I feel like I’m starting all over from the beginning.

My thoughts are in a bit of a jumble and my office is trashed.

More trashed than it was on Tuesday. Last night I went looking for something from my past – from when I taught dance – and I couldn’t find it. After pulling everything out of storage in my office and going through each box and then tearing apart my “dance” graveyard I came to the realization that I must have already donated my cute hand stamps to the gym. I have a vague memory of doing so.

Okay, I found the memory after I’d already torn through everything.

I really need to go through my stuff. I found things from previous office jobs, old boyfriends, writing from the typewriter age. Really now – all these things are taking up way more space than they should.

One of my News Year’s Resolutions was to spend the year gradually going through the house and digging through the detritus. I’ve lived here for five years – longer than I’ve lived anywhere in my adult life. I love this place. It had just the right amount of storage – enough to allow me to gather junk without having to go through every piece of paper.

And speaking of pieces of paper, my shredder died. That is a real problem because I produce a lot of paper and I shred all my drafts. It just makes me feel better.

Every once in a while, when I was working in the real world, I would hit a point where I needed to clean out my office. Usually the craziness would hit about once every year to 18 months. I’d file and rearrange things and feel like I could be productive again. Even though I can’t see the piles of paper on the floor behind me – I can sense them. And my desk had random crap all over it.

It’s been about 18 months since my office landed in its current configuration and almost a year since I was laid off. Hmmm… time to organize.

I remember when I was working at an espresso stand outside Powell’s Books in Beaverton. The bookstore folk were great to me. They let me borrow books while I was working and during the slow times I would pick a random topic and read everything I could get my hands on. Once of the topics was about organizing – I’ve never been very good at it. I remember one of the books was about organization for Left Brain folks. Those of us who need to “see” everything. That’s me. I have a horrible time remembering what is put away in boxes or files. If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

That style works great if you have unlimited space, but I don’t so I need to put things in files and boxes. That would leave my desk space for Current project that I need to “see” on a daily basis. I also need to get rid of things. I’m holding on to my past and I’m not sure it is a good idea. One of the other books I read during my Powell’s time was about how going through your past – the specific example was boxes containing the remnants of an old job – can free you. You don’t know what feelings you are dragging around with you because of what’s in those boxes. Even if your conscious mind doesn’t know what is there your subconscious does.

So it time. Time to start going through all those other mes all those other jobs and let them go.

As one of my favorite authors put it in her journal from 1977 –  

“I would like to travel light on this journey of life, to get rid of the encumbrances I acquire each day. The most difficult thing to let go is my self, that self which, coddled and cozened, becomes smaller as it becomes heavier. I don’t understand how and why I come to be only as I lose myself, but I know from long experience that this is so.”

Madeleine L’Engle

~ Tess


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