I’ve been quite busy since returning from my little island sojourn this past winter. Living in a 28-foot by 8-feet-or-so space for several weeks was much easier than I’d anticipated.
Sure, the quarters seem close sometimes, especially when spouses aren’t seeing eye to eye, but the perks of sunny skies and mild temperatures more than made up for lack of space. With a pool side chair and a good book, a disgruntled MAD Goddess can be a world away in a matter of minutes.
Back to the busy. Less than a day after returning to my cozy, three bedroom cottage the weight of life’s accumulations fell down upon me. What on earth do I possibly need all this stuff for?
Well, rainy, snowing, freezing cold, blizzard kickin’ me in the butt days are my first thought. Winters in my northern realm are long – very, very long. They are cold, as in twenty to forty below zero for up to a month at a stretch.
Some people living here don’t mind the weather. They like to ski, and ride snowmobiles, and snow shoe and hike and winter camp. Winter camping – nothing like s’mores that freeze before you can get them to your lips.
Anyway, I don’t like the cold and I don’t go out in it except for dire emergencies – like no chocolate in the house. Which means I have a lot of stuff to keep me occupied for the duration. Books, magazines, puzzles, paints (water color, acrylic and oil), needle crafts, bead crafts, and cook books.
The cook books require more stuff, cooking utensils obviously, but there’s also the fitness equipment – a failed attempt to keep the winter weight gain to a minimum. In Florida, my fitness equipment was a five-speed beach cruiser bicycle.
After a lifetime of collecting junk and junque – junque being the term for the flea market finds I filled half a garage and an overhead storage space with when I became obsessed with the “Chabby Chic” craze, I’m smothering!
Now that the weather has finally warmed up here, I have more than 1,000 square feet of garden beds to clean, weed and tend. I have 360 square feet of decking, with associated railing, to stain and seal. Virtually all of the trim on the house and garage needs painting. My husband can keep the acre-plus lawn mowed since piloting the lawn tractor isn’t too much of a strain on his heart, but all the edge trimming is my job.
As long as we own this house, that stuff has to be taken care of. So I’m on a rampage to get rid of the other stuff. I want the spartan existence of snowbird – if it doesn’t fit in my RV, then apparently I don’t need it. And the more stuff we rid the house, garage and yard of now, the less we have to worry about when we are ready to sell it.
We (that’s the collective we, here, as in you too) don’t own stuff. Stuff owns us. It takes our money and our time and our attention. Free at last, free at last, good Goddess help me, I want to be free at last.
But there’s an unhappy trend afoot here. My hubby isn’t on the same (ram)page as I. To him, all this stuff is good stuff, valuable stuff. Let me just offer a favorite quote here:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
— William Morris
Or in the words of Red Green, “Remember, if your wife doesn’t find you handsome, she better find you handy.”
In the meantime, I’m starting with my things, the ubiquitous flotsam of 33 years of home ownership.
I love gardening and home decorating magazines. I have stacks of them. Can’t throw these out! they are dog eared and have notations written on the covers for things I am going to do.
Laid low with a nasty cold, bored to tears, I thought it might be a good time to tackle the magazines, at least get them sorted, organized into some kind of reference library. Between the sniffle-nose, sore throat virus and the dust laden magazines, I broke. Some of the magazines were more than five years old. If I haven’t made the whimsical stepping stones, a watering can fountain or rain chains in the last five years, chances are I’m not going to get around to it in the next.
The magazines are now sorted and bundled by category. I’ll offer them up to home and garden enthusiast friends first, but if there are no takers – off to the recycling bin they go.
I’m planning on tackling closets this week. I’ve finally given up the idea that I’m ever going to workout hard enough to fit into my skinny jeans again. Instead, I’m going to splurge and spend more than $19.99 on a pair that fits and flatters the body I have.
I don’t need a work wardrobe for the time being. If I need one again in the future, I think I’ll buy new stuff. Long dresses left over from formal occasions. Hhhhmm. All but one of my daughters is married, and if she ties the knot, again, I think I want a new dress for the occasion. Out they go.
(THESE DRESSES ARE BAD ENOUGH, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT HAIR? from Dallas Vintage Shop)
Craft supplies. I hit the jackpot here. A friend that works with a non-profit in a near-by metropolis is looking for donations of any craft items. All I have to do is box it all up and give her a call.
I’m tackling one bunch of stuff every week. Want to join me? I’ll be posting the details and challenges on my Facebook
Join us – Ladies United to Lighten Up – LULUs
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