Friday, January 16, 2009
Drowning in Junk
The weather for the last couple of weeks has been jumping up and down like a Mexican jumping bean. We have a couple of really warm seventy degree days and then we will have a couple of frigid 23 degree days. On the cold days I huddle up in my bedroom and thank God for central heat. On the warm days I try to catch up on the housecleaning and do small projects around the house.
One of these small projects was bringing back my "coffee lounge". A couple of years ago I had the idea of turning my breakfast nook, a square area about ten by ten right off the kitchen, into a lounge. It seemed ideal because two of the three sides are entirely windows and the light is phenomenal in there. So I dragged in my big easy chair that had previously been in the living room and brought in a table and a bookshelf and a red rug for the floor, and presto, it was a cozy little nook. I was happy with this arrangement right up until Christmas when I began the yearly debate with myself about where to put the tree this year. I finally decided that this year I wanted to have a "Christmas room". So I took everything out, except the bookshelf, because it weighs about a million pounds, and set up the tree. Problem. I bought a huge tree for a room with huge ceilings. Originally the tree went in the living room, where we have twelve foot ceilings. This was a seven and a half foot tree and I was trying to cram it into a room with a seven foot ceiling. So I put in on the edge of the coffee lounge, not in it, where the ceiling is about nine feet high.
With Christmas over I decided to redo the whole lounge thing. You know, really do it up. One of those warm days I went out to the shed in search of my "Black Stallion" book collection that I had as a teenager. As I opened up the shed door I was once again amazed at all the junk I have been carrying around all these years. The shed is full of it. I began going through the boxes looking for the books, but was soon distracted by things I had once treasured but were now forgotten. Oh, there was my half of the chess set that my BFF and I bought to share. Many of the pieces were broken and chipped. I dug them out of the bottom of a box of discarded papers and put them in a pile to bring in the house. Papers, there were so many of them. Boxes and boxes of papers. I have been keeping bill boxes since I got married almost seventeen years ago. Also kids school papers, year by year. And books. Cartons and cartons of books. I stood back and surveyed all the stuff. All the "junk in my trunk", you might say. I am thinking that this new year is going to start off with a purge of sorts. I am going to go through all that stuff and ditch out the things that are not valued anymore, like the large mirror the movers broke on the trip over. Why do I still have that? After I finish cleaning out the shed I am going to purge my closets. The closets have been a sore spot of mine for several years. I have offered to pay my kids to clean them for me, but they took one look at the job and wanted more pay than I was willing to give. I just didn't have the heart to make them do it just because I said so. I have grown weary of opening the door and having stuff fall out on the floor. Of not being able to walk inside without stepping on something and breaking it. (was that a VHS of Barney, I just stepped on? The question is not why do I still have that, it's why did I EVER have that. Not to mention my youngest child is almost eleven. There hasn't been any Barney watching in this house in about eight years.)
In the same way that our physical lives need purging from time to time, our spiritual lives need it too. I get so caught up in TV (CSI four hours a day on SPIKE TV) and the Internet and just everyday stuff that God's still small voice is shouted down by the loud stuff going on in my little world.
So this month I am taking time off. I can't believe I'm saying this, but no TV for me til the end of the month. I'm cleaning out the "junk" in my spiritual trunk. Hopefully it will make me less stressed and frantic about how out of control my life has become and get me back where I need to be.
Oh and the coffee lounge looks great. And now that I've put TV on the side, I have time for all the art projects I have been wanting to do, but not doing, because "there just isn't enough time in the world to do it all" (said in an annoying whiny voice). Correction: There is all the time in the world for the things we really value.