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Thursday, 27 October 2011

The seasons shift...

Thank you those of you who have made comments about the wee Ratties.   Yes, they are adorable, yes, they 'oui oui' everywhere but everything they touch gets washed very regularly.   Yes, they have stolen my heart.   Well, what was left of it anyway!   And, Chairman Bill, when I Googled 'Dumbo Rats', they look suspiciously like my wee beasties, so I think that's what we're caretaking for the lovely Lisa B.

And, for what it's worth, Chairman, my views on rats as pets are such:   When thinking of A Rat (Singular) for your son as a pet I would recommend Two Rats (Plural - Male - Slower and easier to catch than the Female of the Species - so I am reliably informed.   They do seem to like the company of other rats to cuddle up to, play with, scrap with, and so on...  Already this morning, they've been doing synchronized skritching!

In other news, I think the Ratties are brain-washing me.   Or something has shifted in me. 

Perhaps it's the seasons, who knows?

I have started to clear my house.   Yes, after many years months of being a bit of a slattern Bohemian, I am starting to fill skips boxes with shit treasures and I'm also just chucking other rubbish out...

What, you may ask, has happened to me?   What has made such a difference?   What's caused this shift in fact? 

This week it's half-term in England and, rather than having to be some place doing some thing, I have been mainly lying on the sofa at home.

Therefore, I've had a bit more energy; I've also had more time than usual for ME and I've finally felt like tackling a number of the areas around the house that have been neglected while I recovered from a number of things:   From my back injury, and the surgery aftermath that first brought me to blogging, as well as a fug of grief that descended upon me following the death of my beloved Dad four and a half years ago.  

So, I am taking things in hand...   I won't say that I've won the battle yet.   No. 

There's still much to be done.

I could open a bookshop.   I have managed to donate around a dozen bags and boxes of clothes and other stuff to charity, which I am permitting myself to feel quite glowy and virtuous about.   The cheery chappies rolled up in their van this morning and took it all away.   Painless!

...You may know that charities are currently suffering a severe lack of interest in their business and a dearth of donated goods, reason being that we're probably in the worst depression since The Depression. 

This time, the British Heart Foundation has benefited.   It  is a charity I care to support, given that both of my parents suffered heart disease. 

I do support other charities, including the vitally important Great North Air Ambulance service that covers our rural area, but I do try to share the bounty as far as possible, between home and abroad...   My husband sponsors a doctor in Africa through VSO.

What has helped me most perhaps, in deciding to make way in my home, is the therapy - Through it, I am beginning to gain some insight into my rather 'stuck' behaviour(s).   Also I've acknowledged (if only to myself) that I was waiting for someone to 'rescue' me from it all.

This is unlikely ever to happen, let's be honest.   I have to rely upon me.

I've also begun to recognise how much all this clutter and stuff is holding me back from being wholly comfortable with my surroundings.   The ensuing feeling of shame is not a good one to hold to me.

I think I've also held on to stuff as a barrier to/defence against having guests over.   ...My out-laws mainly.   I'm not ashamed of that.   They're not easy people...   p.s. it worked!

What has also spurred me on is watching episodes of 'Hoarders' on TV, and realising how easy it is to tip over into those kinds of horrific states...   And also noticing just how 'stuck' these people are - With grief, with loss, with bitterness, with sadness, with loneliness, with anger...   Or just plain stuck.   Recently, it's been like holding a vaseline-smeared mirror up to my face, seeing a gauzy reflection there.

I've also been reading this book by former Monsoon singer, Sheila Chandra, on my Kindle.   It's full of common sense, and a 'been there, done that' mentality, rather than preachy words.   It has helped although I haven't worked through the programme fully to date. 

I'm just scratching the surface at the mo'. 

One of my next blog-posts will be a Bucket List of stuff that remains to be done, or accomplished, or realised by me.   (p.s. The Kindle has made me think about letting go of some much-loved 'physical' books too).

I've also been reading some blogs about Minimalism.   Not that I'd ever subscribe to being a minimalist, I must admit.   I'm not that radical:   Reading of how people have given animals away as if they were unwanted possessions saddens me, I have to say... 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on aspects of how to live life in a lighter way? 

Lawdamussy, how I've rambled on today...

Anyhoo, back to the clutter-busting.   I feel it's time.    I think I owe it to myself...   Don't you?!

This video shows Sheila Chandra from her Monsoon days with Ever So Lonely (1982):


Anonymous said...

A great post! Im reminded of a story I heard about Emerson and Thoreau... Thoreau published those famous words "Simplify, Simplify, Simplify' , and Emerson wrote in respons "One Simplify would have sufficed!' ;)

Peace to you my friend,


A Heron's View said...

Firstly many congratulations achieving a new level of awareness. Inner change of the self is never easy, for it means taking an in-depth look at our attitudes in seeing what we need to do. Recognising what we are able to change and loving those aspects of ourselves that we are not able to change.

SueAnn said...

Good on you dear friend! Not easy to make changes! I have been clutter busting as well. No to hit my studio...need to be brutal there. That is going to be tough!
Good luck

Suldog said...

Wow. I thought my books and bookcases were a major task, but yours seem to outnumber mine. Good for you for having them! And good for you for doing what needs to be done with them, too!

Bagman and Butler said...

Unfortunately, for me, clutter busting usually consists of attacking the largest collection of stuff, most of which I don't remember owning but once I see it, becomes irresistable again. Therefore I bust the big pile of clutter by moving it around and creating a large number of smaller piles of clutter.

Mac n' Janet said...

The rats are adorable, glad you've grown to like them.
I have fits of trying to declutter too, I frequently haul stuff off to Goodwill, and yet things keep multiplying around here. it's hard for me to part with things that were given to me as a gift, it seems heartless some how. Good luck on your journey.

Vix said...

What an inspiring and honest post! I love that Monsoon song, it's one of my all time favourites and knowing that Sheila's got a decluttering book makes me like her even more.
My Mum and Grandma both struggled with depression and I think their accumulation of clutter was a symptom of their illness. It's so easy to hoard and getting rid and helping others though your generosity is a step in the right direction. Good luck. x
PS Give those rats a cuddle from me!

Vix said...

Just saw your comment over on mine. Here's the sock explained: http://vintagevixon.blogspot.com/2011/02/put-sock-in-it-vixs-guide-to-big-hair.html

Dusty Spider said...

A lovely post. Thankyou. I love my kindle too. Never read so much in all my life! Happy decluttering by the way. You'll feel so much better for it.

Scriptor Senex said...

Having been in the process of de-cluttering the loft for the past month I know the feelings. Th charity shop has had a few boxes and there are lots of boxes waiting for daughters to sort through for anything they want. Sadly, I know that most of what I'm doing is moving stuff around and organising my clutter. Letting go is not easy. I've always been a squirrel (the polite term - what my Partner calls me is less polite). And I agree - it's largely to do with me as a person. I tend to live in the past more than the future. I can pick which bits of the past to think about but the future doesn't seem as rosy.
If Jo weren't a therapist I might try therapy but I'm not sure our son could cope with two of us examining ourselves all the time. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Anyway - back to the loft. Enjoy the rest of your lazing on the sofa (I mean 'at home') week.

Canadian Chickadee said...

Good for you! You are to be commended for your clutter-clearing efforts.

There's an Aussie anti-clutter guru whose practical approach I like: Peter Walsh. He's been featured in various magazines and on telly on Oprah's Show. He has also written several books and workbooks on the subject that I've found helpful.

But the most helpful thing was this quote from one of his books:


I liked it so much I put it on the upper corner of the mirror in my bathroom as a daily reminder.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Oh this is such a great post and I laughed my way through your description of your home life at the moment. I think we must be soul twins - I did a post not long ago on my pride in my domestic sluttery, yet instead of sitting back and enjoying being surrounded by shite, I've had a big clean up! I don't want to be surrounded by white walls, but I do love a house that has plenty of quirky nic-naks and dust of course. Thank you so much for your kind comments on our wedding, it was such a lovely day and very quirky. I don't think many newly weds would send their guests to play silly buggers in an historic cottage - hehe!!

ArtistUnplugged said...

Oh, what a post, appears those little rascals have gnawed into your heart!!!! Glad to read that you are making strides from therapy. I definitely know that getting things cleared out in your home relieves stress and improves your well being....that being said....I need to do much, much more of it and hope to have a whopper clean out before the holidays get here. It's a good thing that it has somewhere helpful to go! Take care! (Too bad you can't put those little boogers to work like the cartoon version of Cinderella!!!)

JeannetteLS said...

The more I read blogs about life in countries other than my own, the more it drives home the knowledge that this depression is worldwide. And we all tend toward the same behaviors when we are depressed inside, and look to similar solutions.

I know that a kindle will help me take the next steps with my books. I can get the classics I own FOR FREE! the problem is that modern books cost more than waiting to get them at a used bookstore. Still, there ARE libraries, aren't there.

Moving has helped me. Otherwise my collection of books would have looked just about like yours! But that's a tad drastic, isn't it. What also helped me declutter was each time I had to sort through the belongings of someone I'd lost--my parents, and then my sister, particularly. I don't want my son to have to go through that. I found that was a great motivator to go through my belongings and toss.

I tried that rule that they show on Hoarders--if you buy an item you must toss one. Yes, well... PHooey to that.

But I read your blog and see how you are positively taking the depression head on, working to get rid of things by recognizing why you held on in the first place.

I have trouble with rodent pets. I simply do. But I see that as a problem in ME, not as something amiss with you, for Heaven's sake! Loving any living creature is, to my mind, a sign of a person who has light.

I am so glad I found your blog just a little while back. Take care.

BadPenny said...

Hello. I saw that you had added as a follower on my Blog so thought I'd pop over to say Hi & glad I did ! Friends of ours have " Rats " Degus or something. They will be here to house & pet sit for me in five & half weeks while I'm away so I've started THE BIG CLEAN ! I've really let it go over the past couple of years ( since I started Blogging ! ) but I'm ashamed !

My daughter has HUNDREDS of books ( I know cos I've just vacuumed under her bed ! ) but has taken her beloved Kindle away with her. I have way too much stuff but most of it has a memory attached so can't go to the charity shop ( I work in one ! )

I've been very happy this year by working in the shop & addressing some issues which were getting me down. Good luck. De cluttering is very theraputic !

Something I wrote earlier...

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