Sunday, April 24, 2011


In six weeks, I've cleared out over 12 years' worth of clutter. That's a helluva lot of clutter, let me tell you!

I've gone through clothes - shoved in closets, hanging on racks,folded in baskets, tossed here, thrown there, stuffed in drawers and balled up in suitcases. I've gone through drawers and bags stuffed with papers, old mail, cards, junk mail, magazines, scraps of paper with at-one-time meaningful scribbles & notes, business cards and other puzzling items. I've been celebrating my accomplishment in space I didn't have 30 days ago.

Yesterday, I was panicked and stressed...feeling so overwhelmed. I started with a small stack, a very small task. From there, I was able to move onto a 4-drawer bureau and cleared it out. That was quite an undertaking as each drawer was packed full of crap. I did a lot yesterday. But still had some strange feeling.

It came to me late last night - loneliness. What I'm feeling is lonely.

I've stacked and accumulated for more than a dozen years. These things were my protection, my comfort. I loathed and loved it all. Now, most of it is gone...and I feel exposed. It's weird. I don't miss any of it; but I miss it all...the collective.

I'll work through this, too. This is all new to me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

feels like the first time...

Up to my elbows with plastic grocery bags, I somehow maneuvered my keys into their proper slots in my front door. Twisting and turning to get in before groceries fell out, I saw my apartment. I truly *saw* my apartment.

I saw space where shoes had been. The shoes that now sit in my closet because I cleared out the clutter. I faced the hoarding that had been hidden and got rid of it. There was a lot of it. Shoes have replaced my secret.

I saw space where boxes once sat. The boxes that now sit in the dumpster along with most of their contents. I opened those boxes, faced the contents and got rid of it. I can walk through. I can dance through. I can move in my space.

I saw space where clothes had been piled, where REAL SIMPLE magazines had been stacked. I saw space where there been no space 30 days ago.

And, I fell to my knees and cried.

Monday, April 11, 2011

a little progress, a little piece

3 drawers cleared, cleaned out. I was able to toss most of the stuff in those drawers; though one was filled with pictures. Loads and loads of pictures spanning my life. It would have been so easy (and, typical) for me to stop and reminisce over each picture...but I didn't! Nope. I left them in the drawer and moved a few other related items in (frames, photo album, etc) to be dealt with and moved at a later date. It was easy to stick to my plan.

I moved the tea cups and saucers from the kitchen ledge to another drawer, taking time to wipe each one clean. I had earmarked an article in one of the REAL SIMPLE magazines oh-so-long ago, the idea sticking with me for a couple of years - use mismatched tea cups and saucers as jewelry holders. Brilliant! When I arrive home, my habit is to kick off my shoes at the front door, remove jewelry and drop it on the TV stand. When I leave home, my habit is to grab jewelry for the day and put on shoes. I need to remove that clutter from the front door area. So, with the tea cups and saucers fitting perfectly into one of the drawers, I moved my jewelry in...soooo cute! Necklaces, earrings and such in little tea cups; bracelets and bangles on saucers. I may have to move 'em to a bigger drawer so I can fit more tea cups in...but that's for another day.

I cleared out more...wait...ooh! I cleared out FOUR drawers! Yay me.

Then, I sat on the floor and sorted through papers. Good grief I have a lot of papers! Most of it is junk mail and coupons and PennySavers and crap and more crap. I went through a couple of bags stuffed with crap and a box of stuff previously in my car.

I now have clear space. Not little foot paths...true actual clear space. Space! I may actually be able to walk across my floor in the dark without my glasses. OK. That's a bit extreme (maybe)...but it's space. Space as a result of progress. Space as a result of me *doing something* instead of *saying something* - and it's a peaceful feeling. I did hit an emotional block. I did sit for a bit, anxious and stressing. So, I left it and moved to something else. That was new - moving on instead of sitting and wrapping myself up in the stress and emotion. I changed the music and moved around it.

I now believe my April 30th deadline is honestly truly doable. I believe I can do this. Hell, I AM doing it!

I'm proud of myself...and feeling a little peace.

Yeah, I feel good :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

30-Day Song Challenge - The Whole Thing!

I filched this from Tracey ~ a friend who has exquisite taste in music.

Today begins my 30-day challenge...a SONG challenge, at that! I do believe this is perfect for me :)

And here we go...!

day 01 (3.09) - your favorite song - Sweet Sweet Baby by Lone Justice

day 02 (3.10) - your least favorite song - Walk Like an Egyptian by the Bangles

day 03 (3.11) - a song that makes you happy - Roll with the Changes by REO Speedwagon

day 04 (3.12) - a song that makes you sad - At Seventeen by Janis Ian

day 05 (3.13) - a song that reminds you of someone - What a Fool Believes by the Doobie Bros. (there are loads of these...the problem was how to choose just one...went with the one that elicited the strongest feeling & memory)

day 06 (3.14) - a song that reminds you of somewhere - Highway 5 by the Blessing

day 07 (3.15) - a song that reminds you of a certain event - I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys (as performed by Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms)

day 08 (3.16) - a song that you know all the words to - oh, not to brag, but the list of songs I know all the words to is quite long. So, I'm listing 2: Rapper's Delight by Sugar Hill Gang ~ the first song I remember learning all the words to. Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC ~ totally bragging because I know this song in sign language, too. Performed this with the ASL class I taught at Birmingham HS in Van Nuys.

day 09 (3.17) - a song that you can dance to - Geez! This, like day 08, could be a 30-day list unto itself. How in the world am I going to choose just one? Whenever I think of dancing, my first thought is the 2nd Friday Night Dances in Orange County with my girls from the tall club. We had some great times and forged wonderful relationships. So, for today, a song I can dance to: Dance With Me by Peter Brown, Dancing Queen by ABBA and Black Velvet by Alannah Miles.

day 10 (3.18) - a song that makes you fall asleep - Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest.

day 11 (3.19) - a song from your favorite band - Tears of a Clown by the English Beat

day 12 (3.20) - a song from a band you hate - Run for the Hills by Iron Maiden :::ptooey:::

day 13 (3.21) - a song that is a guilty pleasure - Macarena by Los Del Rio. I'm serious.

day 14 (3.22) - a song that no one would expect you to love - Chances Are by Johnny Mathis

day 15 (3.23) - a song that describes you - no clue at all...(is that a song?)

day 16 (3.24) - a song that you used to love but now hate - every single song by the Ramones! Serious.

day 17 (3.25) - a song that you hear often on the radio - I don't listen to much radio anymore...but it seems to me Rihanna is on the radio ALL. THE. TIME.

day 18 (3.26) - a song that you wish you heard on the radio - I Want Your Hands On Me by Sinead O'Connor (featuring MC Lyte)

day 19 (3.27) - a song from your favorite album - Small Talk by Scritti Politti from their album Cupid & Psyche

day 20 (3.28) - a song that you listen to when you’re angry - Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine

day 21 (3.29) - a song that you listen to when you’re happy - Relight My Fire by Take That

day 22 (3.30) - a song that you listen to when you’re sad - Pieces of the Night by Gin Blossoms

day 23 (3.31) - a song that you want to play at your wedding - I Know You By Heart by Bette Midler + David Pack ~ it's on the Beaches soundtrack. Gah!

day 24 (4.1) - a song that you want to play at your funeral - Seasons of Love by the original Broadway cast of RENT ~ I want them there, at my funeral, singing.

day 25 (4.2) - a song that makes you laugh - I'm listing 3: The Earthquake Song by Little Girls, There's a Barbarian in the Back of My Car by Voice of the Beehive and the Fast Food Song by the Fast Food Rockers.

day 26 (4.3) - a song that you can play on an instrument - Face Down by Alpha Rev. (I play the stereo, so all songs in the history of songs can be played by me.)

day 27 (4.4) - a song that you wish you could play - the instrumental opening of Roundabout by Yes or the bass on Red Barchetta by Rush.

day 28 (4.5) - a song that makes you feel guilty - Guilty by Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb (guilty of what, I have no idea)

day 29 (4.6) - a song from your childhood - Sweet Someone by Don Ho and Misty by Johnny Mathis (my mom and dad sing this together:) )

day 30 (4.7) - your favorite song at this time last year - Goodbye Girl by Squeeze ~ it was about this time last year I learned of Squeeze and the English Beat touring together. I couldn't get enough of Squeeze songs! This one stuck with me and nearly brought me to tears when I heard them perform on the first night of the tour.