Puling on the boot straps

Is this really coming back around?

The problem with an unstable mood, which I'm likely convinced that I have since giving birth to my little monster, is when the mood heads south, the nerves kick into high gear.  The fear of falling back down into the darkness that consumed me only a year ago is more terrifying than screaming newborn triplets. 

That fear sometimes keeps me up at night.  The times that I spent depressed, dejected, and frightened during JJ's early months are truly terrifying and just the mere thought of them coming back is.... well.... you get the picture.  Sometimes I lay awake thinking about all of the things that I have to do, all of the things that I don't have time for, all of the things that I can be doing better and all of the... other things.  Sometimes I fall asleep fine at night, but awaken several times at night.  My theory is that I'm waking when JJ turns over in the middle of the night.  I've since been turning the monitor down a little and that seems to help.  Doesn't stop the mind, though...

Lack of sleep makes me a little crabby a total monster.  I mean that quite literally; just ask anyone that has been around me in the past five days or so.  It's not just lack of sleep that makes me miserable, because if I were to not sleep in a round, white room with nothing in it except a bed, toilet, and tv... I would probably be fine.  After a few days, I would probably start stressing over how I am going to wash the sheets and clean the toilet, but I doubt that the Mrs. Hyde would make an appearance.  At least for the first week or two...

JJ has taken to expressing himself quite loudly and with many new body language cues.  He is practicing new limits, pushing buttons, and testing boundaries.  It's also testing the strength of my nerves and the threshold of my patience.  Combine this new challenging phase of JJ's development and my own sleeping problems and the Mrs. Hyde is getting dressed for a night out on the town.  She's getting dressed to the nines...

So now my nails have been chewed to nubs and I'm quick to snap.  I hate it.  Passionately.  Why?  Why is this happening now?  

Let's itemize this whole situation, shall we?

Work is stressful.
My allergies are horrible right now.
The yard looks AWFUL because I have an 18 month old baby and terrible allergies.
My car is half waxed.
Litter box is stinky.
Dog is stinky too.
Water in basement.  Still.  
I need to go to the grocery store.
Dirty dishes in the sink.

I'm so on top of the laundry.  No pile ups.  No back ups.  Fab new washer.
Clutter in my kitchen gone = quicker to put away dishes.
Clutter in my upstaris gone = more likely to have guests.
Bathroom always clean = less stress when people drop by.
My car is clean on the inside.  Sort of.
The roomba is earning his keep.  He runs every day.  Does a good job on most of those days.
My bed is made.
JJ is healthy.
I'm a righty.
I don't have to take off my clothes to make a living.
I have five unopened bottles of wine in my wine rack.
I have a wine rack - in my de-cluttered dining room.
My car rocks.
My husband rocks.
My kid rocks.
My cat's foot is not going to fall off.
My windows are able to be opened and let the spring nighttime air in.
I survived watching "Paranormal Activity 2."

*steps back from the computer screen*  hmm.  Interesting.

So how often to we put our lives into perspective?  I think I should do it more often.  I will have to agree with myself (which could be a problem itself) that I do probably have some kind of mood de-stabiliztion issues since JJ arrived, but I have no idea how far from normal this is.  It could be completely understandable and normal for a new mom.  I don't know - I've never done it before. 

Perhaps a massage is in order.  Perhaps a nice weekend with my family and some good Easter food will do the trick.  Perhaps some time with the girlfriends will help.  Whatever it is, I will be sure to figure it out, because I'm willing to do anything to keep from the black hole again. 

Tomorrow is Friday, I'm awesome, and it's going to be great.  I'm determined. 


Digging Out


Do you know what clutter really means? Does it make you nervous? Does the sight of the word make you immediately think about that pile in your bedroom that you've been meaning to get to but just haven't had time?

Clutter, as a word, is really a verb, meaning to jumble or garble or become disorganized. It is NOT a noun. It does NOT mean "stuff." It is quite possible to BE cluttered, but not to have clutter. That's like having jump. It doesn't make any sense. To say "I have clutter" means nothing. To say "I clutter my house with useless junk" means everything.

Ever notice that when you read or type a word often in a short amount of time, it starts to look like it belongs to a different language? Is the word "clutter" starting to look funny to you now?

So. Now. When you think about that one (or many) places in your home that you hate to go into, does it make you angry? Or nervous? Or ashamed? Or all of the above? Me too, my friend.  Me too.

I hereby put my house on an official diet.   It's getting way too fat. 

Over the past two weeks, when I have actually been home and not on the road, I have eliminated 12 bags of stuff - no wait - 18 bags of stuff including the ones sitting in my living room waiting to go to the thrift store. 18!! All of the stuff that I got rid of were things that I wasn't using, including old pots and pans, place mats, clothes, cloth napkins (who uses those anymore?!), jewelry, old ratty socks and underwear (an excuse to go shopping for pretty new unmentionables!!) and stuff. Lots of it. With more to go. I didn't donate it all - the socks and underwear hit the trash along with anything that was broken/badly torn or stained/otherwise unusable.

It's a trek. And it's hard. Voices that say things like "I might use that one day." or "So-and-so gave that to me, I can't get rid of it!" pop in my head often while I'm on a purging binge. I've recently employed another voice to counteract the nagging one. The new voice says things like "Yes, but you're not using it now." or "Yes, but you're not donating so-and-so, just that useless thing she/he gave you." My favorite encouraging voice says, often "Someone else will love that much more than you are." and "That will surely make someone else very happy." I'm attempting to keep in mind that if an item does not make me happy, it needs to go.

A prime example:  when I was a child, I owned a talking Mother Goose that told stories.  You'd put the tape in under her wing, and follow along in her book as she told the story.  When she honked, you'd turn the page.  She made me SO VERY HAPPY when I was a child.  My mother recently gave her to me, but her beak doesn't work very well and two of the tapes were not working properly.  I was very sad and even got a little teary to see my childhood book reading friend in a state of disrepair.  I tucked her away in my closet for a while, but every time I opened my closet and saw her, still in her original box and teetering on top of some other random things, I became sad all over again.  Mother Goose, who once made me very happy was now making me sad.  I knew she needed to move onto someone who might use her for something else.  She would make a lovely addition to an Easter scene in a window or something just as creative.  She would surely make someone else happy and not simply clutter my closet.   I wished her good luck as I handed her to the thrift store employee and left her.  But, as I handed her over, I didn't hand over the memories that I had.  I will hold on to those forever, and when I think about her, I won't think about the broken toy that she is now.  I will think about how she and I would hide in our fort and tell stories for hours.  I think about the times that she made me happy.

The Great De-Clutter 2011 is an ongoing effort in my house until it's DONE.  It may take a few months.  Perhaps a year.  It will be fab when it's finished and I will no longer wonder "whatever happened to" something, because I will know exactly where it is.  I'm super excited.

P.S. I'm all caught up on the laundry.  And it will stay that way, too.  Only now we need a new washer...


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