September 21, 2007

Clean Sweep

Secret Agent Josephine posted today about helping her mom clean out her sewing room and what an emotional ordeal it was for them. I can kind of relate. My parents got rid of a lot of stuff when they moved out of my childhood home last year. I'm not sure they were pack rats in the true sense of the word, but after living in the same house for 22 years you tend to accumulate a lot without really realizing it. My mom would call every couple of days and ask me if I wanted this cake pan or that set of sheets. I'm proud of them for really downsizing like they did, and I have to admit that I did take a few (or more) things, but it was still hard to watch. I didn't really want the olive green drink cart that sat in our basement all those years (so long that you kind of didn't notice it anymore), but I wasn't really ready to know that such a fixture of my childhood would be gone, either. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like for Mom.

This struck home with me, too, since I've been beside myself lately on how I've let our closet, our guest closet, and our office go in recent months. In fact, I had a mini panic attack the other night over the fact that my closet needs to be cleaned out. I'm pretty sure that my anxiety is only 20% wanting the house to be clean and organized, and 80% wanting to exert some modicum of control in my life. When I told Mom about this worry, she wisely said, "I think you need to sort some things out in your life". Ah, yes, I do need to sort some things out in my life, not just my closets. Like the ever-present guilt that I have over leaving Squiggles all day for that I don't enjoy. Or dealing with the pressure Chef is putting on himself to gain exposure at work so that we might get ourselves into a position soon where I can stay home with Squiggles.

However, I also really don't want to go through what my parents went through the next time we move. Just because we have the space doesn't mean we have to fill it. Sometimes I miss the little condo.

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