In Keeping With the Theme…..

So, last week was a bit of a rough week for us over here, BUT……..we’ve survived and are back to being our cheerful happy selves.

Thanks for sharing with me. I love it when your girlfriends will sit down and cry with you and then out of left field, you get a dear friend who gives you a bit of a kick in the pants, and it’s all good. Thank you…….seriously THANK YOU!

But, in the middle of all of this, I’ve been noticing that my house has kind of thrown up on itself.

I was NEVER a packrat – EVER! in fact, I would regularly go through my “memory chest” and re-sort and file (under G for Garbabge) things so that I only ever had a certain amount of “the most important things“.

A few years into marriage, someone who lived next door to us, had peeked in through our window (can we say creepy, sleezy, stalker?) and wanted to know if we were moving. It was far enough into our marriage that we weren’t sporting that “just got married/don’t have enough stuff/trying to fake that we really are grown ups now” look. I just really REALLY liked a clean, no extra crap look.

Only the bare essentials for me thank you….

This continued on in our married lives for years. In fact, we moved houses 9 times in 7 years, and instead of it being a problem (I mean, obviously we had problems as you can tell because what “normal” person moves 9 times in 7 years… least 4 of those with kids) I actually looked forward to it because it was just another opportunity to “throw more crap away“.

And then……..THEN…..then we moved to our current home. Where we apparently set down roots….or had a pile driver come out and drive some piles into our current home. We’ve been here for the past 7.5 years. Even for the first couple of years, I just threw things out. It was kind of like a revolving door policy. If something was going to come in, then something else needed to go out. I only had “so much” room and was not going to let things get cluttered.

And now here I am and my house feels CHAOTIC, and I don’t understand how we got here, where all this stuff came from and when did I change and WHY?

I’ve been getting rid of crap lately (see, my theme that I mentioned – ha ha ha ha) No, I’m serious. I’ve been throwing stuff out. If it’s not super important to me or the kids – then OUT it goes.

And, over the weekend, we got rid of a van load of junk, and I have another van load of junk to go tonight. I’m totally embarrased typing that out, because I must admit that I’m barely even started yet. Now, before you go all “crazy” and think that I’m living in the dump….remember that my normal sense of “clutter free” is probably a bit harsher than yours….remember the previous comments of my house looking like we were moving…yah – I like the minimalist look.

But, I did have WAY TOO MUCH CRAP and I’ll be throwing it out, giving it away, or selling it so that I can finally feel like I can breathe again.

I think I figured out when and why it happened.

Almost 4 years ago, we sweet little boy died before we even got a chance to hold him, and it ROCKED MY WORLD.

I’ve not been the same since.

It was hard to breathe let alone worry about my house. It was an effort to just survive and only the very most important things got any energy focused toward them… caring for the kids, but honestly, I don’t think I did a very good job of even that. It’s amazing to me when I see how far from “that place” that I am, but it’s sad to see how the “effect” of losing Nathaniel is still with me.

I’m stronger than I knew I was, and yet I’m also aware of a sense of frailty. I can’t “do it all“. I recognize that I tire easier. I can’t plan too many events in a row or I feel overwhelmed. I like my alone and quiet time. I’m just so different. It’s the same me but different. I sit here trying to explain in words, and I fell like I’m not doing a very good job, and really to say “it feels like a part of me died with Nathaniel” is probably the best way of explaining it. Not in a sad, depressed way, but just that a small part of me changed and will never be the same, and that happened when Nathaniel died. I still don’t think I’m explaining it well, but that’s okay.

Back to my house….I just didn’t care as much about……well….I just didn’t care about much. But the further I get away from that point in time, the more I’m aware of the healing that takes place over time. I don’t think there is anything else that can make the process go faster – just TIME!

And no – having Siah didn’t make things better. I love Josiah. I’m so thrilled that he’s a part of my life. He has his own spot in my heart and in my life. He didn’t fill the spot that was Nathaniel’s; he never could, and he was or never is supposed to.

I love the fact that Nathaniel is still having an impact on my life today. I never got to hug, and raise him, but his legacy lives on. It lives on with every “thing” that I process and learn about “living, dying, grieving and healing

In thinking about my house and processing why I am at where I am today, and how I got here….I realize that it’s all a part of the process. I can choose to see it as such or I can be frustrated.

I choose to just walk it out. And so today, walking it out means that I am seriously decluttering.

And I’m loving it.

How about you? Are you a pack rat or do you like the minimalist look or do you have a healthy balance?

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

5 thoughts on “In Keeping With the Theme…..”

  1. I like next to nothing!
    The more things, the more places there are for dust to collect.
    But I do have a hard time with paperwork. It can get everywhere at times.

  2. I have no idea where you would get your “pack ratting from?????? I too like things clean and uncluttered,I don’t have children now to blame it on so it must be my husband(ha ha ) I lived in the desperate thirties where we had little ,and buried deep in my mind is( “I really might need this some day.) Trying hard to get beyond this, but my Mom was still trying to get organized at 93 . so why should waste all this time ???but still I am working at itBlessings Patti Love you Grandma

  3. Hi, I’m Cara, and I’m a pack rat.
    I can’t help it, although I do have to say that the older I get, the easier it is for me to throw certain things out. I think this is one of the things that drive Henri the most craziest and so I am trying to minimize the clutter. It’s hard though! And I agree with Debbie – paperwork is the worst!

  4. Hi Patti,
    I used to be a pack rat, but over the last 10 years, I have really cut down and have understood my mom (who’s house is VERY bare) more and more. I’m hating clutter, but don’t like to let it bother me if things get out of hand. There are days though where like my mom, I get the “twitches” and must throw or give stuff away. Then, I feel MUCH better.

  5. hello my name is Lise, and I am also a pack-rat. I get “attached” to things and I know this is going to sound crazy but I feel guilty throwing stuff out, like I am wasting or something….can’t even totally explain it but I really struggle with that. Jason on the other hand has NO attachments to things and can randomly purge at will, he does this every now and then and then I don’t feel guilty about items getting thrown out! I love how we balance each other on this!

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