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Thanksgiving 2013

Back in the good ole days when I worked full time, my husband worked full time and we were raising kids, I made sure I had someone who came to my house weekly and helped clean. It was one of the best investments we ever made. More time was available to spend with our children on Saturdays and it took the pressure lid off the “now it’s time for everyone to help clean on the weekend” scenario.

When Lewis died I continued for some time to have a part time housekeeper, but her work hours became shorter and shorter.

Also I began to accumulate more “stuff.” I have had a hard time throwing Lewis’ things away. I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder, but I have used some poor judgement and, for example, today when I began to clean up some shelves in the bathroom I learned that I had accumulated about 30 jars/bottles of some kind of skin lotion or medicinal cream. Likewise I had multiple allergy medications, most unopened. Eventually, I will use them I guess, but they have been taking up important shelf space. We collapsed them into plastic bags which I can get to just as easily and now I know for sure I won’t be buying those items for quite a long time.
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So my friend and I threw out a lot of old stuff today. We cleaned and pruned the bathroom collection. Friday we did the same in the kitchen, the dining room, and the family room. We also took storage/clutter boxes out of the bedrooms and put them in an unused basement room. Most boxes are well organized, but they needed to be put in a storage space rather than kept in living quarters. Some are financial records and must be maintained for several years, but others are in need of eventual sorting and disposal.

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The final big change was this: I hired in well-recommended professionals who cleaned the whole house stem to stern. What a relief.

Tonight I am happy. I still need to throw away more clothing and make some trips to the thrift stores so that my closets will be more spacious. But that will come all in good time.

The best news is that I have come out of my widowed numbness and WANT to have some sparkle in my home again. I am ready (finally) to make it mine. And I am planning to have the new cleaners return twice a month to clean for me, just for me.

I am also beginning to imagine some new home improvements and decorative changes. In the last six weeks the back deck was rebuilt, sealed and it should last a few more years–I am hoping for fifteen or twenty.

So, my dear Facebook friends, I am still mending day by day and these last few months have been a positive turning point.

I am immensely grateful to be living in La Plata and Charles County, Maryland. It is a beautiful place and friends have been loyal enough to put up with my angst and misery index these past few years. I am not apologizing. I know it is part of the healing, but it has been very difficult. And you have been patient.

Thanks to each of you for your “likes” and sharing on these pages over these four long years.

Life does eventually come back. We just have to be gentle with ourselves.

Friends and family are bedrocks for our recovery in our times of deepest sorrow and loss.

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