tidy up…again?

hello joyful friends,

I had planned for this to be my first post of the new year, but it got…complicated.  I have tried to make it more concise, to avoid the inevitable tangents that I am prone to.  And, it still is a new year, with a new president, and a new, you?!  At the beginning of 2019 a friend turned me on to a television show called Tidying Up.  It’s a series on Netflix that hints about how the out-of-control mess (dirty clothes, unorganized closets) in our lives may be  symbolic.  It might be a sign that our lives are in disarray.  That perhaps in addition to cleaning up our closet, that a review of our current life situation might be in order.

I decided to give it a try (cleaning out my closet) and well, it changed my life.  I briefly wrote about this in a previous post.  The beginning of 2019 was also when my back started to give me trouble, my relationship with my mom was giving me trouble, and more.  Fast forward to the end of 2020 where the election of a president was in the balance, a global pandemic had taken over our lives, and my back troubles were determined to be chronic.  I was also trying to figure out how I fit in my family, my workplace, in my now adults kids lives.  No, I haven’t figured it all out but I am more open to change. 

Change – verb: to make different, alter, modify.  Replace something with something else. 

And, I did, replace one thing, my trying to change someone, into me trying new things like baking, arranging flowers, and shopping at thrift stores.  Being a compulsive, some would call obsessive person, I do everything obsessively.  I bake almost every day.  I buy flowers almost every day.  And my latest obsession…uncovering great “finds” at thrift stores has led me back to square one. 

This is actually my son’s room, not a stunt double or a google pic!

I need to rethink things, again.  My house is overflowing with stuff.  My poor son came home from college to find his room filled with my “finds”.  Marie Kondo taught me to hold an article of clothing in my hand and ask myself, “does this thing” (shirt, pair of pants, painting, small dresser – yikes!) spark joy for me? 

So, how do I get started?  So much disarray. My therapist says it’s my attempt to stay busy, to keep my mind off the mom relationship that was so important to me, to keep my mind occupied instead of worrying about the future.  So, how to get the spending, the wanting, the obsessing under control?  A new years resolution you say??!!  Well, you know what’s next, at least I think you do.

Resolution – noun: a firm decision to do or not to do something. 

Am I ready to make a firm decision?  My intention is to: (see how I artfully avoid the word “try”?)

Live within my means. Live within the moment. Live with what I have. Live with peace. Live with acceptance. Live with joy. Live with an open mind. Live with a willing heart.

My intention is to live with and be with people I care about. Be with people who care about me.  My daughter always teased me when I was in my dark period saying, “you aren’t going to meet anyone sitting on this couch!”  Then she started saying, “you aren’t going to meet anyone in a thrift store!”  She was wrong!  Believe it or not, I met the nicest guy, let’s call him E, at a thrift store.  E seems like a sweet man.  He reads my blog, and well, after this pandemic thing clears up, we might even have a meal together.  Stay tuned my joyful friends!  More will be revealed!

Until we meet again!


Cleaning house.

Hello my joyful friends,

Quite the cliff hanger last week, huh?

I mean, was it really that serious?  What was so wrong with trying to “help” someone change for the better.  I guess that  all depends on whose “better” we are talking about.  And, what did all of this have to do with my back anyway?  More on that in a bit.  All I knew then was I needed to stop trying to change my Mother.  I was 57 years old at the time for goodness sake.  She was my Mother, the good, the bad, and all the things in the middle.  She once told me that people are like presents, some have pretty bows and paper, but all of us eventually end up a little ripped and torn.  It was time for me to let her be.  To let her be who she was.  But, quitting a bad habit isn’t easy.  She had helped me “quit” by asking me to leave her alone.  But how was I going to “stay quit?”

Sort of by accident, I got busy, really busy.  With alcoholics, many have what they call a pink cloud when they first quit drinking, a period of time when everything in the world is beautiful, when they are happy, and seemingly without a care.  I suddenly felt that. I felt a surge of energy.  I used to come home after work and turn on Netflix for four hours then go to bed. 

Coincidentally, (I don’t believe in coincidences by the way) I had watched a series that stars a young Japanese woman who helps families get their homes, and in turn, their lives, in order. The timing was perfect. With all that energy I cleaned my house.  I mean, really cleaned.  I “tidied up” my bedroom closet, then my other closet, then my dresser, you get the picture.  The philosophy was simple. If a piece of clothing, didn’t “spark joy”, I thanked it for serving me well, then got rid of it.  I am ashamed to admit that I had a drawer that contained, and I am not kidding, 92 camisole tops.  Yes, 92!  A rainbow of silly little tops that I picked up at one store after another, $3 bucks, such a deal.  Now, that’s insanity.  I only had one house, and let me tell you, it was clean like it never had been before.  I was in it to win it! 

Something about cleaning house, about understanding what sparked joy for me and what didn’t. It had a huge impact on my life, my beliefs, how I was, in the world. But, what now? 


Spark: to set off in a burst of activity