I am sure you have seen the programs, articles, or books about de-cluttering. You know the usual advice: “Separate into 3 separate piles what you are going to throw away, what you are going to give away, and what is just plain in the wrong place”. I am sure you have also read the typical advice about how to decide what you will get rid of. I have too. Yet I am continually drawn to articles like that! Perhaps that is because I have moved so often. I am part vagabond and part homebody. The vagabond would love to have my possessions down to what could fit in the back of a car and hit the road. Obviously, with even minimal furniture this is difficult in a 4-door sedan :-). But to de-clutter and have some breathing room it is always recommended by professional organizers that we “don’t hold on to everything we ever had”!
Well this morning as I was avoiding exercise and avoiding working on my book (I know — so efficient I can do both at once), I made the excuse that it was because I was consumed with worry, concern, and obsessing over various life details. My mind began to almost literally trip over and skin it’s knee over the worries. Over and over again I worried. Hmmm. Then it hit me, of course. The more I hang on to these ill-fitting and unflattering worries and details, the more cluttered my mind gets. Yes, I know, put them in God’s hands and He will handle things.
That is well and good, but I truly need to gather information soon about various home equipment if my mom comes in the next few weeks. [new, craigslist, rent, or what]?Remodeling may be required~or there may be some less desirable but far cheaper workarounds. Anyway, my mind went in circles all night long. Of course, in that mode, I accomplish nothing.
Ok, back to my de-cluttering. Hanging onto the worry and indecision drags me right back to all those speed bumps that I have been fighting. Those speed bumps that take me away from the Kate I was created to be. Ok. Now—I cannot physically put worries and tasks in the various boxes like i could a bunch of shirts and socks. So what can I do? Yeh, you got it … make one of my famous lists. Categorize things this way, I think:
Things that stay in my mental closet-–things I can and must actually work on myself such as:
- Assemble list of equipment, prices, delivery details, and measurements to determine what fits her needs, the confines of our home, and our budgets.
- Compile list of agencies and services that can provide in-home services that fit her and our budget (PT, visiting doc or nurse (she wants that instead of going to doc) and other services)
- Discuss mom’s various needs with her to be sure I don’t miss anything
- Find information on assisted living places (prices and info) here for her to compare in case she is going to end up needing that
Things that get pulled our of MY mental closet and handed to my mom and/or my brother to handle. These will be theirs to worry about.
- Assemble list of assisted living places and prices she can go in her town
- Assemble things mom will have to provide (insurance and Medicare cards etc);
- re-titling her house or power of attorney so he can handle things in-abstentia (she doesn’t want to do that)
- moving bank accounts, etc;
- arranging airline tickets;
- arranging transfer of her medical records.
- mail forwarding and changing address on various bills
- Discuss pros and cons of being here or there with mom again.
him getting her and whatever equipment she already has onto the plane and here.
Ok those are those two lists. Then there is the third list that can only come back into my closet when it is actually time to deal with them! Until then they stay in a box in my mental garage.
Mental garage list:
- Is my little family going to handle this well? We have health challenges of our own already. Well, we have met other challenges. But this obsession has to stay out of my closet. God will have to handle that.
- Can I maintain my gentle spirit even in the face of some of my past emotional speed bumps re-entering the picture? That, too must go in the garage.
- Juggling my students and her care? That will have to be spontaneously adjusted as time goes on.
- Will I/we have sufficient strength and energy to provide care?
- Finances??? Potential loss of my income.
- Can we navigate the potential chain-of-command issues. In denial about this one.
- And then there is the elusive nebulous overall panic thing that freezes me in my tracks.
- What is the best/perfect decision and what will happen if she makes that particular decision.
So here I am. Ready to spend some time today and tomorrow de-cluttering and putting things in my 3 areas so I can gather the info for list 1! What is my message to myself in all this? PRAY pray pray. I have now prayed for peace of mind and strength of resolve. When I keep wandering out to the mental garage I can scold myself and say “quit hiding in the garage. It’s hot, it’s dusty, there is work to be done in the house”! I have facts and figures to gather. And I have walking to do. First breakfast, then walking, then research and calls.
AND trying to stay out of the garage!