Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Clearing out the Clutter

December is crazy.

I know this isn't news. The holidays take it out of the best of us.

But to me - for me - it's more than the holidays. It's the fact that the holidays coincide with exams. The weekend before the weekend before Christmas - you know, that time when you should be running around finishing things up so that the focus the weekend before Christmas is on family and not on wrapping, baking, or shopping - is now the focus of intense study. With Dylan's grades such as they are, that meant A LOT of studying. So there went that final bit of shopping. No, I didn't get my wrapping done. And forget about baking.

Don't get me wrong - it was the right thing to do. I can't say that the effort was directly proportional to the results, but it was still the right thing to do. But it made for a somewhat frustrating weekend, a bit a nightmarish week, and then a truly frantic weekend preparing for Christmas.

Were there ways I could've avoided all that? Many blogs and websites will give you a resounding "Yes!" I could've done a lot of that shopping and wrapping and even baking much earlier in the fall. But the fact of the matter is that I was completely buried with work earlier in the fall, so that really wasn't realistic in the life I was living.

So. There we were. Or I was. Weekend before Christmas. Craziness. Wrapping. A little bit of leftover shopping. Christmas cards (I'll admit, they are not even done yet!). Church activities. Family activities. It was nuts.

Again, it was well worth it and this time, the effort was much more in proportion with the results on Christmas morning. (Big sigh!)

We are now left with the detritus of Christmas day surrounding us. Bags, baubles, and bits. Legos scattered far and wide. Boxes half opened everywhere. Time to clear the clutter.
Note: This is NOT my house!

The thing is, I know that it's time to clear out more than the physical clutter, although that is a big part of it. It's amazing to me that seven years after losing almost everything to Katrina, we have SO MUCH stuff. Today, I cleared out some of it - a massive amount of clothing I wasn't (or couldn't) wear. It was sad and felt good all at the same time. Our church's homeless program will benefit from it greatly.

And I know it's just one step. There's more - much more - clutter to clear out. Clutter that's holding me back physically. And clutter of mind that's holding me back mentally. It has to go. 2013 has to be a completely different year than 2012. I need to parent more effectively. I need to tend to my own needs better. We need to manage our funds more closely. We need to eat more healthfully and get more activity, all of us.

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