Spring cleaning | How are you cleaning out your life and cleaning out your writing in preparation for a new season? Reflect. Photograph. Think.
Huh. I don't really do 'spring' cleaning, I do 'when the clutter fairy strikes me' cleaning. I sort through my closet twice a year when I bring seasonal stuff into the main closet, and always have bags of things I no longer wear or like -- funny how that works. Sometimes it takes me a few years to discard something that I theoretically like but somehow don't wear. Ditto with shoes -- perfectly good shoes, but I don't wear them....and eventually they get passed on to someone or put in a donation bag.
Unfortunately medical issues have for the last couple of years prompted me to think about my life and make changes in what no longer works or serves my best interests. Like caffeine: I like my morning cup of coffee black and strong, but with recurring atrial fibrillation, I have finally decided that it doesn't help minimize those episodes, so now I'm getting used to decaf or herbal tea in the morning and the occasional decaf coffee.
Another huge change I made starting late last fall was to relinquish my responsibilities as my daughter's disability payee. For a variety of reasons that had caused me tremendous stress and angst, and also was not good for our relationship. She now has a company payee and I am completely out of that loop. When we speak or get together now, conversation does not center on money.
To keep my head squarely in a decent place during all this medical challenge stuff, I've gone back to the energy exercises I used more than a year ago in preparation for ankle surgery: grounding every day and focusing on bringing in good energy. Oprah and Deepok Chopra offered a free 21-day meditation series during this time which I did pretty faithfully, and it also helped a lot, especially with the mantras. I've downloaded several meditation podcasts to my iPod and have used them to help me relax and sleep at night, but also intend to build that into my daily routine as I did with the Oprah ones.
As I come across things that are no longer useful to me, or that someone else might benefit from having, I have given them away or set them aside. But this is not seasonal...this is ongoing, and will be, I suspect, for a long time to come. We both are determined to tackle the attic next winter when it is cool again and discard old files and things we stored there for lack of a better place to put them.
I have lived in this house longer than I lived anywhere. My parents lived in the same house in Missouri for 40 years, but I was there only for eight before I left for college, and then lived there in the summers until I married four years later. Mother was really good at clearing out clutter and collaborated with her friends to hold a huge garage sale yearly. It's time to get better at letting things go, especially things I will not miss at all.
The writing I do anymore is right here on this blog. I don't know that there will ever be the book I thought there would be. I don't know that the memoirs I thought I might write will ever get written, at least in some sequential format. Part of that is because of the enormous marketing effort an author must make during the publishing process, either through traditional publishers or by self-publishing. That seems too much like WORK to me, and I don't know that I am dedicated enough to do it, and question if publishing is really as important to me as I once thought it was. So for now, what I'm writing is posted here. And right now, the blog readership is pretty low -- but neither am I promoting it on websites or even in my signature lines, just because this writing is really for me, and if someone likes it and finds it helpful, that's great too.
Things can change. That much I know is true. For now, I'll work on the physical decluttering, for along with that comes the mental clearing too.