Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anyone missing a pen?

If you can't find your pen.... it likely wandered over to my house. I have never seen so many mounds of pens in one place in my life! It looks as though I've opened shop to a Pen Store.

For the past several weeks I have been gutting it out.

Sifting through all my belongings in my studio with as much joy as dental work.

I have filled up four large recycling bins over the past four weeks. I just stuff them until I can't stuff them no more. Then I wheel them out to the curb for the City to pick them up and carry it away. Then I start this intimidating task again.

I am so tired of living a disorganized life.

I am done with never knowing where anything is. It doesn't nourish my soul or my life in anyway.

I opened up a box and inside it consisted of:
• a LOBO Greatest Hits cd
• three old bank statements
• a jack-in-the-box kids meal toy of Jack himself carrying a briefcase and wearing a tie.
• several postcards from friends on vacation
• a tangle of vcr cords
• a portable cd player
• a Golden Gate bride toll receipt from 1998
• a PEOPLE magazine with The Brady Bunch on the cover
• a talking pedometer still in the box
• an old 1992 Delta airline ticket from San Francisco to Denver with a layover in Salt Lake City.
• a backstage pass at Folk Singer Dar Williams concert while in Northampton, MA over New Years 1999
• unused yellow post-it notes
• a 1970s Defranco Family Slurpy Cup
• the negatives from a photo roll from 1994
• a William Holden autograph
• a book called "Don't Worry Be Crabby!" by John Wagner
• an old address book (that still has my grandparents numbers on there as well as numerous aunts and uncles and cousins who no longer live in this world...)
• etc etc etc

That was just one box. I had so many boxes, they were just jammed inside my closet. Each box closely looking like the next one.

An incredibly old man looked inside my eyes sometime around 2002-2003 in an old junk store off of interstate 35 between San Marcos and New Braunfels, Texas and said: Know when to hold 'em. And know when to fold 'em.

I think he was talking to me about Happy Meal toys, but tonight I hear him clearly telling me this on a deeper level.

Ever since my wake-up call at the hospital early last month, I have decided to take back my life. To stop and smell the roses so-to-speak. And I have become aware that once I made that decision, I have attracted that into my life.

I need more time in my life to water the lawn. Pull the weeds around the rose bush. Fix the automatic sprinklers. I also need to get rid of clutter and have more organization in my life.

I am learning that less is more. And that when my house is free of clutter my heart and head feels most calm.

I am getting there. And yes, I'm still keeping a lot of the sentimental letters and other things that stir my heart because it connects the dots from my past to my future and that has made me who I am today.

It's a lot of work and feels like it's taking me a lifetime to go through things and then I remember it is because I am going through a lifetime.

And a lovely one at that.


Janet said...

I put some clutter filled boxes in our spare bedroom, intending to weed them down to the one "sentimental must keep" box.
Every week, I go in there, look at the boxes, sigh,tell myself "next week", and shut the door!

danny said...

Wow that's quite a list of collectibles you had in that box! I know it's hard to part with things that have sentimental value. But it sounds like you're doing a great job of eliminating the clutter! both physical and spiritual.

doodlegirl said...

Ha! Janet! That was me, too!!! And "next week" finally came. But there is still so much for me to do. One day at a time... I hope "next week" comes to you before long. It will feel good in the end. I promise!

Interesting thought danny! Yes. Cleaning up the clutter on the outside is organizing my thoughts on the inside. wow! Who'da thought that was possible!?

Rayne said...

I can so totally relate to this. I had so many boxes and drawers full of unrelated detritus, I have finally stopped myself from doing the 'put it in the box and keep it for two or three or more years and then finally throw it away' thing. Now I just throw it away.
I am still weeding through all of our much! But with each bag that goes out the door I feel just a little bit lighter.

Michele said...

Shawn, I just love you.

I know whenever I read your posts, no matter what you write about (clutter or scabbed kness, for instance), you will make me giggle and get a little teary-eyed.

That's what you did here - from the pedometer in a box (I laughed out loud at that one. Boy, can I relate. My husband teases me about the pedometer in my underwear drawer I bought for all the miles I would walk, yet never have) to your no-longer-living grandparents' and other relatives' addresses. That image just makes me teary-eyed, addresses to people who are no longer there.

Anyway, good for you for clearing things out. It's amazing how clear your head can feel once all that clutter is gone, huh?