Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
During. Not much to talk about here. Except how I couldn't cook anything and suddenly, all I wanted to do was cook, hee-hee!
- FOUR large trash bags of "stuff". Just excess "stuff" from around the house. I haven't even gone into the drawers, closets, cupboards, etc. Most of it was from my 6-year old's room. Most kids have waaaay too many toys, my lil' darling included.
- TWO grocery bags of videos, DVDs and ... cassettes. Yes, I still had some of those around. We'll never miss them and our entertainment center looks so much cleaner!
- A grocery sack of miscellaneous items of whose origins I'm not sure. I know the cement-like hair gel is from my eldest daughter's Shakespearean production. One year ago. Seriously.
I finally found a place that will accept our extremely gently used kid's toys for donation straight to a child: Our local food bank. It's very small, but has clothing, household and personal care items as well. The lovely lady who runs it knows each of her clients personally and knows who has a child with a birthday coming up. Christmas is right around the corner and some of the toys I'm donating are brand-new or like-new, just without their original shrink wrapping. No other agency would accept the non-new toys, which broke my heart. Now, I finally have a place to donate these items and I feel better knowing they will go to someone who really needs them rather than to a secondhand store. I know that many people who shop thrift stores end up with the "too much stuff" problem, precisely because the items are so inexpensive and easy to buy (even if you don't really need them). I've done it myself. It's good to donate to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, but if I can actually donate an item directly to an actual child in need, I would rather.
I know many blogs are doing the "10-Item Giveaway" and photographing the items they are getting rid of each day or week. If I'd stopped to photograph everything, I wouldn't have collected as much stuff. I was also trying to get it done before my wee one woke up, since some of the stuff I'm donating is non-negotiable and I didn't want to start the day off with hurt feelings. Although I'm going through most of her stuff with her, to teach her about donating and purging--and hopefully, how not to get in this position in the first place!--there are always items that she wants to keep that I think we should donate. She is so excited by the new clean spaces, she doesn't miss a thing.
If you have kids and clutter, read the book Simplicity Parenting. Check it out of your local library (less cluttering!). It details how kids feel (and the misbehaviors that often materialize) when living in cluttered quarters and how free and easy life becomes after the clutter and excess is removed. Even if you love it. Even if it's still good. Even if you paid a fortune for it. Even if you might need it some day. Even if.
Stop making excuses and go de-excessorize something!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Then I did something very un-routine for me. I got into the car and wept.
My daughter's friend is leaving for college next week. This would be the last time I'd drop off my daughter at her house. The. Last. Time. The realization hit me like a slug to the belly. I would never do this again, never drive this route to have a routine "get-together" (once your kid is over 10, I believe it's illegal to call them "play dates").
I sat in the car and cried for a while. I vascillated between crying my eyes out because I'd miss G so much, and chiding myself for being ridiculous. After all, she's going to college, not prison. This is the natural progression of things, what is supposed to happen. But oh, my goodness ~ how it stings.
A and G have been friends for about 5 years now. We've come to love her like a third daughter and have had the good fortune to take her with us on many family vacations and trips. I'm grateful for that and the fact that I'm a compulsive shutterbug. I have every Pumpkin-Patch, Christmas In The Park and Beach Trip fully documented on film. I've got the Trip To Disneyland, the Dance Competitions and the Birthday Celebrations all nicely printed up and scrapbooked. (OK, they will be scrapbooked.) But still, I want more. More time, more trips, more adventures, more TIME. The girls have had sleepovers beyond number, countless get-togethers and endless phone calls. They've had hundreds of meals together and lost many hours of sleep staying up way too late talking. They've goofed off, shopped and grown up -- together. But it still doesn't feel like enough to me.
I'm grateful G has been my daughter's friend these past years; she couldn't have asked for a better confidante, buddy, companion. To the best of my knowledge, G has never let her down. Those who receive that kind of love from a friend are blessed indeed. But tonight, I feel selfish. It was easy to talk about college when it was "in the future", or "six months from now". Such an abstract concept. I blinked, the months flew by and next week the day will come when my "third daughter" will get on a plane and I will watch it fly away, out of the state and out of our daily lives. And on that day, I will have to let go. I hate this. I really do. I know this is a new chapter in G's life -- new adventures, new independence, new pursuits. But perhaps learning to let go is as admirable a thing as learning about Art History, Oceanography or Calculus. Perhaps it's more valuable. It's definitely more useful than most of the classes I took in college and have since forgotten.
So while G takes off in that airplane, my family will be taking a little mini-course down here on terra firma: "Learning to Let Go 101". We won't be getting college credit for it, nor will it appear on any transcript. But it's as precious as any degree, and it will stretch us and eventually serve us well. Because we all love "our G", we want for her what everyone wants for their loved ones: the ability to soar and reach their highest potential.
And one can soar only when one is let go.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Below is a copy of the Testimony I gave to over 300 people in April, 2010.