Monday Redux (Krissie)

Okay, why is this computer being weird?  I’m bouncing between three computers and none of them are working right, but what the hell.  I’m trying to add media (as in, put a picture or two up) and it’s not working.  Grrrrr.

I’ve been busy!  After being so worried about my lack of energy, I seem to be able to do more, the more I push.  First off, I’m making myself turn off everything before 11 and start trying to go to sleep then.  While I’ve generally been sleeping till about ten, Yesterday I got up at seven and today at quarter past six.  And I did so much yesterday.  I scrubbed the kitchen – every bit of countertop, tossing things right and left.

I think it was Hoarders that did it.  I’d watched it a couple of times in the past and felt great sympathy for the people who were trapped by their possessions, the clear mental health problems that affected them.

And then I watched it a couple of weeks ago, and took a look at my house.  It truly is appalling.  I don’t know how it got so bad, but it’s really horrifying, so bad that when I showed Tim what my bedroom looked like when we were Facetiming he was shocked, and he grew up with my haphazard ways.

So I cleaned the room.  It’s an ongoing process, but I removed incredible amounts (5 bags to Goodwill) and in the following two weeks I keep chipping away at the stubborn stuff left, not letting it slide back into chaos.

Everywhere I look it’s horrifying, truly.  So I’m feeling really good about what I’ve been doing so far.  Last week alone I did the following:

wrote every day, worked on revisions for older books, made a dress, pants and outfit for the Wellie Wisher doll I’m giving Ali (You can find what I’ve been making on Instagram – I followed Jenny’s plan for posting an art project every day, but in my case it’s just my creativity for the day.  
Son of a bitch, it’s upside down again. That was my doll sweater which, while not perfect, is still useable. I added white buttons.

Sigh. 3 computers and none of them working well. So, made bread pudding, fresh bread and seafood scampi for dinner, went to church, worked on cleaning out the hall, squared up Ali’s quilt, went off to the big city, the shrink, crochet class (I’m taking a beginner’s course to work on the basics). Lots and lots of other stuff this week as well, all without ending up flat on my back in exhaustion like I was (technically I know I should say “as” I was but what the hell).
And I think a lot of it is my worry & anger about feeling so gobsmacked the other time that I was determined not to give in.
Let me tell you about my sister. Taffy was a beauty when she was young, but all three of us children were damaged goods. For some reason I survived and they didn’t. My sister lost her 18 year old son, and then her adopted away 38 year old daughter, and it was too much. She’d wanted to be waited on her entire life (her toddlers would bring her her cokes) and she basically got in a chair and didn’t get out. She had Chronic Fatigue (probably) and unbearable grief, even though she still had Mini-me, and when something hurt she gave into it. By the time she died she’d gained more than a hundred pounds and could barely walk, and her death was from emphysema complicated by obesity. I still have things I need to process about all that.

But I was starting to feel like I couldn’t move, like I was too exhausted to even try. So I rested a couple of days, and then got up and got moving. And I keep pushing just a little more every day, and the more I push, the more I can do. It’s logical – we all learned this when we were young, but it’s easy to forget as pain and age start to take their toll on our bodies. I’ve got something called Chronic Pain Syndrome, with two destroyed knees, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, replaced shoulder that is very funky (weak and painful) blah blah blah.
My sister, and a lot of other people, focus on that pain. But since you can’t really get pain-free (and people run into trouble with opioids when they try) you have a choice to cave and whine or to keep fighting it. (Taffy didn’t whine, but she was understandably hopeless). I’m going to keep fighting, and I’m beyond happy with the very fast results.

I think it’s a part of aging – you keep expecting to have the energy and mobility you had thirty years ago, but there’s wear and tear on the joints, and damn, you just get tired. But you have to push beyond your comfort zone, or be the sort of person obsessed by her aches and her troubles.

(I bet you’re rolling on the floor because I probably seemed obsessed by my aches and troubles on here. I’m not, but when I talk to you guys I’m thinking about my life objectively, so I may whine a bit. Mea culpa).

So that’s Sister Yoda’s advice for the day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Sister Yoda is from Wales). Or, as my role model would say, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!” It is a banquet, full of wondrous (and horrible) things. You can wait for your food to be delivered on a tray to your hospital bed and you can go out there and wrestle it to the ground.

I’m all for wrestling.

7 thoughts on “Monday Redux (Krissie)

  1. Alis says:

    After my mom died I had a very similar “fall into a Hoarders episode” period. I don’t know what I was doing, but I took a picture of my 3 year old playing and when I looked at it I could actually SEE what the room behind him looked like. It was appalling. Three days of hysteria that someone was going to come take my babies later, I said screw this. I took pictures of all the rooms. Every surface. I then took each picture and used it as an “I’m going to clean what’s in this picture.” It’s been 16 hellacious years since, but it never got that bad again. Good for you for pushing–my physics brain tells me to say “starting friction is greater than sliding friction,” which means inertia is a bitch once you give in to it. You’re doing the right thing, and the right way! Hooray Krissie!

  2. Kari says:

    It’s amazing how easy it is for everything to get messy when you just don’t have the energy to deal with it for more than a few days. And then all the stuff that gets in our heads about how things should be as well as how we want them to be and magic cleaning/organizing wands are hard to come argh – brainz! I’m STILL coming out of the Cymbalta + Flexeril fog (turns out I have a weird brain – shocking, I know – that can’t handle most substances that help with chronic pain very well and I have to experiment to see which combo helps without making me useless dammit) and we’ve made progress at our house, but every time I look around pretty much any room I see a list of to-dos. I’ve learned that if I try to coordinate and prioritize too many of them at the same time I get overwhelmed and just dissociate, or go on a fixit frenzy and am in too much pain to move for a few days afterwards. The one picture at a time thing is brilliant – just focus on what’s in that space and put it away or throw it away. Think I’m gonna start doing that, rather than attempting to tackle an entire room at a time.

  3. Lynda says:

    Very wise, Krissie. You’ve done more in one week than I have in six months, I think. I know what I need to do, and I guess the first thing on the list is to call my counselor and tell her that my depression isn’t any better than it was last summer. My hoarding tendencies aren’t too bad, except for the sewing room, but I need to get out of the house and face the world occasionally. And I have to do something about my totally screwed up sleep schedule. Fighting insomnia all night until I crash on the couch at dawn and then sleep till 11:30 doesn’t leave much day to do anything else, especially since I can’t drive after dark. Must work on that.

  4. Good for you, Krissie. While you creative ladies are making something every day, I am doing something active every day. Get on the floor and do stretches, ride the bike with low tension, walk in the mall, or walk the dog around the block. I can’t do too much due to my crappy knee, but I have a surgery consult and can’t wait. I hope he says yes, it’s time.

  5. Carol says:

    DH and I had a decluttering conversation while on our way home from a weekend away visiting friends, and we laid down some specific targets and goals. We’re targeting retirement/downsizing/moving overseas in 5 years, and realistically, it’s going to take a bit of time to get rid of our very full house of stuff (books, I’m talking to you). We’ll start with the easy stuff (books we already know aren’t making the transatlantic cut, one of our three sets of dishes, flatware and silver) and move on from there.

  6. JenniferNennifer says:

    Always exciting to hear about people getting rid of stuff they don’t really need. I tried to get my foot into a pair of expensive cowboy boots that I hadn’t worn in a long time and remembered WHY I hadn’t worn them. I am giving them away. Doesn’t matter how much they cost if I can’t get my foot in them. Someone will be thrilled to have them and I am determined to be thrilled that they are gone.

  7. Office Wench Cherry says:

    I am so glad you have decided to tackle the clutter in your house. It’s your house and you can do with it as you and Richie choose, but I think it will do you good to be able to look around and not see all that mess. I’m far from a minimalist but I know that stack and stack of stuff – even useful stuff – is not good for the brain. It weighs us down.

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