Time flies but stuff gets done

Well, life has been kind of busy. Moved into a different department at work so I had to transition my team over to someone else and get into the swing of the new team. Lots of stuff to do. And this move came with yet another schedule change – and I rarely do well with schedule changes. But things settle and it is time to write again. Although I probably should not have waited until shortly before I have to head out.

Cleaning stuff out has gone well. Jules has been her usual amazing self and gotten many things out the door. I have moved most of my “keep” stuff downstairs. I have more stuff to sell – time to learn how to sell on eBay. Do people still use eBay anymore? Also, once I have everything out of the upstairs I will need to winnow the downstairs. There are probably many things that can go – I really don’t need three guitars for Rock Band.

We are also having some trouble finding a place. I guess the toughest part is finding one that takes dogs.

There you go. Back to writing. Not very inspiring on the face of it. No bon mots, no pithy wisdom, no uplifting words. But read again – life is throwing up roadblocks and we are getting past them. It may not be glamorous, but we’re getting there.

Are ruts bad?

Moving is generally considered one of the top life stressors, up there with major illness, job loss, death of a loved one, and divorce. We haven’t moved yet, but in getting rid of so much stuff (stuff removal update below) it is like we are having a mini-move before our move. And you can ask people who have known me for a while – I don’t deal well with these kinds of changes.

“But Val, what does this have to do with being stuck in a rut?” you might ask, because by now you have realized that my post titles tend to be a setup for the posts themselves. First, what is meant by “stuck in a rut”? People use that term when they feel they are stuck doing the same thing, day after day, week after week. They may feel that there is no excitement or energy to what they do, or that the effort of doing something different is too great to alter their routine. Eventually it just becomes easy to do what you always do. You can just go with the flow without much thought. And eventually get bored.

Most of the time people don’t like doing the same thing, day after day after day. You start feeling like there is something missing, like you could be doing something more. Or at least something else. But when things go topsy-turvy that rut can help out. When life starts knocking you around, when things get rough, having an easy path that doesn’t require much mental effort to follow can be a lifesaver. You can save that brainpower to deal with the emotional turmoil -whatever the cause.

Declutter update:

Jules continues to do amazing work. She is our extrovert and has already sent off our dining room table, my old bike that I haven’t ridden in a decade, and a propane grill off to new homes. She has also found a new home for the piano, but the new owner needs to arrange for a mover. She has also taken a bunch of stuff to Goodwill – both hers and some of the stuff I pulled out from under the stairs. I have some skate gear to go through to either donate to my league’s loaner gear or sell. Today is also the day I start going through the bedroom and moving more stuff into the donation room. I also need to check on selling some drums.

I took her to a supermarket

I don’t know why but I had to start it somewhere. And that is what is happening soon. I’m trying to figure out the best way I can do this quickly and it turns out that I need to set things up right to efficiently declutter. Now, this isn’t a case where I’m saying I have to have the right music or it needs to be the right time of day or I need to be in the mood. Given my mental makeup, I get overwhelmed if I try to go through things “in place”. I get distracted, lose track, and end up playing with stuff. But I used to do this – my mom would say “not often and not willingly” – when I was younger. How did I do it?

Well, I would clear a space in my messy room. And by that I mean I would take a section of my room, generally about an eighth of the room, and remove everything from it. I would shovel stuff from one section of the floor to another. Any small furniture would get moved. Stuff would come down from shelves. Then I would go through the now-even-messier seven-eighths of my room and look for everything that belonged in the empty eighth. Once that was complete I would repeat the process with another section. During all of this I would find stuff that I obviously didn’t want (garbage, broken things, clothes I hated, etc) and move it to the hallway to be disposed of.

My bed was always the last section. Now, the only things that belonged on the bed were my bedding and the books I was currently reading. That meant that anything left there was most likely something I didn’t need or want and could be removed.

Now what does all this mean today? It means I am going to clear a space. And when I say that I am going to do it I mean Jules is doing the lion’s share of the work to find new homes for stuff because she is amazing and I’d just throw it out rather than deal with strangers. We have a space that looks like this:


Not too bad, right? A little cluttered but manageable. But if we pull back the curtains:


A bunch of stuff we don’t need. A lot of it was not ours originally – neither of us plays piano, which is what you can see a little of under those boxes. Jules has found a new home for the table (it is going away tonight to a needy family) and we are really trying to find someone to take the piano. Other stuff under there includes my old chain mail gear, an air conditioner, boxes and bags of stuff. We are going to clear this out on Saturday.

Then I will relive part of my childhood, hauling stuff I want to keep from my old bedroom down to here. Everything else can go.