Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Sale: Todo's!

Do you ever watch HGTV?  (I think it was on that channel).

There was (is?) a show about people who had horrendously cluttered homes.  A team came in, held a garage sale of all of their stuff, and designed a new room to show them how nice it was to live in a clutter-free space. (Yeah, I know....if I had a team to help me it would be a lot easier to get this mess cleaned up.)

As part of this, the owners had to take all of their schtuff out to the front lawn and sort it into piles on tarps: Keep, Sell, or Trash.  Needless to say they needed some prodding so that everything didn't end up on the keep pile.  After some tears and some interesting fights-for-television, the owners then sold their previously prized-possessions for moola for decorating their new room.

I used to love shows like this.  As t.v. time has faded more and more, these shows are the first to go.

And, as you may have picked up on, I've been sick the past few days.  Being physically sick necessitates a lot of sitting.  A lot of slowing down.

I am proud to say, however, that I have not turned on HGTV once during my tissue-surrounded down-time.

In my case, slowing down means not as many activities but just as much (if not more) thinking.  And those impressions created by the shows on HGTV stick with me.

It is as if I'm being required to move all of my mental crap out of my house and onto the front lawn.  As my health returns, I have to decide which activities on my to-do list (big and small....ain't nothing being left in the closet...) I want to keep, which I want to sell off to someone else, and which should have been thrown out years ago.

In truth, I have this opportunity every day - to decide what stays, what goes.  So do you.  But we get so caught up in the next thing "to-do", that next phone call or email or thing that really needs to be done that we don't consciously make time to decide.  We let our habitual responses make our decisions for us.  And the clutter piles up until we can't even enter our own minds without TODO stuff falling on us from shelf above.

Last night I set out with the intention to paint something light blue and brown, something frilly.  I was just in that mood.  But as the paints started blending on the page, I was taken in a new direction.  I let it happen.  And here is what came of it:

(I knew that toothpaste tube cap would come in handy...note the circles on the outside!)

As I make the decisions of what activities to ease back into, I feel trapped in some senses.  Not by anyone else, but by my own sense of obligation.  I am not afraid of moving forward. I am afraid of not moving.  And that keeps me doing things out of a sense of "should".  Trying to release myself from that and yet not get stuck in a holding pattern with a confused look on my face is the challenge I face right now.

I've had nearly 3 days to contemplate all of this.  There's a lot to it.  I'm sure much of it will come out through this blog and in the upcoming newsletter.

But it isn't all about me.  

I share this with you because regardless of what health you may be in right now, I guarantee you've got some crap piled up in your closet.  You have some chains that have that door padlocked.

I figure I've got so much of my stuff out on the lawn right now that I'd offer a bit of space for you as well.  Feel free to drop off some of your todo's.  Trust me, you don't need them.

We'll throw them in the garage sale.  Grab a glass of lemonade while you are here, and let's smile together as that which is no longer serving us moves on to one who actually needs it.

And one of these days, maybe we'll tackle all of that crap in the garage.

One day at a time.


  1. This is a great post. I really hope you are starting to feel better!!!

  2. I think about all of the things I hold on to mentally. Those harmful thoughts and memories that I just keep clutching tightly. No. This junk I really want to keep.
    Sometimes, I think I spend too much of my day dwelling on things I need to just give away.

    Thanks for this post!

  3. Thanks for this post.... I read it initially on my phone and have been mulling over it ever since. Gosh, I am SO in need of a garage sale in my mind! I'm pretty good at purging my home/wardrobe/desk/study etc on a regular basis but my thoughts... are you kidding?!! So much precious clutter that I refuse to get rid of even though it nolonger 'fits' or 'works'; routines that are simply wornout and useless; ideas that are 'pretty' and that I quite like taking out occasionally to admire (!!)but not actually use; and also 'stuff' that I've been given by folk that I love, that I feel obliged to use but actually feel quite uncomfortable about! ALL must go!! Yes, they'll be tears... but in the end it'll be worth it.
    Just hope I don't fill the empty space left behind with more 'rubbish'!!! ;0)

    Hugs xxx

  4. I'd like to get rid of my "I can't" thinking. My therapist reminds me every time these words come out of my mouth that I should really look at what I'm saying. I get bound, too, by my own chains and by my physical limitations; sometimes- most times, I need to remember what I CAN do and start from there. Just starting is always the hardest part, it seems, but also the most gratifying:)

  5. I know this, Lisa.
    Lately, I have been asking myself about each thing on my to-do list and seeing if they fit into the picture I have of myself, you know the one I really want to be. If they don't they go off the list. Not easy but it has been getting a little better. Some people in my world are having a hard time with the change and some other think I am a little nuts...but poopoo on them ! This is my One Precious life and I want to fill it with a to do list that reflects me !
    Decluttering, letting go of the shoulds, being with

  6. I can *so* relate to this as I am just getting over some funky stomach virus and settling back into regular routines. I immediately noticed how crazy-awry my life got with just a few days out of my routines- it made me realize how much I actually *do* around here, even though it doesn't seem like a lot. And how much of it is complete nonsense.

    I made a strange discovery these past few days- I am already quite happy in life. My issue isn't that I'm searching for what would make me happy, but the issue is that I have to much crap piled on top of it that I can't really experience the happiness- and my crap is the "shoulds", just like you say. When you are sick, you figure out very quickly what is essential and what isn't, what brings comfort and happiness and what doesn't. And as you go back to being "well" you start forgetting that. I'm trying to really NOT forget the things I was drawn to these past few days- reading, quiet, being around my family and pets, lots of rest, a bit of creativity when I could sit up. And the things that became unimportant- endless nit-picky cleaning, attending certain meetings/clubs, being online for long periods of time, material stuff, paperwork, etc. I hope I remember this feeling so I can continue to choose what is essential and push away what isn't.


  7. Feel better soon, Lisa! I have plenty of todos! LOL I've actually been starting - in my free time - to clean and rid our home of unnecessary things. And you know what? It feels good to streamline. Have a long way to go - but even just a little bit felt really great. Theresa