Monday, January 24, 2011

Too Much Stuff

My daughter, Paula, comes about once a week to help me. She is a natural organizer of things. She helped me organize the play room in the basement so that the grandchildren do not leave it in unmendable chaos. Matchbox cars in the car bin, blocks and tinkertoys in the builder bin, a lego box, a game shelf, and so on. The kids love it, and I keep it clean because I finally know where to put everything when I pick it up. Simple. You would think it would be a no-brainer, but it was a revelation to me.

Life is harder when you think in scattered patterns, as do I. I'm a little dyslexic with numbers (it can take me a few times before I enter a telephone number correctly, especially if I am under pressure. I love speed dial.).  I often liken my day to a burst of fireworks. I see all the tasks I need to do flung on the scene in one huge explosion, and I run franticaly, trying to catch each falling ember before it hits the ground. Unfortunately I rarely give thought as to whether any one task is more important than another. Hence I might put in a load of wash, unload the dishwasher, and finish a chapter of a book before I check the schedule to see whether or not I have any morning appointments.

I am getting better. It is probably because I have smalled my world down.  Now that the kids are grown up and I am pretty well retired, I juggle far fewer tasks than before. Anyway, Paula and I are trying to reduce the collection of things in the basement.

We did not get very far today, because we had to listen to a collection of about fifty unlabeled cassette tapes. (Partially listen...we could pretty much tell if it was something we wanted to save or not by the first few minutes on each side.) The trouble is, some of them did have stuff I wanted to save. Our children used to do radio commercials, so sometimes it was a recording of one of their radio spots.  Other times it was one of the hilarious comedy routines Marcus used to do when he was 10 or 11, or a recording of Clockwyz (the kids' band...they even did a few proms at local high schools.)  I do want to downsize, but a lifetime of not weeding out is coming home to roost.

I just hope Paula keeps coming back. At this point she is my only hope.


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