Four months or so, have passed since I committed to declutter. I have been chipping away at drawers, piles of paper, cupboards and shelves. There is a renewed feeling that the battle waged is being won incrementally.
Before you start envisaging me, trapped in a room between towers of newspapers, empty food containers and a collection of memorabilia of a life lived without restraint, I don’t own that much.
I have, I admit only tiptoed around my bookshelves. A new shelf of books for ‘library loan’ to close friends is now available. Here collected are great examples of storytelling, escapism and hope.
I have also shredded a lot of paper. I have learned that lining the chicken coop is problematic. It only takes one enthusiastic fowl, or a ill-timed gust of wind for snippets of useless information to fly into the air. Like we aren’t already waist deep in information?
While I do save to the ‘Cloud’, let’s get real, if your vocation is education or training, you may as well roll up the recycle bin to your front door and shovel it in! Staying current is an educator’s nightmare.
I have relinquished the salad spinner. I implore you, please do not under any misguided need to inform me of my error, now offer me reasons that I should have kept it! It has taken years to let it go!
I have also noted some odd disturbing idiosyncratic behaviours.
As a researcher and one plagued with the voices of my pro-green parents, ‘Kumbayaing’ in my ears, I have over the years, acquired a selection of approved water bottles. No bisphenol.A’s for me!
To those of you, who missed that lesson – BPA or bisphenol.A is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics. BPA is believed to ‘leech’ into the fluids kept in containers made with the chemical, especially when heated. No I’m not guzzling hot water, but many of the bottles of water are stored in warehouses for long periods and even in the sun.
It is with some irony that I admit to struggling with dehydration for years and have resoundingly underestimated the impact of it. I have, like millions of others, instead of drinking water, substituted ‘fluids’ for….tea, coffee, alcohol and the occasional soft drink.
Over the past three months, I have embraced a clear water container, no BPA’s of course.
I throughly enjoy watching litre after litre of water disappear. Seriously….how did I miss that?
Last week a GP, advised me to ‘keep up the fluids’. My advice – keep it simple – replace the word ‘fluids’ with WATER!
I think that nutritionist and celebrity chef, Zoe Bingley-Pullen would agree. I have already learned how to boost my metabolism through water consumption, in the first week of her ‘Falling In Love with Food’ program.
See more here:http://www.fallinginlovewithfood.com
I look forward to more ‘sage’ advice over the next seven weeks.
Clearing the clutter, has challenged the ‘ghosts of my childhood’, leaving me a little rattled.
From my collection of stationery, it appears I have a deep affection for the stuff. I have collected a ‘shipload’ of it. This is despite sharing my addiction with children from third world countries.
Sure I could argue, it is an educator’s tool…blah….blah….blah….and if you work for government as an executive, you’ll naturally end up with stationery….well you do…..right?
If I unpack this conundrum a little more, and take this frayed piece of string and rewind it through my life, I would find myself at any early age, watching my father guard his art materials as if there were jewels cat-burgled from the Louvre.
There is also the case of the ‘recurring missing pen’….
Child (me) has new pens – fine-nibbed and expensive
One parent has undiagnosed stationery addiction
Child (me again) leaves the room…….
You get the rest…….it ends in denial and tears…..
Parent without addiction (Mum) retrieves pen…
Is it any wonder that I have anxiety around knowing where my pencil case is?
Saying this, it hasn’t prevented me from stamping my own brand of genetic madness, which I like to call ’empathy based parenting’ onto the psyche of my sons.
I raised my two sons mostly singlehandedly, though I had a small community of wonderful friends that assisted at times. When I think back to that time, I was like an hamster on steroids, trying to reach the end of the wheel. I worked hard for every cent, with little regular maintenance, running a personal development program for children and working in after school care programs.
This did not prevent me from losing the plot, to what is referred to as the afternoon, that ‘Mum stole our bikes’.
I had bought the boys each a new shiny bike for their birthdays (a month apart). The boys had left them abandoned at the front of friend’s house on the street where we lived. They probably just lost track of time but when I saw the two bikes forlornly dumped on the grass, I spun out of my ‘wheel’ and out of control.
They returned home, mildly hysterical, weeping, shoulders hunched. I listened with mock concern, as they tried to explain the ‘terrible thing that happened, that wasn’t their fault’.
Did that ever happen again? No! Are they avid bike riders?
No… probably too traumatised….
Is this admission of less than perfect parenting, a form of clearing the clutter?
If so, I a feel a tad lighter….