Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hanging On To Stuff

Since we moved out of the big house and into the condo, I have tried to make a conscious effort not to keep things I really don’t need.  When we moved, it was really a chore to sort through stuff that had not been looked at in years.  I could not believe all the things we had that I didn’t even remember buying.  Although it was hard to get rid of some of it, it is nice not to have to plow through a lot of things before you get to the thing you are looking for.  Being a pack rat is fun, but having things more organized and compact is much better.

I was thinking about this as I drank my coffee this morning.  I wonder how much “stuff” we hang on to in life that only pulls us down and makes us miserable. 

As I become more and more “disabled”, I realize all the things I will no longer be able to do.  If I dwell on it long enough I can really get myself into a deep depression.  It is really a stupid thing if you think about it.  Why do we carry all this garbage around with us?  Do we really enjoy being miserable?  I don’t think so.

I am going to try and sort it out in my mind.  I will make a list of things and try to find a good alternative.  For instance: I can no longer go on the Poet’s Walk that the girls and I really enjoyed in the summer.  I do not walk well enough to make the journey and the heat of summer zaps me to a frazzle.  They will have to make that trip on their own and I will be happy that they can still do it.  But, I CAN go to the book store sales and load up on books to take me to another world of my choice.  The aisles are close together enough so that I can wander up and down them without fear of having nothing to hang onto.  There are chairs scattered around the warehouse that offer rest when needed.  It is a good substitute for me.

I can no longer count on having the energy to cook large meals for family get-togethers.  It was always a joy for me to put a meal together for everyone to come and enjoy.  But there are pizza places and restaurants all around and we can still have a meal and enjoy each other’s company.  We can eat and come back here to talk and be together.  The family is in agreement with this idea so there is no worry there.

We used to go to the mountains a couple of times a year and stay for several days to a week.  We roamed the stores and walked around places to see the sights.  That is probably an adventure I can no longer do.  It was our favorite thing, but it will have to be altered now.  One of my sister-in-laws has told me over and over that she will be glad to push me in a wheelchair or whatever it takes for us to be able to go places and do things.  Although I dread getting to that point, at least I feel easy about being a burden and causing others not to enjoy our trips.  That is a big relief.  I hope that the time for wheelchairs and such does not arrive, but I have to be realistic and know that it is possible.

I have also come to the conclusion that Good Housekeeping will never include our home in their magazine.  I try to keep things reasonable clean and not let things get too cluttered.  But there are days that even making a pot of coffee is too taxing to accomplish.  I am blessed in that my husband is very organized and cleans off the table and counters and such as he walks through the house.  He is such a fantastic man and does not seem at all burdened by my problems.  I do catch myself dreaming of vacuuming, mopping, dusting and shining up the place.  I am trying to learn to let that dream go and just enjoy what we have as it is some days.

I used to dream that when I got older and retired I would be “that lady” who visited shut-ins, carried food to those in need, ran errands for those who could not, etc. It seemed to me to be a special calling that I would really enjoy doing.  Since I no longer drive and cannot even look after myself on some days, that dream has had to be discarded.  But I can call people and write to those who are not near to me.  I can try to put a smile in my voice and give them hope.  Having someone just tell you they care often is the ray of sunshine that makes someone’s day. 

I had so many dreams of when I got older, but now I have to change and rearrange a lot of them.  But that can be a good thing.  Many things were dreams that probably would not have been reality anyway.  Some of them involved doing things I was not capable of in my prime.  Dreams are wonderful things but when we absolutely know that they are no longer possible, we have to let them go and dream of things that are possible.  There are many of those, too, so I am becoming more satisfied with them.

When we moved we had many bags to give to charity, many to put in the garbage and many to bring with us.  Now I just have to sort my mental things into bags and decide what to do with them.  I hope it is easier than moving!


Muffie said...

So well said, Janie. I'm at the starting line with the weeding out and discarding of 'things,' but with help, I'll get to the finish line. It's a bit harder with the lifestyle changes.

Libby said...

You put into words what I have been doing. This disease is a process and I'm much happier now that I am doing this.