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Category Archives: baby steps

Today, I stepped back. I went and picked up stuff that I could have let go.

I’ve been pretty good about not picking up random stuff, and in letting things go. I think part of my trip about collecting and hanging on to things is trying to save things, or more accurately in trying to save people, by way of their things.
I have picked up some stuff recently, under the guise of storing it for friends.

Today, I went to make sure two friends who had recently moved had the things they needed,before they were thrown away by the new tenants, and ended up “saving” things they had already let go, because they are useful things

The great thing about this is the epiphany about why I save stuff, and how all that stuff gets jumbled and collected around me as an armour. I use it to brace myself against the inevitable, as well as to hold on to the past, both my own and others.

I have been trying to work outside of myself, and I know that I need to let things fall away, not just physical things, but emotional things and constructs and paradigms I have been clutching at for longer that I can remember, or even knew I was doing.
This blog is a part of my being willing to let go of all that other that is outside of me.

I am enough, even when I don’t believe it it’s true. I am flawed, and that is not unique.

I hide behind walls of stuff, and am going to come back to actively working on it. For now, that means I am going to come back to writing this blog and acting in ways that I am led to. I document here, for myself, to track and to have a way to see my own path and progress where it is made.
I have been expending energy on surviving, for a lifetime. Shifting, is what is important to me now, to beyond survival into living and being okay with who I am . Making change and shedding what I have outgrown, and embracing the things in myself that are good, and admitting to the good, to letting my core be my armament, my armature, rather than barricade myself in fear against what I am.

It’s back to baby steps, and that first damn step is always so difficult.
It is time, as another friend pointed out to take care of myself, and to become who I am.

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I have been working on my kitchen for, in the neighborhood of, twelve hours today, granted, not with the solid kind of steam I would be able to contribute if I were cleaning house for someone else.

Earlier, I was feeling domestic and hopeful, as if,” Well certainly, there is no reason I cannot tackle this entire kitchen from start to finish, in one swell food, one solid day of work!” including rousting about in cabinets and getting rid of all things (food-wise, at least) that are older than my daughter, as well as dealing with all of my kids and my own schtuff located in the kitchen. Perhaps you will recall a few posts ago, I mentioned there were canvasses in the kitchen and very large ones at that. Oy, what a Pollyanna! I didn’t take before pictures, as they were too humiliating. I have during pictures, and while it’s true I’ve made progress, I am not done, and I feel like a terrible waste of human flesh at the moment. -Harsh? -I know, I should not deign to judge another human as harshly, I think, I hope not at least.

My son feigns terror, oddly expressing just how I am feeling!

Stuff I’ve been sorting. There was a fish tank on the table earlier actually. Additionally, I may have finally found the connectors I need to set up my stereo. Just think, I only packed it all away about three years ago!

What to do with all of this? Some will stay and some will go.

Made for dishes, and perfect for a stereo, especially now that I’ve located the wires (hopefully all that I need to get the bugger up and running, as music makes life better, and I’ve been forgetting that lately!

On the up side, I, along with my step-mom, picked cherries from Gran’s cherry tree today. That would make Gran happy.

Also, the first tomatoes in the garden I planted with one of my students in his yard:

as well as some lettuce and more tomato plants.

Lots more lettuce:

A beautiful sunflower that is blooming right outside the room he shares with his brothers:

More sunflowers:

Even more sunflowers:

More beautiful tomato plants with blossoms waiting to become fruit:

Okay. I feel a bit better now.

I am a domestic Goddess, in the same way that Hera is. I am not perfect AND I keep trying.

Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow to either quote or paraphrase Murrow, I believe.

In any event, time to sleep so I can get back to it tomorrow with fresh eyes and a better attitude!

I am behind in writing, and doing a bit better in action.

On the 17th, I loaded my truck up and donated a large amount of stuff to the Ark for the Animals Thrift store. So much so that Judy, my friend and manager of the store told me there is no more room for donations at the moment. No obviously, I did not fill up the entire store, by any means. I did do my fair share, however. I filled the front of my truck.

As for the back, it was pretty loaded as well.

I donated my Minolta color enlarger, the paper safes, and tray that go with it; at least four boxes of books, my grandmother’s microwave, toaster oven, and ironing board, her shower chair; clothes and toys of all sorts, and just stuff, stuff, stuff. I can tell I’m on the right track because I cannot even recount what I actually donated and would be even less able to do so were it not for the pictures I took for the blog. I will keep that in mind as I’m going through stuff and remember, almost exclusively, the stuff I have is just that: stuff. Even the good stuff is just stuff.

Back to the kitchen. I’ve made room for my lovely red Kitchen Aide mixer on the counter, but need to get rid of more stuff so I can settle in and use it!

Cheers all, and happy sorting/tossing/de-hoarding!

Here I am again, second time in a week, I think this is the most progress I’ve made in some time -two postings in a week, that is.

So, first, a word about these posts, I’ve said it a while ago, when I began posting, but I feel it is worth reiterating: This is not a literary post, per-say. I edit only in a cursory fashion, and do my best to write in a somewhat visceral fashion, post pictures if I have them, and post in a projectile-puke-and-run sort of way. I say this to remind myself not to be too harsh on myself as I go back and re-read with editing eyes, but also to keep any other readers focused on the main point of this darned blog. I am just to make progress with hoarding, and stuff and the issues around hoarding, more than with writing here, and if I give in to my type a-ish traits (which believe me, play a strangely large role in all of this for me) and over think/over edit I won’t get any writing/sorting/tossing done, or certainly much less. Having said that, thank you for being kind with me linguistically and literarily. I actually do know how to write/edit etc., but that is not my primary purpose here . . .

I have just got off of the phone with my step-mom (Thank you, again Cin!). She is going to help me, this weekend, to go through Gran’s linen closet and decide what to keep, what to send with her, what to get rid of … Some of the things in there are already mine, but I haven’t sorted out what’s what. She is also going to take down Gran’s string of cards with me, as well as taking home Gran’s rose china and some other stuff. Essentially, she allowing me to give myself permission to be here, to settle in and unpack, and admit that this is where life is, and what it is, which, for once in an anguishingly long time is not a miserable thing.

I am struggling with worthiness, and faith in plenty, not even mostly on a physical level, but am ready to get on with it, and to find my place in my own life. There are great pits of sorrow that are waiting to be trolled, but I believe there will also be wells of hope and memories that can bring balance and recognition of worth and renewal of faith, not just in life-the-universe-and-everything, but in myself as well.

In the meantime, I believe I will focus on the kitchen which currently contains some gigante canvases that I, for some reason unbeknownst to me am storing there, as well as cupboards full of food that are older than I am, and possibly even older than my dad.

There are no pictures today, as my daughter has my phone so she can call me when she is done at the movies, and my camera batteries have been temporarily enveloped by The Stuff.

Stuff, Stuff, Stuff! No wonder one of my favorite words is cosas (“stuff” in Spanish) very useful in so many settings, hee hee!

I did deal with the stuff in the back of the truck. sorted into recycling and trash and is waiting curbside now, so WAHOO to that.

Also, a lovely aside. I went to a friend’s house today and she had just read my blog for the first time. She told me she wanted to take me out to her garage so I would feel better. I always doubt people when they tell me about their stuff. In any event, It did make me feel better, not because her stuff is worse than mine, or better, but just that it is stuff and that she is trying to deal with it. Seeing her disheveled side didn’t make me care for her any less, I wonder why it has that effect for me regarding myself. Hmmm… I will begin to look at the inverse of the golden rule, and not just the straight shot of it. I suppose I deserve the same chance I give to others.

Okay, enough typing, off to work. I will check in later on in the weekend.

Lastly,time for a happy picture up-date after that darn fuzzy-headed stern one from last fall. The hair is making a comeback.  ; )

Here I am feeling terribly happy, down right sunny. Portent (in the very best possible terms of the word)of things to come, with any luck.

Sunny Day in Fort Bragg

Writing this blog is horrifying, I must admit.It has forced me to evaluate myself. I am not an exhibitionist, even though it may seem so, rather, this blog has served me well in the past for self moderation, motivation and feed back.It is akin to having sex with the lights blaring if you’re not particularly fond of your physical self. I have found it to be useful, and am still working on getting back into the swing of things.

I am trying hard to get my house in order, both proverbial and otherwise. I have started school for a new credential in order to teach the moderate to severe special education program next school year.

I spent HOURS, in my horrific rat infested garage yesterday trying to sort, and then simply pulling things out and cleaning. I did manage to sort out quite a bit (that seems like nothing compared to the over-all amount of stuff) to get rid of. I also filled, or nearly filled, the back of my truck with boxes to recycle and rat leaving and things the rats got into.

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Drowning in a sea of stuff. Learning to swim, as it were.

Oy, so much stuff!

Stuff sorting

Then I swept up the part of the garage I unburied. Phew. I am hoping to get back at it again today.

a small clean space.

I realized that not only since I’ve been here, but for years, in fact most of my adult life, in fact most of my life I’ve been depressed and overwhelmed my both my emotional and physical life.
A good friend asked me when I was going to stop being depressed. The answer is now, and I think the way to do it is to take control of my own life. I have been living for other people for so long, and even when I haven’t been doing so knowingly, I’ve been struggling with the idea of if what I was doing was right or wrong in the eyes of my family, or society, or whatever. Funny how all that time, I was mostly working under that heavy load without even really realizing I was carrying it around.
I am hoping to clear out much of the physical, as well as psychological and emotional crap in my life and be present. I think this is going to take a hell of an effort on my part, but I think it can be done. I finally believe, or at least am willing to look at the idea that not only to I deserve to be well and happy, but that it is okay, in fact great to have a bigger life, not in terms of anything physical, per say, but that I can be present and even booming, if I feel like it.
I want to deal with my physical stuff and turn the garage into a studio space that I can make art and write in. My experience in life has been that the more I do, the more I can do. so, I am hoping to get my s*** together and be able to spend more time with actively in my own life, of my own choosing being present.

stuff to donate

more stuff donate

... to the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump!

I found that I quite like getting rid of things. The hard part is not just pitching the whole lot. I think that is baby out with the bath water mentality.

getting there...

It may not seem like a heck of a lot, but the garage now has room for a washer and dryer, which will help with the chaos in the house, and I can move my glass kiln from the front seat of my truck to the garage. AND, the sidewalk is clear again, and I didn’t just shove it all back into the garage willy nilly. I am going to pat myself on the back instead of listening to the naggy bits in my head that remind me I didn’t get done. I suppose there is no done, only movement, at least as long as one exists in the physical land of the living.

 

 

All puns intended. I hope to revisit this idea.

Today my son moved some furniture for me in the kitchen so that the room , small as it is, has become two rooms, the kitchen, and room for a living area which in turn will leave me more free (psychologically) to take over what has been (in theory at least) our living room.

I am planning on having not only a bedroom and a place to sleep, but a private place of my own where I can write and do alll things art: Screen prinitng, painintg, linoleum cutting, whatever tickles my fancy.

This post, much like so much of the stuff in my life started out as filler. I feel it is turning out to be at least a little more. Let us see where it leads.

The images in this post are from a series I shot in my home town of Colma, California, about 1998. I’ve been dragging them around with me for each move I’ve made susequently. It hit me, as  a child, how even in death some people had so much and some of them kept it locked up visible only throught tiny peepholes, while others shared what they had with the world around them . This has so much worth exploring, both then as well as now.