I wrote/ranted this on my old blog in November of 2013. This is when the truly life changing Simplifying began.
November 27, 2013
Today, I am about to explode.
I am about to stomp around the house in a 42 year old temper tantrum, yelling, and screaming and throwing stuff.
Not at anything or anyone. I’m not mad at my kids or my husband or anyone in particular.
I am upset with a situation that I fully participated in and have been trying to dig myself out of for 7 years.
Right now, I’m ready to wage full on war on our “stuff”. You see, I have had an epiphany. It’s been brewing for a long time but I think I am finally able to articulate it.
I’m constantly exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, cranky, exasperated, etc. I try to take care of myself. I go to yoga, I walk with a friend, have lunch with my mom, walk by myself, read, take long hot showers or baths, try to eat healthy and get enough sleep. Every once in a great while, I get time with Hubby. Not nearly enough, but some. But yet, I still feel like I am literally crawling out of my skin.
How can I go on a trip to spend time with my soul sister and her wonderful family, have no parental duties, wifely duties, or household duties and still come home and feel utterly unrefreshed within 2 weeks? Maybe even two days. I don’t know it all blends in. That trip seems so long ago already.
What is it? Is it the home schooling? Is it that being a stay-at-home mom is so incredibly mentally unstimulating for someone who was going to have a career as a wildlife biologist? Is it that I don’t have enough time with Hubby? Is it my diet? Do I not exercise enough? I try to keep a minimal schedule to keep the overwhelm away. Am I still doing too much?
While I was on my trip, I had signed up for a free on-line conference called “Your Extraordinary Family Life” that was hosted by a woman named Carrie Contey. She had several speakers talking about the topics of mindfulness, slow family life, nurturing, play, inner power, etc. Very thought provoking and I will refer to this conference in future posts as well.
The one thing that keeps replaying in my mind is something about how we are always “doing” and rarely “being”. I desperately want to “BE” rather than constantly “DOING”. Yet, that is not how it is. “DO” is constantly badgering my brain.
Pair this conference with the theme of “simplifying”. “Simplify, simplify, simplify” is what A keeps hearing me say during Algebra lessons but it is also becoming a mantra in my brain about life.
I have been de-cluttering and organizing clutter for 7 years now. Trying these bins, these shelves, these cupboards, these desks, to solve the “stuff” problem. We literally have 7 desks in this house to accommodate I have no idea what.
If I took a picture of my house right now, I’m sure we would qualify for the show “Clean House”.
There is “stuff” everywhere!
Now my boys are getting into turf wars. We have a massive pile of legos in which other crap get’s thrown into. Somebody discovers a magic trick and starts playing with it and the “Hey, that’s MINE” battle starts. Or they are constantly looking for things because it is buried under the 5 other layers of projects that they have not bothered to clear a space to do them on. Sometimes A will go to his desk to draw and there is stuff all over. Rather than clear a space, he walks around and finds a clear space to draw. Every square inch of his room is covered with paper, legos, etc. Now he is building on his floor.
Bottom line, we have too much crap and it needs to get the hell out of my house.
Organizing clutter is not de-cluttering. Organizing clutter is making it neat until the kids come home from school.
This “stuff” is visually overstimulating to me which causes me stress and the need to “DO” which causes exhaustion.
That’s it, right there, in a nutshell.
I’m not a person who needs my house to look like a magazine. I’m not a person who needs/wants to be militant with the kids and Hubby about helping around the house. It’s overwhelming for everyone!
I want my house to be lived in and played in. I want to “BE” in my own home.
Sure, the boys need to learn how to pick up after themselves but when the “stuff” is so unmanageable for the adults how on earth can we expect it to be manageable for the kids?
And so it is Christmas and Birthday season. Oh Joy! More stuff!
Every year I get asked what I want. Every year I say “nothing”. Yet every year I am pressed to think of “something”.
Then my go to answer was “I want a trip to Hawaii”. “Hahaha, no, what do you really want.” I really want a trip to Hawaii, or Europe, or Costa Rica (again). If all the “stuff” I have received was turned in to dollars, I bet I would have been to Hawaii by now. But, it’s kind of rude to just say “Money”.
This time of year is a huge struggle because I do love Christmas. I love the decorating and baking and gifts. I really do. But within reason.
I don’t need the Griswald house nor want it. I don’t need to bake 20 different treats nor need that. I don’t need to buy tons of gifts and decorate all the packages Martha Stewart like nor have aspired to do so. My needs are different than others.
My Mom is an artist and it gives her much joy to give gifts that are so carefully and creatively wrapped. I want her to have that.
I love to see my boys eyes light up on Christmas morning when they come downstairs to the tree and see their presents.
I LOVE the magic of Santa.
I just really want to focus on quality rather than quantity. One well thought out gift that speaks to who I am means so much to me. My most special gifts off the top of my head are the two ceramic figurines Hubby painted and my rocking chair my Grandpa gave me. My most special memories of Christmas are watching Christmas specials with my family and baking cookies at my Grandma’s house every year.
This year, I am going to try and teach my boys to really think about what they would like for Christmas and put things that REALLY matter on their list. Rather than all the random crap they see and like. For A, this will be easier than for D. It’s ok to want things but really think about how much they really want it.
Scatterbrayned! See, I go off track. Because I have so much “stuff” in my head, too, and I really haven’t been letting it out until I started this blog.
I will be starting my war on “stuff”, I’m so done with the battles. I’m ready to put this one to rest. I’m ready to BE rather than DO. I want Hubby to BE and I want my kids to keep BEING. Since they are all my world, “stuff”, you are going down!
And now my want to tantrum has subsided 😉
FYI: It subsided momentarily. I did have the meltdown.