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Overalls my mom made, along with a Raggedy Andy, for me when I was 4 or 5.

Overalls my mom made, along with a Raggedy Andy, for me when I was four or five years old and no longer lived with her.

The last post, in retrospect, and just below the surface at the time, was clearly a fantastic example of avoidance behavior. I did vent a little, but I got rid of nothing physical, and what I did get rid of was done in a baby with the bath water fashion. Very difficult not to emotionally flog myself at the moment.

I panicked a little last night, as I realized my receipt for virus protection purposes was in the emails I had deleted, along with some other emails regarding a grant I am working on to try and garner some extra funding to send our middle school and high school choirs to San Francisco to see Wicked.

When I got home from choir last night, I found the deleted messages and began undeleting them.  I found the choir ones, but didn’t make it to the proof of purchase for virus protection before I went to bed. I woke up, logged on to the computer and found that the emails in the trash have been permanently deleted. There was a moment not quite of panic, but more of beating myself up. Then I stopped, as the truth is that venue is no longer available. Now I need to look and see if I have a paper copy. I had forwarded important emails, like the grant info and the receipt to another email account with less traffic, but they were servicing and updating and all of the email in my in-box, prior to yesterday was gone. Another moment of slight panic. The bottom line is this, I will figure it out, or I won’t. Either way, this is not life and death, it just sort of feels like it might be sometimes.

On another note, or actually the original note, I have been avoiding. I have been feeling overwhelmed with the process, with writing, with life in general. As a result I have been deflecting into busy work, and general avoidance behavior. 

Years ago, I fantasized about my house burning down because that, I thought, would wipe out the problem. True, it would take everything with it, but the upside is, it would take EVERYTHING with it! Most things can be replaced. What I found out when I wiped out my email in box,is that it is better to be selective and plodding, in overcoming this habit. A systematic way of dealing with all my stuff,and the accompanying tendencies is key for me to deal with this. I did not get this way over night, and I don’t think I can change, effectively and permanently over night.

The picture at the top of my post is of a pair of overalls my mom made when I was four or five to go with a Raggedy Andy doll she made for me with black curly hair and green eyes. I can’t find the doll, but I am not ready to get rid of the overalls yet. I may be willing to part with them later in the process, or at least find a way to categorize them, so I can find them when I want them.

I hope for Friday, to get back to actual boxes, and actual actions rather than theoretical ones. I have not been feeling brave, nor have I wanted to post photos of what my house looks like. I will work on pulling myself together for Friday and try to come up with a specific plan of action.

‘Till then,




  1. Pauline,

    Honey, I do not understand why you have to get rid of the overalls your Mom made you!!! Just because you are decluttering and getting your act together (as I like to call it!), I feel like those overalls are just too special to ditch. Or for that matter to give to someone else, donate, whatever. If you don’t already have one, get yourself one big hope chest or whatever, wrap those special overalls and the doll in blue, ACID FREE tissue paper, and save them for your children someday! I am saying this from my heart as you know from my correspondence with you that I am a fellow hoarder with all the same issues and anxieties. I have a few things from my childhood that I have saved for the years that are near and dear to me. I have had them for 50 years now and they are special. When I am gone from this earth, I want my children to have a piece of me. Yeah, some will say they will have memories but I want them to actually hold in their hands some things that were near and dear to me. You can’t keep it all, my dear, but you can keep a little. I am with you on your journey, friend~~~~~~~~~

    Much love,

    • Helen, Thank you.
      I have been debating. I feel silly for keeping them, but feel really odd about getting rid of them, as they are really so special. I can’t find the doll. I hope he turns up!
      You made my night Helen.
      -Thank you.

  2. Pauline! I just read your blog for the first time. It’s great! Where are you?? My email to you bounced back. xxxooo Porsh Did you keep the overalls?

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