All I Did Was Blink

Being 39: Where I've been, Where I am, and Where I'm going…

The Seven Month Plan October 5, 2010

Boxes 1

Image by Skrewtape via Flickr

I feel a move coming on…

Since the age of twelve, I have lived a very transient lifestyle. Recently I calculated that I have moved 14 times in 24 years. That may not seem like a lot to some people, but I always envied the stories of families living in the same house on the same property for generations. “I was born in this house, married here, raised my children here, we have a family graveyard on the grounds…”

Most of the moves I have made as an adult have looked something like this:

  1. Time to move again
  2. OK, I have x months to get ready
  3. Plenty of time to slowly downsize my belongings so as not to move so many boxes and bins
  4. OK, I have a month before the move, time to pick up the pace since I have about 3 boxes actually packed in an organized fashion
  5. One week to go, better sort some stuff after the move, lets at least keep rooms separated so we don’t have trouble finding things later
  6. Tomorrow the truck will be here, start throwing things in boxes, doesn’t even matter if we sort, label, whatever…just get it done
  7. Aaahh, please save this room for last, I’ll keep packing while you guys load everything else up
  8. Good thing we planned to move three days before we need to hand over the keys…we will have to load up the car and make some final trips over the next couple of days and save the last day for cleaning
  9. Umm..now that we are in our ‘new’ place…can we try to move everything still packed into one room so we can gradually go through the boxes and still have decent living space??
  10. Just shut the door when company comes over, I can’t even LOOK at that room…grrrr…I’ll NEVER be organized!!
  11. Time to move again
  12. OK, I have x months to get ready…

In many areas of my life I am a very detailed, organized, disciplined, rational, dependable person. When it comes to uprooting my living space it is a completely different story. I have the tendency to throw nothing away. Nothing. I have the ticket stub to every movie I have ever seen in a theater. I have the program for every graduation, the invitation to every wedding, the order of service for every funeral…let alone every book I have ever owned, every kitchen appliance that ever caught my eye, every holiday decoration, every photo…

Now, I have seen those television shows, like Hoarders, where people can not even walk in the front door of their 5 bedroom house without stepping over the mountains of hoarded junk (much still in the original packaging) and their lives are stuck. I recognize how easily I could be that person. If I had money, I may very well be facing an intervention of my own.

Let me be clear. I have a room in my apartment with no furniture in it. This is where my boxes live. The rest of our living space is ‘company ready’, as my mom would refer to it. Clean, organized, places to sit and interact. I go in ‘the room’ on occasion to find whatever it is I ‘think I still have’ to try to find it…mostly my husband gets this job. *sorry babe*

It IS out of control. It IS tiring, frustrating, debilitating. But this is the year of the change, right. Right.

So on to the Seven Month Plan. IF we move in the spring, I want to move lighter than I ever have. In the next seven months I want to eliminate the need for a ‘storage room’. A storage closet would not bother me in the least. I would like, however, to be able to use any extra room in our space for guests. Maybe there would be a place for something more permanent, we have talked about some day fostering or adopting…

Well then, I need a plan. Lets not spend most of the next seven months planning out the plan. Lets get it down ‘on paper’ right here, right now.

Each month I want to report back my ‘room cleanse’ progress. Each week I want to set a goal manageable with my schedule. Each day I want to DO something toward that goal. Is it going to good will? Put it in the car now. Is it getting sold? Is it recyclable?? Trash???

Sounds somewhat familiar to my starting list. The difference is the accountability I am trying to add by sharing it in my blog. Thanks in advance for cheering me on…tonight, box number 1!

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R.I.P. JG September 21, 2010

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (Beatitudes #2)

Putting aside all that is mishandled, misunderstood, misinterpreted, misrepresented, mismanaged, and just plain missing from our day-to-day lives, lets talk about missed human connections.

This week I mourn the loss of someone very dear to my heart. She has served as role model, mentor, mother-figure, friend, traveling companion, partner in music, and all around inspiration since the beginning of my life. I ‘grew up’ with her kids. I have laughed with her, learned from her, admired her and cried with her.

JG holds for me the very strongest memory of the day we held funeral services for my dad. I was nineteen. JG and I had traveled together for 5 years already, along with her husband and, at times, various others – including my sister. I often would call her mom instead of by her given name. Her son was one of my very best BFF‘s. I would safely say we were extremely close.

There had been a lot of activity surrounding the death of my father and this day was no exception. So many people coming and going, hugging and talking, meaning well. I could not hear a word they were saying. My daddy was gone and my entire life was in upheaval. I had left college to be with him for what turned out to be the last month of his life. No regrets there, but I never made it back to school. That is a subject I will save for another day.

I found myself sitting in one of those funeral home chairs, the ones that have a little extra cushioning and arm rests for the grieving family, not the extra folding chairs they pull out for the extra big crowds that may show up. I was looking at my dad. I was quiet. All of the well-meaning friends and relatives kept making their way over to me with kind words that never actually penetrated my thoughts.

Then JG walked in. At first I did not notice her. But soon, and every so often since, I felt when she silently slipped in behind me and placed her hand on my shoulder. She stood there for what seemed like forever while others came and went. She never said a word. She was just present with me in my grief. She was just loving me the very best way she could have in that moment.

And now I prepare to go and grieve with my family and friends for the loss of her daily presence in our lives…I so desperately want to live by her example and not be one of the nameless, faceless, wordless throngs I am sure will be meaning well.

I lost touch with JG and her family over the years. I think we may have seen each other all of three times since the late 90s. I am not going to go on about how mysterious life is when we ebb and flow in and out of the lives of significant people and that JG’s passing is going to make me stop loosing contact with people. We will continue to ebb and flow out of each others lives until each of us passes from this earth.

I am going to say that I want my 40th year to be about meaningful interactions and that I hope to have a positive lasting impression on those lives I wander in and out of. I know that so many have made positive lasting impressions on my life. I want to tell them so while they can still hear me say it.

R.I.P. JG. You are missed. Greatly.

 

 
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