Tuesday, September 23, 2008

utterly meaningless sliver

I am sitting here, trying to find the cable to hook up my camera to the computer. I just spent 25 minutes trying to find the photo papers from my little printer so I could print and send some photos to my son. Didn't find them. As I look around, my desks (I have 3 of them) are all basically useless because they are full of stuff. Piles of stuff. One of my desks has drawers that I don't use becuase they are full of stuff I don't use. Every time I try to do something about this, I come across all this stuff and paper and computer disks and batteries and blank cards and old stamps and wires to appliances and instruction manuals and old carbons of checks and CDs I never listen to and holy cards and four blank post-it notes stuck together and begun but abandoned art projects and photos of nieces and nephews from Christmas cards 4 years ago and other such stuff I just can not decide to throw away. Pens that don't work. Pencils without lead. Scraps of paper with phone numbers on them. Binder clips, paper clips, and random rubber bands. Old keys, and mostly empty matchbooks. A huge wave of overwhelm crashes into me, and I shut the drawers, walk away from the desk, and go find some equally overwhelming place in the house to obsess over. Kitchen? Needs repainting and reorganizing, and frankly, how many cute vintage baking dishes and tea pots does one need? I can't decide, so I move on. Living room? Books everywhere, books I haven't and most likely won't ever read, despite my best intentions and desire. Let's face it, I won't have time to do that kind of heavy reading until I am in my sixties, and I hope to be more discerning by then.
Bedroom? Full of clothes and mismatched socks and outgrown toddler clothes and tons of shoes that no one is currently wearing and more books I'll probably never read. Garden? Full of ornaments and empty pots, all bought with a vision of beauty and care, still sitting since spring. All that happened this year is the perennials came up, did their thing and faded, leaving the weeds gone to seed all over the place. Next year will be better. No wait, I'll have a newborn. Two years from now? eeps. Who knows.

So here I am swirling in my pit of despair, when I realize I am hearing a pounding noise over and over, and can't really place it. I peek out the window, and there is my six year old son, being observed by my four year old daughter, smashing a matchbox car with a hammer. He is obviously trying to hide, but because he is only six, doesn't realize he is right outside my window. I say, "What are you doing, exactly?" He gets a shocked look on his face, "This is a car I hate because it's wheels always stick, so I am smashing it." "Okay, just put the hammer away when you are finished." "I will. Boy, am I glad I'm not in trouble for this one!" he says. "I thought for sure I would be."

For some reason this made me laugh so hard, I forgot about my overwhelm, my misplaced camera parts, my to do list that never stops. I can't explain it, but I'll take it. But I do think, before I do my errands for the day, I'll shred the contents of one of my drawers, toss all the old computer disks (throwing all caution to the wind, as they came with things we no longer own and never used), and enjoy the lovely weather.

This post is utterly meaningless, but models a small sliver of one of my typical days. So there you have it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is overwhelming with a big family...I have 6 kids and the only way i can survive is to eliminate all clutter.....be ruthless...you can do it.....it will make a huge difference!!!!....

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Pilgrims9 said...

We found that Fr. Thomas Dubay's book "Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life & Spiritual Freedom" helped us to purge our lives from so much clutter & to get a better perspective on all this "stuff" - & in a deeply spiritual way, for that matter! :o)
Praying that you & baby are doing well! God bless! ~ Patricia

September 24, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love finding a scrap of paper with a number that I've written down. I spend hours trying to remember who or what it was for...

September 24, 2008  
Blogger Kitchen Madonna said...

You are blessed my dear. Blessed.

Wish you could run over for a cup of jasmine tea.

As a woman, I can only imagine how you must feel. But still, you are blessed.

September 24, 2008  
Blogger Suzanne said...


September 24, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I didn't think this was utterly meaningless at all! I too have drawers/boxes that have stuff in them that I'm sure could be thrown away, but I get so overwhelmed thinking about dealing w/it, that I just don't. I can totally relate!

I am better than I used to be about clutter and keeping the house tidy, though. Since I don't have any big kid helpers yet, I've found that cleaning up messes throughout the day is much better for my sanity than having to clean a house-wide mess at the end of the day when I'm really really tired and cranky. I second what you decided to do in the end -- take on a little bit of it at a time. Let's face it: a mother's work is never done. But, instead of getting bogged down by that fact, I try to just accept it, and keep chipping away, occasionally attempting to offer it up instead of grumbling about it (which is really hard for me!).

I also wanted to tell you that when I first read your post, I was envisioning G and CC but realized later that you were talking about N and MT! I forget how much they've all grown since I last saw you!

September 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Renee! Maybe you should follow N's example and just take a hammer to it all!! :)

September 24, 2008  
Blogger Mimi said...


September 24, 2008  

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