Tag Archives: decluttering

Introspection

20140422_191129I light four wicks, relishing the small flickering candles, a treat to myself this morning. Sitting at my well-loved and worn kitchen table, I pull out a devotional, make a cup of coffee, indulge in a chocolate treat. All next to pretty lights on a swatch of sunflower fabric.

My boys tease me about my obsession with finding tiny spots of beauty. But really isn’t this world full of it? Isn’t one of our callings as the created to grab hold of all the gifts of the Creator?

This brief moment of quiet beauty releases me. To this meandering of thought.

My blog has lain silent. I gave myself permission to take one day at a time, to laugh, to cry, to work. It takes a lot of time to separate households. After the loss of my dear neighbor, Bernice, more family than friend, the energy to move forward was cut in two. Her relatives shared many of her household go20140425_121212ods. I have new recliners.

A new TV.

Her red salt and pepper shakers.

That’s what I wanted most–to remind me of her. The love for red. The spunk.

They even gave us her car. The ones the boys drove so often these last months. Sometimes for or with her. Sometimes for their own pleasure. I think this makes her happy if she sees from her new home.

And in the gifts we reshape our home. Organize. Clean. It is good. It is exhausting.

It demands much time.

Bernice was generous with her basement. I don’t have one. She didn’t use all of hers. Over the years it became a safe place for the treasures my four children and I weren’t yet ready to part with. Stories and pictures crafted by stubby fingers. Stuffed animals. Train sets and dolls.

Now I’m forced to whittle back these mementos. There’s not enough room here for the treasures of four children now adults. So we declutter and reorganize the garage. Squeeze all 5 foot 9 of me into the crawl space beneath the stairs and do it again.

Boxes of memories line my family room. I go through each, one beloved memory at a time. Sometimes I have to stop and curl up on the couch. It’s not just physical. It is deeply emotional. And emotional steals energy just the same.

As I grieve the loss of Bernice, I’m face to face with the passages. Pictures of round toddler bodies. A story that starts out, “When I was born I got all the attention . . . then Seth was born, and he got all the attention . . . but then we played together, and it was okay because we had fun.”

A first grade rendering of Tolkien’s ents, green little leafy feet peeking out beneath a long brown tree trunk. And how did he know about ents at six years old?

Transition to empty nest continues. I force myself to make a trash pile. I keep way too much.

I don’t just grieve the season change, the children moving out and on. I grieve each lost friendship all over again. Some moved on because of location change or normal life restructure. With some the mother bear came out in us, and we couldn’t navigate each other as our children hurt, stretching in their own relationships, rocking the mommy boats. Pictures, cards that spoke of friendship that would never go away (but did). I probably should have tossed those, but I couldn’t.

Other relationships, too, that I couldn’t figure out.

Pictures of loved ones long with Jesus.

And it hurts all over again. And I climb under the covers and watch a chick flick. Mindless. Happy.

Have to stop feeling for a while.

A friend comes. She just sits. Listens to my stories of the day Bernice met Messiah face to face, questioning Jewish New Yorker who found her answers.

She lets me cry, this wise friend. Then sits nears as I face another stack of boxes. Her presence soothes. She helps me let go. She helps me diminish the piles that suck the life from me.

And life continues between spurts of sorting. The Moldenhauers apply to two more colleges, all the children stepping out.

Four in college. How can this be?

Four different locations. Four different lives growing from this one home. Next door to this one neighbor. Households entwined. Now separated.

But never separate.

Oh Yeah. That. (Day 86)

I should have known.

One thing I haven’t yet talked about on this blog is the effect of the monthly cycle on the weight loss journey. In last week’s entries I complained about emotional cravings. I was surprised they were so strong after having much reduced cravings on the BENew system. Last night I suddenly felt all bloated and icky and, well, if you’re female you know what came next.

I hadn’t had a cycle in a long time. Had hoped I was crossing that line through perimenopause to the other side of glorious freedom.

I guess not yet.

But the point is that PMSing affects how we deal with our food. As a young woman it meant a coke and fries every time. I can still hear my new husband’s voice early in our marriage, patiently explaining that adding caffeine and fat into my diet only made PMS worse. He talked me into a good calcium supplement and got me to a chiropractor and things settled down. But the craving for foods higher in fat content during PMS days has never gone away.

The good news is that even though I had a super rough start to my day after lying awake half the night, I scheduled a phone call with one of my best friends (who lives WAY too far away!) during my walk. The trek stretched to 5.28 miles before I decided I needed to turn off my tracking app and sit down for the rest of our conversation—which was a glorious two hours.

My friend and I do this every month or so, and it was super encouraging when she noted that I hadn’t huffed and puffed this time. She said she couldn’t even tell I was walking while I talked with her.

I dreamed last night that I was running. Not just the block or two I run periodically on my walks, but for a mile, then two, and I wasn’t even winded.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband and I are rebuilding after the parent company of his business canceled the products, leaving us without an income. We’re excited about what is happening in his life and our family now that he works for Life Force International, and we’re building toward a more secure financial future.

Meanwhile, we have lots of mouths to feed, and I’m becoming quite the gleaner, trying to eat healthier while blueberries to freezestill being very frugal. My friend, Niki Nowell, helps. She and her husband have a ministry to the homeless and are a hub for resources for them and for lots of others who struggle. She came across a bunch of blueberries the grocery store didn’t want to pick through . . . they were starting to turn, some of them no longer usable, but about half of each little 6 oz carton still was.

 

My friend sent me home from her house with two flats. I spent a couple of hours tonight sorting through the blueberries, keeping the good ones and tossing the bad. Then I froze them in 1 cup servings to go into my BEFull shake. I feel so blessed to find ways to eat healthy and enjoy the good blueberries frozenfood. I now have 14 cups of blueberries neatly stored in my freezer—and they cost me nothing but a little elbow grease.

~January 17, 2013

 

Real Time Update:

Still trying to get reorganized at our house! On Monday we finished up the last bit of painting in my son’s new bedroom, and now we’re trying to find a new home for everything that’s been piled in the living room and den for that last week. I’m hoping that I burned a lot of calories in the 8 days of decluttering, boxing stuff up, and painting we did because there was no time for exercise or even rest!

We did take Easter Sunday off of this major project. Jerry and I went out to breakfast, then met the kids at church. Back home we rested, walked a couple of leisurely miles, and sought to recuperate! I read a fun little inspirational novel called, “Sandwich with a Side of Romance.” It was the perfect way to unwind. Monday morning the amazing Jen came over to  finish up the final touch-ups on the painting. We’re almost there. It’s weird how this losing the junk in our home feels connected to losing the pounds off my body.

How About You?

What healthy foods do you delight in? What ways are you losing weight besides pounds off your body?