanted to be happy with him.

Well, he made that impossible.

Yes, he did.

Well then, I’m proud of her for fighting to break free.

Me too.

Do you think she’ll be okay? Is she lonely? She looks so sad.

This has been a huge change for her, and I expected her to feel some sad,
but she’d rather be alone than allow anyone to hurt her again.
She realizes that her happy ending is in her own hands now, so yes. She’ll be okay.

I think you’re right. She’s recovering from emptying a ten-room house and watching
another chance she gave him go wrong. She’s resting, healing, physically and emotionally.

Yes, she got rid of everything, including her books. She let go of so many material things.
A little grief after such a purge is normal, but we’ll stay close to her
while she prays and figures out her next step.

Does she know we’re here with her?

Yes, I believe she does.

Talking to Pain

Knock, knock.

Who is there?

Pain. Can I come in?

I don’t want you anymore, Pain.
Go away.

I know, but I’m lonely.
Remember when you loved me?

Yes, before I knew that you
Would destroy my mind.

You are too sensitive, too scattered.
Too weak. Too soft. You need me.

Pain, go away. I don’t need you.

I know, but I love you.
I won’t hurt you today
Just let me come in.

Pain, go away.

I have gifts, so I’ll just sit here
Outside your door.
I know, sooner or later
You will let me come in,
Because I’m familiar
Because I’m your’s.

I don’t want you anymore.
Pain, go away.

I’m just going to rest here
Outside your door.
I’ll be right here
If you change your mind.
I’ll be right here.

Pain, the door is locked.
You are not coming in.

I’ll be right here.

Sand. Love. Time and me…

Playing in the waves for an hour, letting the beach rock me
lying on my back in the embryonic, turquoise water.
Practicing letting go and trusting God.
Floating in the ocean, trusting that even if the water gets rough,
He will keep me safe.
When I feel the stress melt away, I walk out of the ocean.
I spread the blanket and lay down and reach for a handful of sand.
As soon as I fill my hand, the grains slip through my fingers.
So, you know I had to try again and again to hold a handful of sand.
I hold handful after handful of pure white sand and
no matter how tightly I squeeze, it quickly slips away.
Nothing stays but a few tiny grains of the stunning white crystals.
Time and love are so similar to sand.
I could only hold the sand with my hand open.
I hold our love in my hands and I hold on tightly, trying not to let it slip away.
But always, I am left with nothing but a few lovely grains of what was once
a sandcastle full of hopes and dreams…and the memories of that which was us.
Time and love slip through my hands even faster than grains of sand.
Some things were never meant to be restrained.
They lose their luster if you try to own them.
Sand. Love. Time and me…

Love Me As I Am

You put an image around me and
you tell me to stay inside the frame.
You say that this is who I have to be
do not color outside the lines!
You expect me to be who
you think I should be.
Angry, when I do not conform
I’m sorry to disappoint you
but I am going to be me.
Love me as I am, my son
Before our time is gone.

( #10 SHE Saga) Let It Go, Let It Go

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I feel numb and She is hiding.  I know she’s furious with me and she didn’t believe that I would go through with my plan to get rid of everything that I didn’t absolutely need or want…before we moved into our tiny home on wheels.

I guess it was my turn to pitch a fit. It happened when I was decluttering tonight, when I was down to facing the boxes that I hadn’t unpacked in over ten years.

She objected over every piece I tossed. She cried. She screamed.

She was so upset that she had me walking in circles, holding things to my chest, paralyzed by grief and indecision. After about an hour of circles, I snapped.

“Stop! Stop, leave me the f… alone,” I screamed as I dumped another pile of boxes in the middle of the room. When the pile was gigantic, I sat down beside it with a kitchen trash can beside me.

She left and the silence was eerie.

I quickly filled that kitchen bag, so I went downstairs for the green yard bags and I kept going.

I dragged at least six green bags full of papers, memories, CD’s and tapes down the stairs tonight and out onto the front porch for trash day. Plus, containers and boxes full of stuff.

My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.

My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did.

As I took pictures, trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a dress, I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.

I remembered how happy she was to buy the dress for me, and in 1983, $27.00 was a lot of money.

The dress draped my tiny hips like it was designed just for me, and it made Mum smile because back then, I seldom wore dresses.

She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remember how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.

Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt.

I threw the still rosy corsage away tonight too, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs. We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Big ouch.

Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.

He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.

His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.

The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and dozens of presents he had bought me.

I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen houses and thirty-eight years, through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.

I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. (Codependency, which I’m recovering from, one day at a time…amen.)

I probably went too far tonight, when I shoved She away with all my strength.
She left, but I know she will be back, so I’m going to enjoy this time without her.

It’s the first time in forever that she hasn’t been challenging me, quietly or violently.

(# 1 SHE Saga) She Wants What She Wants

Link above will take you to the complete list of She Saga posts.

Legos and Laughter

I am completely content and happy in this moment, playing Legos with my grandson, Jonas, and my granddaughter, Mile Mae, on the playroom floor.
I’m feeling proud of Jonas for sharing half of his Legos with me and Mile, we just aren’t allowed to have weapons or figures, only blocks. (We all have our quirks.)
Later, I am watching them play in their little pool on my porch and squirting each other with squirt guns and blowing rainbow bubbles. Their laughter is so soothing, and the sounds stop time and erase my anxiety.
We go in, and I have to rescue Mile from the pink toy bucket she gets stuck in and I’m laughing so hard, I can barely pull her up.
As the sun goes down, I am watching her hanging upside down on the lawn chair, her long brown curls flowing to the floor. She is so pleased with herself and she makes me laugh inside and out. I would give anything to live in moments like these, every minute of everyday, but they are just that, moments.
At least I know how to absorb and treasure these moments now.
The only sad part for me is packing up her toys that she is taking home and she doesn’t know it’s sad, so that’s OK.
Mile is only four, and right now, she’s simply happy all her toys are going to her house
She really doesn’t understand about Grammy selling her house and moving to a house on wheels and going to live on the road.
Rolling is what they call it. I have a new language to learn.
And she won’t understand, not until she says, “Daddy, I wanna go to Grammy’s house,” and he says, “Grammy doesn’t live in her house anymore.”
It was already a hard choice, deciding whether to stay or to move on, getting rid of furniture and stuff, so much stuff, way too much stuff. Books, clothes, boots, sheets and bedspreads. Towels, dolls and pictures. CD’s, DVD’s, TV’s and furniture.
With all these awesome grandkids, it’s a triple hard choice. And Jodie Lynne…my sunshine, my daughter, my friend, I’ll miss you most of all.
After fifteen houses and six states, I just have a strong urge to leave the clutter behind, wander on my own and to see what I see each day, and to do whatever I want to do in the moment. Stop, go, eat, write, don’t stop, inhale sunshine, go to the beach, whatever.
I also never want to pack up another house and I can’t even promise myself that I’ll stay still, so a house on wheels is my solution.
I want days without people telling me I better do this, or I should do that…weeks where I only interact with my dog, Maggie Mae and God. And rest stops and sweet nights when I can indulge my creative streak.
Maybe I’ll last a month, maybe I’ll last ten years out there on my own.
I just don’t know, but I’ll never know if I don’t try.
If I’m supposed to hold still Lord, you need to show me that because I really have the urge to move on, but I’m not always right, that’s for sure.
Lord, I know I’m stubborn and hardheaded, but show me gently please, I’m already broken.
Amen.