Spark Joy OR GET OUT.
this is part two of my de-crap-a-thon…
if you missed part one, it’s here.
part three is here.
First: let us be incredibly clear that I will always be a hoarder of enormous magnificence… ALWAYS.
I am getting rid of CRAP, not my precious… I am absolutely able to tell the difference; it’s just that I thought I HAD to keep the crap.
Of course, most of my things are not actually crap— the stuff that was good, I donated.
Did I think about having a yard sale/estate sale?
Did I think about selling it all piecemeal on eBay even though that is LITERALLY THE VERY WORST THING I CAN IMAGINE AND THE VERY LAST WAY I WANT TO SPEND ANY OF MY EXISTENCE?
MORE than think about it, I felt I MUST… because I am RESPONSIBLE! These are MY THINGS; I am REQUIRED to dispose of them PROPERLY!
But at some point, all of THE STUFF became so deeply overwhelming that I realized how violently I did not want to deal with it.
The idea of forcing myself to undertake a massively stressful endeavor… to FLOG MYSELF to continue wading through this SWAMP OF CRAP. For literally no reason other than GUILT OVER LEMON SQUEEZERS.*
I finally saw: that is LITERALLY insane.
I finally saw: I am not REQUIRED to torture myself with DISHES.
You can CHOOSE to be DONE with irrelevant noise.
Stress is for IMPORTANT things.
I cannot express how astonishing this is.
WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME?
*Paul once brought me a box of vintage juicers because he enables my hoarding if it is free.
I see now, this is why Marie Kondo wants you to pile— to help your brain get to a place where you consider the simple option of CHOOSING YOUR OWN SANITY, over decades-old-crap to which you have some weird attachment and unspecified guilt.
I did not do it the way she suggests – which is to make a GIANT MESS… But after trying it my way, I see the wisdom of hers; because the more I went through, the more I saw was unwanted. And the more I saw was unwanted, the more I understood that I have not been keeping this stuff because I LOVE it… I am keeping it out of FEAR: fear of regret, fear of making a mistake.
But! Even though I SEE this, I still have a deranged attachment to clothing, circa 2004, that I will not ever wear again but cannot detach from because WHAT IF I NEED THESE SHOES I WOULD FEEL REALLY BAD AND MAD THAT I GOT RID OF THEM SO I SHOULD JUST KEEP THEM FOREVER EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE TACKY.
As MUCH as I do NOT want to pile, I WANT THE NEXT BRAIN PLACE… I want to be DONE with unwanted clutter— >I am not REQUIRED to store guilt and discomfort in my home.
I think I’m going to have to pile.
However, the time to empty all of your closets is not when your partner‘s mother is receiving hospice… an awkward preamble to share with you that Paul’s mother passed… Parkinson’s.
Her decline began four years ago… The last two have been really hard. The last one, frightening. Paul has shouldered an enormous burden— he has been on-call for four years; it is a stratospheric undertaking to be the caregiver.
Watching Paul usher his mother towards death was harrowing, but revelatory. I am in awe of him… he is a human unlike any other. Paul SHOWS UP. And WORKS. Until there is NO MORE WORK… Love is what you DO; words are meaningless.
How is Paul?
He’s doing okay.
He takes a lot of comfort in the time he spent with his mom; especially at the end— he lived there while she was getting hospice… I do not THINK he is going to have a nervous breakdown, but if he does that is fine.
So… that is where we are– re-acclimating to our life. Last night, Paul put up the hammock and we just hung out. He didn’t have to go zoom around in his cape of competence. Mister Cat joined us for the three seconds it took him to determine he does NOT like the earth swinging around under him.
Then we watched Free Solo… which I beyond loved— obsessive. intense. completely ununderstandable to anyone but himself… and actually, this is my last blog post because scratch what I said about Paul, I am going to go live in a van with some mountain dudes.
SEE ALL MY FAVORITE CRAIGSLIST FINDS
SEE ALL MY KITCHEN POSTS
March 21, 2019 @ 11:05 am
Love is what you DO. Words are meaningless. So so true.
March 24, 2019 @ 10:30 pm
different topic but had to tell you that I clicked on the FREESolo link and had my fear of heights gasp and don’t fall forward response.. Wish I could watch but Yowza! scaaaaaaarrrie!
March 21, 2019 @ 11:18 am
So sorry to hear about Paul’s mother. The stress on his had to have been immense. You’re being an awesome wife, I know, giving him the freedom to be himself.
And I have never read Kondo’s book, but I tend to wade through my own weirdness on a semi-regular basis, so I hope that I keep only the things that spark true happiness in my heart.
And my son’s school records. Because IEPs are seemingly forever. lol
Thank you for the smiles YOU bring to all of us. You’re inspirational.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:21 am
God bless you both and heal your grieving hearts.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:22 am
Love is what you Do. God how true. Please give Paul a huge hug from all of us and our sympathy on your loss. And if you decide to hang out with the mountain dudes.. you’ll have a line up of takers for Paul… you do know that right?
March 21, 2019 @ 11:22 am
Such kind comments about Paul. My husband and I have cared for all 4 of our parents and it is a monumental job. I guess the next job will be for us to care for each other as there is no one left for us. Take care of Paul, it seems as if he did it right and spent good time with his mom before it was too late. He is to be commended and as are you. It is not easy to be the spouse of a caregiver either. Giving space and holding close is a very hard line to walk.
That said, I am totally where you are at. I saved a few things to sell on ebay, but I really don’t think it’s worth the ongoing effort to tell you the truth. It takes a lot of time to sell and that STUFF is still sitting around. I’M OVER IT AND HAVE PILES TO GO TO THE LOCAL CHARITY. LOL
Take care of your selves and take time for the good stuff.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:28 am
So sorry to hear about Paul’s mother, it was a gift for him to help her and be with her till the end. Take some time for yourselves and heal. I too have started to de-clutter and dropped off 7 bags of clothes, 3 boxes of house goods and 2 bags of bedding at Good Will. it felt good, but a little embarrassing to have all that in my house just sitting for no good reason. I applaud your candor and enjoy your blog. take care.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:29 am
If you do go live in a van with mountain dudes, make sure your data plan is monstrous, because, that would be a story we would need to hear about.
My sympathies to you and Paul. I hope you have peace.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:33 am
Another wonderful post. I’m sorry about Paul’s mother!
March 21, 2019 @ 11:35 am
So sorry to hear about Paul’s mother. Hugs to you both. And keep up the good work!
March 21, 2019 @ 11:36 am
Thank you for sharing these poignant times in your life.
You write beautifully Victoria.
And you’re inspiring me to deal with my hording issues.
(I even watched some of Marie Kondo’s episodes).
I am also aware that my hording reached epic levels over
the last five years since my youngest (daughter) left the nest.
And I am aware that this was an attempt at compensating for that.
We are planning a yard sale in early May.
We are actively donating many items.
I’m pacing myself. Letting go is never easy.
But, I’ll get there.
Sympathies to you and your husband in your loss.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:52 am
My sincere sympathy to Paul and you. Being in the midst of trying to hold together a failing spouse. Futile, I know…. anyway, I have been seriously considering living in a van in some mountains or seashore somewhere. Let me know if you find a good place.
March 21, 2019 @ 11:54 am
First, I am so for you loss. Paul *should* wear a cape at all times…unless near an airplane.
” I am keeping it out of FEAR: fear of regret, fear of making a mistake.” …and for me —what if I need it again – which I won’t.
Thank you for this blog. You are a treasure <3
March 21, 2019 @ 12:10 pm
Condolences on losing a loved one. And thank you for identifying that fear is part of the reason for holding onto things. Fear is exactly why I hold onto things and brought so much stuff from my parents house to live in my garage while I decide how to discard of it all. I need to just let it go and will begin this weekend!
March 21, 2019 @ 12:12 pm
Oh my goodness…..I am so sorry to hear that Paul has lost his mother. From my own experience, I must say that losing a parent has been one of the worst grief processes I have ever attempted to wade through….3 years later and I am still making my way, although I do believe I am now out of the deep water and slowly making my way to shore and dry land….my prayers for both of you.
March 21, 2019 @ 12:14 pm
So sorry for your loss. Will keep you both in my prayers for strength and healing.
March 21, 2019 @ 12:16 pm
Getting rid of crap is good. It’s a total unburdening. I’m very sorry to hear about Paul’s mother. It’s so very hard to be a care giver. I did it the last few years of my father’s life, but I would not trade that time with my father for anything. As far as this being your last blog post, I’m going to be selfish and hope that you just need break, and end up taking a sabbatical from blogging. Your writing is absolutely fabulous and I so look forward to reading it. Whatever happens, God bless you both.
March 21, 2019 @ 12:21 pm
I also collect vintage juicers because they don’t make them anymore. They come in several different sizes and most of them are very serviceable. I think you can create a place to display them and USE them 🙂
There are some for Grapefruit, orange and lemon so I’m sure you’d do fine by keeping them.
March 21, 2019 @ 12:36 pm
So sorry to hear about Paul’s mother. My mother passed from Parkinsons in 2011 and it’s a terrible thing to go through – both for the person and for family. It’s easy to be awash in sorrow remembering them in that last stage, since that part is so intense. But it helped me to keep photographs of her when she wasn’t sick where I could see them, to help me remember that for the vast majority of her life, she had a wonderful life, and to celebrate that. It’s a long road, but please know that lots of people are sending you both love and healing energy.
KAREN COLLEEN FOSS
March 21, 2019 @ 1:23 pm
Dear Victoria – what a post! Yes – on decrapifying. Deep deep sympathies – regarding Paul’s mother. Kudos, once again, on your writing – “Love is what you DO…” And please say it ain’t so! Your LAST post? You slipped that little bomb in there! If you need time/space to process, I understand. If you need time to reenergize, I understand. But please don’t go. Not FOREVER? We’ll misss you so. And always wonder about the amazing kitchen with the piano island? Take care.
March 21, 2019 @ 1:26 pm
Sincere condolences to Paul (and to you as well). Such a difficult thing. Take the time and space you need for healing – you both deserve it.