Monday, February 7, 2011


Catharsis- It just may not be all it is cracked up to be. There is supposed to be some sense of purification, cleanliness, and new found freedom associated with Catharsis. But that is not what I am feeling. Maybe I will feel it later, when the process is completed, but at the moment it is a gut wrenching, fatiguing, time consuming, exhausting feeliing.
We are cleaning out the "office". And since the garage is full, most of it is getting burned, tossed, donated, recycled, and composted. Eduard has moved the bulk of his large pieces into his new, separate office. I have moved my computer and chair. We are wired and functioning. But the stuff still in the room is daunting. I have tossed or burned about a two foot tall stack of papers this last week. I have gathered another foot tall stack to donate to a school. Eduard has been sorting and tossing also. So far, the amount of stuff coming out of the closet piles up faster than we can dispose of it. Where did all this shit come from before it went into the closet?
And every piece has to be examined and judged- trash or burn, keep and file or toss, is this picture really worth saving? Will I miss it in 10 years? Will I just let my children dispose of everything? (I know you are out there breathing a sigh of relief right now, knowing that I am doing this so that you don't have to.)
Eduard and I have not yet had a fight over any of the work or the speed with which we approach this job. We are both committed to this project. Yet,..pause.. I feel like this purging process is making my entire body react. The dust is making me sneeze and cough. The lifting is fatiguing. The sorting is dredging up old memories and stirring old emotions. And there is a little bit of fear because I actually can't remember where I got some of this stuff. AND worst of all, there is so much stuff I would rather be doing. I feel that I am missing out on lots of fun because I am busy filling the landfill.
I am sure, when the purging is done, I will feel better, cleaner, and worthy of the new organization. But the process is ugly and time consuming. So there is some history here that can be contributed to this process.
In my childhood, we never moved from the house my parents bought in 1956. And things would accumulate, like at all houses. We had an annual cleaning that involved moving the furniture around in the room to try new positions and to clean the old spots. In this process, all old stuff was tossed or packaged to be stored. I did something similar with my children's rooms right before Christmas every year. But the biggest purge came when we moved. There was the moving truck and the donation truck and often they both got full. I have done this several times.
Eduard and I don't want to move, but we never really got moved in when we married. The moving van came to his house, but not the donation truck. He also does not have the annual purge history so things pile up for years. I have been trying to continue the annual cleaning/sorting thing, but I have been lax. More comes in than goes out. I have been cleaning out my closet and drawers regularly. I got rid of books when the new bookcase was done. I have also come to know that I am not going to sit around and wait for Ebay sales or garage sales to get rid of stuff- it is the donation truck for me. This year we purged the Christmas stuff from the garage (all my stuff). We purged books (mostly mine). I have worked down stuff from the kitchen (mostly my stuff). We got Sara moved into the dorm and had her sort out all her stuff. I have cleaned out old towels and sheets, kitchen linens, table linens. I have sawed up most of the wood around the house that we wanted to burn.
We have been purging for a really long time and it seems that it will go on forever. The office purge is not the end, either. We still have to approach the garage.
As I clean and clear, I am developing a resolve to avoid shopping. I know this does not bode well for the economic recovery, but I just don't think I want to do this again- and I definitely don't want my children to have to deal with my mess. No more buying in bulk. No more saving something because it might be useful some day. No more stockpile, hoard, and re-purpose. I want to do the projects I already have and not start a bunch of new ones.
There! I am beaten down by the purging process. I only want to plod through the rest of the job to the end and collapse in a pile on the clean floor of an empty room. Stuff 1- Jeri 0


sdmags said...

I feel for you. It will come to an end and you will feel better. You just need to keep it going so it is not such a daunting task all at one. I do half hour increments to try to keep the stuff at bay.

fluffystuff said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I know there will be more stuff leaving in bits and pieces. Each pile going out represents a triumph of will over mass. But I feel like a really small tug boat, pushing a really large waste barge. Inch by inch I am making my way to a better place.
Now to get back to the next box of stuff.

Kyrwyn said...

I know the feeling! As a child, I never appreciated (or enjoyed) the yearly purges, but I cannot imagine how all this crap gets to my house now either! M and I didn't get to "move in" the way I wanted either, and there are boxes everywhere still. Paper comes in through the mailbox and no one sorts it, work sends me box after box of parts and flyers and handouts -- even if we stop shopping entirely, it comes.

We do things in little fits and starts. I am never going to get ahead. It's like a salmon swimming upstream. I promise I won't hold your stuff against you when it's your time to go. I can't speak for Thing 2, but I know how hard you fight against the tide.

Drakonis said...

Just like Terry Pratchett's story of the snow-globes that seem to be eggs that hatch into those wayward shopping baskets we see popping up around the neighborhood for no reason... I am just as perplexed by the HUNDREDS of rolls of scotch tape, packing tape, strapping tape, and masking tape that we uncovered down near the Messy-zoic strata as we were cleaning the den. I really think they were having some kind of multiplication-frenzy while we were not looking. My one roll of electrical tape, held in solitary confinement in the garage, seems not to have participated. But I am happy to wait a LONG time before running out to buy more of it.