Saturday, October 22, 2011

A bit of change

Today was a pretty big day for me.
Best part?
I hardly had to leave my house.

I've had this horrible allergy-induced cough for the past few days. Blergh. I woke up in a coughing fit. Not a cool way to start my Saturday. That was quickly remedied by my mother offering to make pancakes for breakfast. She was even super resourceful when it came to the chocolate chips we didn't have to be put in my pancakes. And we aren't even at the best part.

I went to the library with my dad, something we used to do together a lot. I remember days when I would take home a stack of books and a few movies that I could blaze through in a matter of hours/days. (Oh for the days when I didn't have to pay library fines! I've finally gotten rid of all my fines and I'm trying to keep it that way!) I went in to pick up one book. One book that was already on hold for me. But did I look anyway? Yes. And I came home with a book I've been dying to read (Ted DekKer's newest!) and a Robin McKinley book that Neil Gaiman endorsed as "pretty much perfect." (How could I *not* pick it up??) So I now have four books that absolutely, positively HAVE to wait until I finish "A Game of Thrones" because I've put that one off long enough. And I have to keep reading because my friend is reading it...and I'm trying (but failing) to catch up with her.
Trip to the library, new books, and still not the best part.

I threw stuff out.
A lot of stuff.

See, I tend to hang on to stuff. You never know who will want it (I'll have it!) or when I'll need it (I'll still have it!). I keep ephemera things because I got it/used it/blew my nose it in while I was in London. (Ok, not that last one. That would be gross.) Or I have stuff that might have been important at one time (receipts or bank statements, old pay stubs) but no longer have value. There are things that I am afraid to throw away for absolutely no other reason than I'm not sure if I should. What if I want it later?
Sometimes it is a memory thing. There is a song from the musical "Ordinary Days" about a girl cleaning out some space in her apartment to make room for her boyfriend who is moving in and she says, "But somehow I've been petrified to see what's been kept inside these chests and drawers. It's so very strange finding stuff from a lifetime ago, even when the life you find is yours. And there are things that make you feel that you needed this proof that your past was real. And you can't let them go."
I know exactly how that feels! I sometimes think if I get rid of that note or card, I'll forget. And sometimes I do. Sometimes, it's a good thing to forget. But some things don't need notes or cards to stay in your memory. And I know I don't need to hold on to everything.
I've tried to do projects like this before, but I usually/always get stuck halfway through the mire and I end up shoving it all back it the drawer.
Today? My mom helped.
Kind pancake maker, yes. But when it comes to cleaning up and throwing out, she is a force to be reckoned with. She understands my tendency to hold on to things (it is, sadly, something that runs in the family) but she lovingly helped me move past some of my fear of throwing stuff away. We made progress of epic proportions! At least three bags of garbage (maybe more...) and tons of space freed up in my room! We also sorted through some things of mine that, if I had my own place, would have been needed and properly organized but now are not of much use to me. We exchanged a very uncomfortable chair that used to belong to our neighbor with a much more comfortable rocking chair. I now have a space to do comfy reading in my room, instead of reading in my bed and falling asleep!

The best thing I learned today was that I can get over my fear of things. I might need a little help, a little hand holding and some Sour Patch Kids when it is all said and done--but I can do it.
And I think it's a good day when you learn something new about yourself.

(Side note: In the past 20 min or so after writing this post, I forgot that my chair had turned into a rocking chair TWICE! The last time I sat on it I said to myself, out loud, "Rocking chair. Rocking chair!" Oh boy...that one will take a little bit of time!)