Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Spring cleaning. This year I am doing more than cleaning, I am cleaning out. Seriously, there are times I look around my cozy little place and realize that I don't have room for another thing. But, I find yet another thing that I absolutely love and I end up fitting it in somehow. I have a little plaque on my fridge with a quote from George Carlin.."Home is where we keep our stuff, while we are out getting more stuff."..Alas, I am a collector, but I am not a hoarder. Believe me, I have seen those hoarder shows and realized (with relief) that I am not that bad. Not saving butter containers yet. Although, at one point I had way too many paper bags saved! So, I have been "going through my stuff". Now, I do expect this to take quite a while because some of this stuff I haven't seen in years. I really have some great stuff. The decision to keep or pass it on is not an easy one. I have read & re-read the book by the guy who had that program on HGTV, Clean Sweep. He explains in his book that we attach a huge emotional value to our stuff and that is the reason we keep things. He mentions that most of the stuff that is stored in rented storage containers, that people continue to pay rent on month after month, is very rarely taken back out of storage. Most stored stuff is never again visited by it's owners. I can sympathize. When I downsized after my divorce, I had like 75 totes of stuff in my new basement. (I got rid of about 150 totes of stuff when I moved to the new place). I had two or three yard sales after I moved into the new place, and when I went down into my last week, I was back up to having 75 totes of stuff again. How did this happen? I ahve vowed to cleanout the basement once again. This time I have enlisted the help of some friends who will help me get beyond the emotional attachment to my stuff. Or so I hope.
Last night I was looking at a mirror that I have on my bedroom mantle, it was my mom's. It is nothing that I particularly like, I would like it more if it was in a frame, I guess. The frame was very cheap and fell off about 5 years ago. It is just a large, very sharp edged mirror , with a Japanese geisha engraved on it. I have hung onto it all these years because it was my mom's, for basically no other reason. I asked about getting it framed at a local craft store and they said it would be about 150.00, so back it went on the mantle unframed. It is my emotional attachement to it that keeps it there on the mantle. I have to let go of the thought that somehow that mirror is my mom. In reality , it is a mirror that hung in my mom's house. If she was still alive, there is a chance that maybe she would have tired of it and sent it packing anyway. Now, I have to be brave enough to let it go.
And it is surprising, when I packed up two bags of stuff for Goodwill two weeks ago and got it right out the door, it felt good. When I went through my desk last weekend and cleaned out a lot of old paperwork, it felt good. This weekend, I am "going through stuff" in the kitchen. I probably have 25 kitchen gadgets that I haven't used in years. I know I have a bag of cookie cutters that haven't been pushed into cookie dough for 10 years anyway. My grandchildren & my niece make cookies, I bet they could use them . They can cut out forms in play dough with them, too. Way better than sitting in a draw in my kitchen for the next ten years and I knwo I will feel good about it .
So, here's to Spring Cleaning-Out! I am really having fun with it this year. Peace.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You gotta have friends........

Where would I be without all my great friends? I would very well be up the creek with no paddles..up the creek with no water, too. "They" say people who have plenty of friends live longer and happier lives. I have no trouble falling for that bit of info. I chat on the phone with at least two or three friends a day and make plans with friends at least a couple of times a week.
I haven't always had so many people in my life. There was a time when I felt alone and thought I had no where to turn. Those were very scary days. As life started to rebound for me, about 10-12 years ago, I started gathering these precious gems that I call friends. And I must mention that not all my friends are gal-pals. I actually have a bunch of great guy friends in my life that I do treasure. Mostly, they are husbands of my pals but still if I needed help, they would be there for me. The real test of friendship. I  have a couple of ex-boyfriends who now fall into the "just friends" category. A real testament to my picking "good" ones now.
They are all soooo different from each other, personality-wise, a  very eclectic bunch. BUT they also have a lot in common: like being supportive, sharing big laughs, caring when times are tough, gently critiquing a new haircut or new jeans, sharing desserts at dinner, having shoulders to cry on, helping out with a home project, helping to pack boxes for a big move......all the wonderful things you believe a friend would be.
So today's blog is meant to be a SHOUT OUT to all my friends. I am not naming names, you know who you are . I would not be able to make it in this life without you.
 I must mention here, too, that I have four great sisters and a brother who I include in this bunch of friends. Could not imagine life without them, love them all very much.
So, today for me is Appreciate a Friend Day. I hope I never forget to appreciate them everyday. Peace.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Wouldn't it be great if we humans thought of change as our therapists would like us to.....a second chance, a challenge, another door opening, a fresh start, a do-over. But most of us don't. I know I think of change as a BAD thing...uncertainty, confusion, painful & tearful, a leave of absence from the comfort zone, just plain scary. I like my warm & fuzzy sweaters & socks, my mac, cheese & fried bologna. Recently, there was something that happened that would shake my foundation a bit. I felt scared, uncertain, worried.
Well, it just so happens that I have just finished two good books on worry/anxiety/stress. The first is The Worry Cure by Robert Leahy, a cognitive therapist and the second book is Nerve by Taylor Clark, a researcher. Low & behold the first thing that I read is that there are no quarantees in life. I am sure you are saying everyone knows that,come on, of course everyone knows that, right? Well, let me tell you that I have spent the better part of my life trying to get a guarantee. I want 100% certainty that my life will continue with no bumps or lumps, no BAD stuff  happening. I constantly check & re-check things looking for reassurance. I am hyper-vigilant, always thinking of the bad thing that could happen amidst all the fun. My pediatrician thought it was uncanny how I would have my kids in his office before any illness had a chance to take root. It has been my job in life to see danger from 50 miles away, so that I could prevent anything bad from happening. If I did not stay on top of things and something bad happened, it would be my fault. Can you even imagine having this kind of power? Imagine is right because that is just where this power lies, in my imagin-ation.
 So, I will be re-reading my two good books after I give myself a week or so to contemplate what I have learned from them. I realize that I need to change. What? Change? Me change? Yes, time to change..long overdue. I will say that this little bump on the long road of life has made me realize that I have been down this road before. I have been through some life altering changes in the past and I have survived. I have done more than survive, I have thrived.
So, look out opening doors, here I come..I might just knock you off your hinges ! Peace.