Tuesday, August 31, 2010

That Was Then, This is Now

Yesterday was a nice, comfortable day. I went to regular yoga practice today, but my back was twinging a bit. I manifest stress in my lower back, so I spent most of the class just doing gentle stretches to try and loosen things up a bit. It helped some. In the evening as I was heading out for a ride in the park, I made a different shoe choice. I decided to wear a pair of athletic/fashion shoes (my new travel shoes) rather than my usual running shoes. Boy, could I tell a difference immediately. These shoes had a much thinner sole and it really threw me off AND I felt it in my back at once. So I took it pretty easy and just rode the flats in a leisurely way.

While riding, I began to think about how much of the hoarding habit I had either inherited or adopted. I used to shop for entertainment, out of boredom and because I was raised to believe that every occasion called for a new outfit. Now I didn't stay in this aspect of the disease for very long, but I loitered far too long in the bad housekeeping realm. It just all seemed too overwhelming.

Looking back on it, housekeeping was just not something we did with any sort of regularity. Beds weren't made, dishes weren't done, meals weren't prepared, clothes weren't put away. We kept our underwear in a kitchen drawer. I am not assigning blame here, I'm just saying that I never got in the habit/learned any sort of habits at all. And when there was "cleaning", it was just frustrating, as one couldn't clean around all the stuff. I guess I spent so many years focused on the spending/wasting money half of this devil, that I never really saw the other part - the keeping of all this stuff and how many of these behaviors I had.

Where I had my worst time as an adult was with the decluttering and I guess it was probably a set of beliefs that I'd adopted as a reaction to the spending. I'd spent money on these things and the frugalista in me had a hard time letting things go. It was with time that I was able to pare down, declutter and it began to be possible for me to keep a decent enough house. Prior to the decluttering, it was just all to overwhelming, but yet I had a difficult time figuring out that this, like so many other things in my life, was of my own doing. Yet another case of being my own worst enemy.

Cut to last Friday night, a girlfriend was just driving by and called me on a whim and wanted to hang out. I said "Come on up". And in three minutes, she was knocking at my door. There was no panic, no stash and grab, no shame and no anxiety. Even when my house was company clean, I still suffered residual anxiety from just having someone else in my home. Not anymore.

I believe that my whole belief or notion that I am a loner stemmed from this issue. I took the circumstances I was in and modified my needs to fit. It's funny how I held on to that for years - turns out to be completely false. I am not a loner, I do like people and I love entertaining them in my very own home - all 500 plus square feet of it.

Don't get me wrong - I'm still not a fastidious house keeper. Life is too short to be THAT concerned about the minutia. And when I'm in the kitchen, well, Katie bar the door! There's a scene in Julie and Julia where Julia is chopping a mountain of onions and the pieces are flying. When Bick saw that scene, he just cracked up laughing, as that's what I am like in the kitchen. No telling where things will end up. I make a total wreck of a kitchen, which always made Bick antsy, so he handled clean up. Unfortunately, he was married to the world's best wall-washing-every-month, hands-and-knees-floor-scrubbing ex-wife so he had an unreasonable set of expectations :-) I made short order of that! I offered to hire in extra help, but I will never be THAT kind of housekeeper.

Today is pre-procedure, so no real food for me. It's a yogurt day until 6pm and then it's clear liquids from then on. Pebbles is coming over tonight to hang out (need to remember to tell her to eat before arriving!) and is bringing movies to watch. I think I'll get her to color my hair, as it is much easier to have someone else do it. Maybe we'll just play beauty shop tonight.

ETA: I start salsa dance lessons on Tuesday! Aye carumba

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Are your truths really true?



  1. It's so interesting to see how you have evolved, and considering where you came from, it's been quite the evolution! I love how you say that you're not really a loner AND that when your friend dropped by, there was no panic cleaning. What a relief, what a wonderful change, what a great place to be in.

    Have fun tonight - I think an in-home spa evening with your daughter sounds great! Hair, nails, masks - the whole shebang! Anything to take your mind off of the procedure tomorrow.

  2. That is quite the evolution you've undergone... or maybe I should say revolution. A very good one as it seems it would be easier to not be in panic mode most of the time.

    I truly believe some of that comes with age and in realizing that there are so many other more important things than a house where you could eat off the floor. I know I've found relief in these past few years by letting go of much of the housekeeping angst.

  3. Have you tried biking with really stiff soled shoes? It helps to make your pedal stroke more efficient and might help with any lingering back issues too.

    You are doing a super job of centering yourself and de-cluttering more than just your physical being. As Shelley & Helen have said - it's been amazing watching the transformation - even from afar!

  4. Isn't it funny how you don't realize how formed habits are when we are younger until you try to change them when you are older.

    And they don't have to be bad habits, either.

    A home spa evening sounds pretty fun to me! Even if tomorrow doesn't sound like to much fun.

  5. my mother was such a clean freak that I never got a 'chance' to clean...ever.
    I had to learn. weird.
    opposite parents, similar issues.
    Glad you figured it out.

  6. When it comes to cleaning the house, I am more than a little obsessive. Sometimes I wish I could relax a little more, but then I also my living space to be well kept :)

  7. it's tomorrow.
    thinking about you...



We'll try this for a while.