Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cleaning Out the Stuff

Because we have the house up for sale, I've started going through cabinets, drawers, little tucked away places, imagining that I will be getting rid of stuff, and I will because I have to! I have hoarded magazines that I really liked. I'm talking, stacked vertically, about 2 ft. worth. Garage sale fodder, I say today. Someone will like them as much as I did.

But, here's the coolest thing about scaling back and having to go through each & every thing, and cubbyhole in my house. I am one of those people that have, what I consider, for me, brilliant insights about my own life; light bulb moments. It's only taken me 57 years to get to this point. LOL! But all along the way, whatever I was feeling, ended up on a little scrap of paper, tucked away for the light of day, sometime in the future. Not just "my" thoughts, but fantastic phrases, quotes, and feelings of others.

A couple of years ago, I purchased a notebook; a cheap, pretty, very shabby notebook, knowing that sometime in the future I would find a fulfilling use for it. I did today. I pulled it out, and because it is divided into three sections, started filling it up with these lightbulb moments of my own, other peoples bits of wisdom, and an important blank section for whom's purpose, I have yet to determine.

I gotta tell you, I am feeling absolutely sated by this tonight. Mostly because I also ran across a notebook that I had in the door pocket of my car for years. For several of those years, it was the hardest, most emotional, and extremely trying time for me and my family. I spewed every angry word, ugly thought, and tear streaked proclamation into that notebook. Nobody knew about that but me. It was my safe place to let go of all of the craziness I felt going on around me. It was a comfort for me.

At some point, I decided that it was not healthy for me to hang on to those writings. Time goes on, right? I reread each one of my entries and tore the page from the notebook, threw them away. And, truth be told, I felt good about it at the time.

Holding that notebook in my hands today, I feel the emotions in it still. I'm sorry that I tossed away those tidbits of my life. I'll never be able to go back and capture my words, my feelings from those days that, along with the good times, make up my life.


Rebecca said...

I had a notebook too from a difficult passage in my life. I think I threw it out because just seeing it reminded me of the pain. I'd rather block it from memory. :) I dread the day I have to husband says he will give me a four year warning.

Dawn said...

My sister came into town one weekend to "help" me get organzied. She found all my notebooks and wanted me to toss them. Like my brain, my notebooks are very disorganized and have grocery and to-do lists mixed in with the kinds of things you mentioned. I tried to explain why I had to keep them and finally said, "They're my brain on paper, I NEED them!"

I did shred the pages of one though, that came from a difficult time. It felt freeing to let that one go. I might regret it someday as you did. But for now it is cleansing.

I'm afraid I haven't been by lately, I'll have to get caught up about selling the house. Hope all is okay.

septembermom said...

Don't beat yourself up about that decision. Those "tidbits" of your life are still there within you. Those emotions and words may resurface in another creative way. You are a different woman now. I can understand your feeling sorry to have lost those pages, but remember that there must have been a reason (unknown to you possibly) why you had to get rid of those pages at that time. You're in a new chapter now :) Hugs, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I love how you look at life...the good and bad have made you who you are, that is something I take away from your blog today and will try hard to rememeber...I may be going through the bad right now, but Ive had good and will again, and it all makes us into the person we are supposed to be...thank you friend;)

The6ofusinca said...

Your so brilliant Lisa, my little fish friend!!!! I love light bulb moments,,,, mine usually strike at 3am, so I will put a little "Shabby Chic" note book next to my bed.... KEEPING MY FINGERS CROSSED LIV WONT DRAW IN IT!!!!

No regrets Lisa, about the notebook or anything else for that matter, life is too short!


Dan Felstead said...

Shabbygirl...I am one of those who hangs on to these things I have to admit. And yes there is sometimes pain in reading though notes made during the bad times. I would like to be philosophical here and say that it always works out for the best...but that isn't always true. I struggle though some of the old notes...but can't throw them away.


Cynthia L. H. said...

I have notebooks like that in various places, but I had not thought of the car!!! I like that. Years ago, I started buying three-ring binders and putting pocket-dividers in them. I would section them off into various titles that made sense to me...probably nobody else.
I have several overflowing notebooks like this with tears and rants from the rough years, interspersed with light-bulb moments, poetry, prose, ideas, plans, dreams.... Finally, when it looked like all of the pieces were falling apart into even more pieces, they actually came together and helped me find myself. And THAT is one of the reasons why I went back to write books...putting all of those random pieces together and making sense out of them that may be recognizable to someone else...and even help, or at least entertain.
Thank you, Dear Friend. I understand completely.

DawnTreader said...

There's really only one person who can decide what's worth keeping from the past, and that is yourself. I have shredded some notes, and kept others. Each decision in itself is a part of myself. I don't really regret getting rid of some things, because the "getting rid of" has in itself been part of the process of dealing with it, and moving on...

GB said...

What a fascinating and interesting post. It never really ocurred to me how many other people there must be with all those little (and large) pieces of paper and notebooks locked away. I even had lots of letters I'd written to my wife (and which she returned to me years later). All, as you say Lisa, a fascinating reminder of times past.

A year or more ago when the docs told me that they could do nothing for the cancer and it's inevitable (if unpredictable) march onwards, it ocurred to me that I would be leaving lots of bits of me - sometimes very private bits - for my son to clear up. I had a clearout. The things I really could not part with I put in a box for disposal without opening.

Now that I can't go back and read those notes I realise that I truly have let go of the really shitty parts of my life when it seemed as if nothing could ever get better. Of course it always did!

So I play the Glad Game: I may not have those titbits to mull over any more but then I have no physical reminders of how bad they were. And as for the Docs. Well they managed to do something after all. You just never know how things will pan out do you?

Good luck with all your clearing out.

GingerV said...

thanks for your note on Flowers. yes it seems that we could help each other walk through these words that don't fit. my lack of purpose seems to be in direct relationship to a marked lack of will. no I won't each chocolates today, yes I will sort my book shelf, and the next thing I know I am SNEAKING a chocolate then another and my shelves stay out of order.... how to get my strength of will back that is another question.

how funny word verif... puraffer

GingerV said...

one more write what you threw away - put a perspective on it from who you are today. keep the memory throw away the anger.

Linda Higgins said...

Hmmmm after reading everyone's comments I guess I am the only one that hasn't thrown away or shredded my past. I have kept a journal for over 10 years. The good the bad and the ugly is all written in it. Things that had mad me angry, sad, dissapointed and stuff about those who mean the most to me. I don't go back and read it. It is just there. I have moved on. But....I have always felt that one day, when I am no longer a part of this world, my posterity will read my words. They will get a true feeling of who I was, what I felt, how I cried, how I coped with life. I never had grandparents that I knew because my as a baby my parents and 3 older sibllings immigrated from Holland. I wish I knew my grandparents and my parents. I wish I knew why my mother cried and what made her laugh and how she felt when I started school for the first time. Even if it was a glimps for just a moment. I live in the present, look forward to my future but I respect my past because it is a part of me and someday when all is said and done I hope my children and grandchildren will respect that part of me too. I don't know, silly, maybe, but...that's just me. And on the bright might straighten a few people out when they read about themselves! LOL

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

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