Before I left the house today I lugged two large boxes out of my room and into the living room, as I have Wednesday off for the Celebration of the liberation of our Nation, I felt I should do some liberation a little closer to home. The boxes have been in the middle of my bedroom floor, on top of other boxes, suit cases, piles of cloths, Chistmas gifts yet to be wrapped or given, for many years! Okay, I know exactly how many years, five years.
I would like to say that is the only room in my home where such mountains of unorganization lurks but it would be a lie. Today, I am only focused on my bedroom, which the two semi-large closets would usually hold this type of junk, are over flowing with the same type of things.
I am forever fearful I won't have a gift for a birthday, Christmas, or I see something on sale and know it will fit, eventually. Never does. Maybe if I bought it in a larger size, I would have better luck with that plan.
When I clean the built in shelves of my half century + home, I put everything into boxes that found a home on the shelves. I dust and then rest, feel too tired to put all the things back, think, "I really need to get rid of half this stuff, even if I give it away so I will go through each box and sort, that's very organized and rational of me." Then it get's set on the pile from the last time I thought this and eventually new books, pictures, candels, frames awaiting pictures and school projects fill the space I was going to use and the cycle starts all over again, for five years!
Since I am off mid week, I am going to liberate the boxes of junk I am sure I don't need, never needed and won't miss. Before I left for work, I made another liberating decision. I decided as I was dragging 5 gallon dead plans in their plastic planters from the front of the the house to the carport that on the 4th of July, I would replace the weeds with flowers. The neighbors are used to seeing these weeds that have adorned my front yard for at least two years. I may get thank you cards. I bought flowers this weekend but was too bummed out by the mess in my house to plant them, so I ate cookies and watched TV instead. Reasonable.
Now that I decided to liberate at least two boxes and three planters on the 4th of July, I have to tell friends I can't go with them to a parade and spend a fun filled day with them that we talked about weeks ago. In fact, I feel so much anxiety about this that I would much rather stay at home by myself, althought I love all my friends. What is wrong with me?? This is the question I thought about on my drive to work.
I have an empty nest this summer for the first time in my life. The first 10 days after DJ left for his dad's, I cried all the way to work and sobbed all the way home, acutally puzzled where this flood of emotion was coming from and why in the world did it seem to have a schedule? My friends, who are also co-workers, have done many things to try and pull me out of the quicksand of despair that seemed to swallow me as I grieved over the empty house. I declined all offers saying I had plans. I did have plans, with ice cream, cookies, and take out food all eaten in a dark living room in front of the television. I am a hermit! A home cave dweller! For some reason, it seems to be the only place I feel safe. How did this happend?? I didn't use to be this way.
All I could conclude on my short drive was that my life centered around family when I was growing up. I was always with a cousin, a grandparent, a sibling, some gathering of family that always brought us together. Tons of people but it hit me today, we were all related and everyone seemed to gravitate to my grandmother's house. Then my siblings and their children began to gravitate to my mom's every holiday, for barbeques, to pitch horseshoes, Sunday dinners and all the next generation cousins became best friends and the cycle of my childhood was being replayed with nieces and nephews. Now it is my sister's house the grand, or is it great, nieces and nephews gravitate toward for all the same reasons. I am the lone ranger, so to speak. I moved away from not only the compound where all my siblings live but from the State where I was born. I started a new life. Now my kids are grown, my grandkids are mostly grown and I am raising a 10 year old grandson who will be going to live with his father next year. At that point, my house will be forever this empty, this lonely, every single day.
I find it hard to relate to friends, with the rare exception. It is not them, I realize this, I envy the ones with friends, dinners, going on trips together, it is most certainly me. I never learned how to be comfortable with friendships, only family is familiar and dare I say....safe? Hording is more of a puzzle. I never used to do this as a younger woman. Why now? My only thought on this is that it seems I have lost so much in life, I don't want to let another thing go, even if it weighs me down.
So, on the day of liberation, I will have a decision to make as I am sure I will be expected to meet with the folks I agreed to spend time celebrating. Will I use the time for opening the door to friends or will I hide in my home cave? Does that make me a coward? What could I be afraid of and how do I face fear without reason?
I wish all of you the very best of times as you cook out, laugh with family and friends and make memories that will last a life time. Maybe I will take a step toward this....... next year.