I have a whole collection of stuff I suddenly inherited (i.e. it was ceremoniously dumped here after my parents suddenly sold their house – or you could say I just failed to take it with me since I moved out of there 11 years ago 😬) that I’ve been slowly going through and checking out, for the past week or so.
There is a throw pile. Old bags, lots of school paperwork, dozens of plastic coin change bags (remember those?)
There is a donate pile. Think a glass chess set that I bought my Dad for a birthday, I think, which he never used… why did that end up with me again?
There is a maybe pile. Like these glass/photograph coasters, or that dancing sunflower with the saxophone that used to work on battery, but is struggling now…
There is a ‘whoops this isn’t mine better check with sis/parents’ pile. VHS tapes, some kind of charger?
Then there is the KEEP pile.
OMG, the keep pile. Loads and loads and loads and loads of PAPER STUFF.
Old diaries. School work. Reports. Assignments. I have so much, and I still have one big bag of folders to go through.
What kinds of memories have I found?
All my work payslips pre-2007. ALL OF THEM.
All my high school reports.
The letter my Jeans West Work Experience manager wrote back to my teacher when I was in year 10… “she learnt to apply herself in the time given, but she was a bit shy.”
Ha ha, so me.
Uni assignments, oooh, I’ve loved these. I have a script for a 5 minute film called Doggy Day that I wrote and planned myself. I have an interview I did on my Dad on his life and immigration to Australia which I got good marks for. An article about the RSPCA that I should have sought further help on to get publication, judging by my uni teacher’s comment in the notes. Damn, should have chased that one up.
And so many textual analyses of books and film, oh my goodness.
High school diaries and notes with Hubbie’s name written over them. 😍💖
Psychology, Philosophy, and Ancient History handouts.
My old work pass.
I opened one of my old diaries at whim, to see what day I’d end up on. One entry had me in 1999, 16 years old, where I had met with one of my oldest friends at our local milkbar and we’d ended up walking to the house of our primary school friend who we didn’t see much anymore.
I wrote how we had sat in her bedroom, it had been a bit weird at first but then we’d relaxed and it had turned into the good ol’ days and all the memories we shared.
My 16 year-old self wrote how it was weird, a bit sad, that someone we used to be so close to about five years earlier, we didn’t see much of at all anymore, and our conversations had turned to pleasantries and reminiscing of the past, rather than the stuff you typically share with your closest friends – “Did you hear what happened to her?” “Did you hear about the party last Friday?” – type thing.
And I observed in this diary, and wondered, if the friends I had then in high school, whether we would be like that one day, exchanging pleasantries and talking about the past as the only thing we could hold onto.
In 6 years time, would we be a bit awkward like that too?
I smiled. SmikG NOW smiled.
I smiled as I read, wanting to jump into the pages of my old diary and grab 16 year-old SmikG, grabbing her by the shoulders to shake her excitedly and tell her –
“Guess what? You stay friends with them ALL! A couple of them drop off, sure, but you’ll come to realise they weren’t real friends anyway!
Your true friends are still friends… not 6 years later, but even 21 years later!”
And 16 year-old me, would undoubtedly have gone –
And asked immediately –
“Who aren’t I friends with anymore?”
And this SmikG would have shook her head with a cluck cluck cluck and said.
“Dear girl… I think you already know.”
I’ve had so much fun going back in time, and it’s made me realise how much I’ve changed, but also, how much I am still exactly the same.
Still passionate about the written word, still writing stories, still experimenting in different forms, and still wondering about the future and life in general…
I wonder what SmikG 10 years from now would say to me now…
Today was her first one. Saturday and Sunday follow, and are a given, sure. But then she also has Monday, and of course Tuesday, our Melbourne Cup Day, off.
I think the school decided this early in term 3, and also gave us parents warning too, in case we wanted to take some extra time off, “post-Covid” to plan a family getaway…
Little did ANYONE know that we’d only get to some kind of post-Covid normal (not even normal completely, not yet) this week.
And when the rules of 25km distance are still firmly in place, and accommodation is STILL off the cards, well…
I had to work today. Because, life.
I went to check on baby girl during the day, to see what was keeping her SO quiet in her bedroom…
And I found her sitting on the floor, with two big piles of books, consisting of activity books, colouring-in books, papers, all kinds of paper-crafty related things, that had been combined in this big box near her bed.
“What are you doing?” I asked her.
“I’m making a keep and throw pile.”
Oh! I gasped, hand coming to my chest.
This is what we do every so often. We go through papers, toys, bits and pieces that she’s been hoarding, and we decide what must be kept, and what has to be thrown.
I was shocked. She had gone of her own accord, to do her own form of organising, when I hadn’t even asked her?
She was definitely my baby girl!
“Oh! I’m so proud of you honey!”
And I went back to work, thinking finally…
Finally, it’s sunk in.
What has been your proud parent “they’re a chip off the block” moment?
I was looking up books of interest at the local library a while ago, and when I came across a particular title I thought “I must have it.”
I put it on reserve and was happy to finally go in and pick it up today.
Although it says it’s about de-cluttering (and it is) it’s managing clutter based on the principles of feng shui, a topic I’ve been looking into a lot lately.
While baby girl was at school, and Hubbie was beside me watching basketball, I got through about 80 pages of it… sure it’s a small book, but I think I’m making up in my lack of fiction reading by overdosing on non-fiction (that and the subject matter is so intriguing to me).
There’s a lot of psychological issues tied up in accumulating items, being unable to throw things away, and allowing dirt to build up in your home, as well as not tending to things that need repair in the house, all things I’m discovering as I turn page by page.
I’m going to have most of the book read by the end of the week I’m sure, and along with it I’ll have a sure-fire plan to organise and throw out heaps of unnecessary stuff in our house. Watch this space!
And just, not-so-quietly… how great are libraries? Like, you borrow something, enjoy it, and then return it for somebody else to gain satisfaction from…
There are so many of you that will roll your eyes here… and I DON’T CARE.
Because today was the first day of implementation, and already things are working.
I’ve worked out how to succeed.
How to get ahead in life.
How to make your dreams come true.
And all you need, is…
(Along with a hefty dose of passion, determination, and resilience, but eh).
I needed a place to organise my writing goals and thoughts. I realised it was all in my head, and my 58 to-do lists were not quite doing their job. Sure they reminded me of what I had to do, but they weren’t really making me accountable and tracking what I did each day.
Insert, the DIARY.
I bought the above ‘buffalo diary’ from Typo a couple weeks back. It displays a week per two-page spread, and my plan is to look at my week ahead from my fridge monthly planner (planners EVERYWHERE), see what days I’m not travelling or with appointments, and then slot in times through the week in my DIARY to do writing-related things and work on freelancing.
It is soooo simple. Things like this are the necessary first step to making things happen… it is so clear to me now. Today I opened the week to see what was on today’s page, and guess what?
I actually worked on what was listed for today.
A bloody miracle. No procrastination either.
And another little motivator for me (other than my eventual success and world-wide stardom?)
Each time I complete the task subscribed to me that day, I’m going to put a little star next to my diary entry…
Like in school. Tee hee hee. Maybe a gold one too. To match the front cover lettering. 🌟
And it took so long because both our phones were crashing in the upload process. It wasn’t automatic like now. Now I don’t do anything and my phone just magically sends anything I’ve taken into that virtually, almost limitless place in the sky… 😉
My plan is to do all of this at the end of each month. Then I won’t have a massive backlog of 1000s of photos and phones crashing and me stressing I am going to lose precious photos.
I can’t lose photos!
My only problem now is… developing.
Do you still develop photos, so you have them in print? Do you prefer to keep them in digital copy, like on disc or USB to trawl through when you feel? Or are photo books more your thing?
I am genuinely curious, because although I may be up-to-date with the whole upload/download/back-up/delete thing, I can honestly tell you that I am 4 years behind in the OTHER process.
2016. That is where I am up to in developing. I am ‘old school,’ and like to see and feel the photos, but can’t help thinking of my Mum’s words when I think of the lifetime of photos I have and will continue to accumulate… “You need a separate house for all of that!”
Can you believe from the hours of 1pm to almost 6pm, with two breaks for lunch and coffee, I spent the time cleaning out and sorting baby girl’s toys?
Ashamedly, not even all of them. Today we tackled the area called the family room – it has the second ‘kid’ TV, my computer and desk where I do ALL my writing, and to the side of me, her ‘small’ play area.
Only it wasn’t so small when we started today. It had grown huge and out of control.
Baby girl was fabulous. Funnily enough, culling toys and taking everything out of boxes to reassess and work out if it needs to go in the throw, keep or donate pile, is actually a fun task for kids when you get them involved… they end up discovering a whole lot of stuff they’d forgotten about. Throughout the day baby girl ended up playing with new and re-discovered toys constantly while I kept interrupting her with “hey, focus… keep or throw?”
I kept her involved, because I like to keep her happy.
But when she goes back to school, I am going to focus on the out of reach spot in her cupboard and those A-Z drawers in her room that she isn’t as well acquainted with…
And cull it all.Mwa ha ha.
Today she was absolutely brilliant in her brutal ability to say ‘throw’ for things that honestly, I hesitated and asked “really?” about too many times that I care to admit.
And to have gotten rid of so much stuff is honestly liberating… and now, EXHAUSTING. 😴
Today was my off day, my break from doing something, anything.
Actually it was imposed upon me. I didn’t choose to catch a cold just before December. But alas Rudolph nose, flemmy throat and snots galore are here to give me festive cheer.
Let’s not forget the bouts of weakness interspersed with aches and pains. Nooo.
I would have much rather been entertaining family and friends… but shit happens.
I was, and still am, out for the count.
But I got inspired, for a moment. Hubble was going crazy moving pots and plants outside, and then moving furniture inside the house…
So I asked him to take some big bags out for me from under the stairs…
And we put up the Christmas tree! 🎄🎅🤶🎁
Yes, on the 23rd of November, thank you very much.
Baby girl then told me that her school bestie already had put up her tree, and I was like “shame on us for taking so long!”
Before anyone has a heart attack… it’s JUST the tree. The bare basics. I have all our Christmas bags and decorations in corners of the room to tend to throughout the week.
Because this is, a process. A journey. I like to take my time, put the baubles up with care, hang decorations from the ceiling, and light up the walls wherever I go… to Buble, Mariah and Sia contemporarily caroling in the background. 🎶
It is an experience to be enjoyed.
I don’t do it early, just because I want to. I do it because I’m usually really busy in the first week of December. And having done the same last year and put up the tree in late November, I felt so in front, and so organised with Christmas… that now it’s a thing.
Once the tree was up however, I was on the couch passed out again. Just as well I do this slowly…
I have kept every single piece of artwork that baby girl has EVER brought home from kinder and primary school.
Now you may not think this is much, her being nearly at the end of prep and all and still so early into her education… but if you combine this year, with her 3 and 4 year-old years of kinder, and top that with the knowledge that baby girl LOVES painting and crafty things and even made it her subconscious mission to bring home about 2-3 artworks per day when she was at kinder, well that equates to one impressive collection.
I have kept it all, sure. But the place I have been shoving it all into (i.e. spare cupboard) is bursting at the seams with this art, and I for one had to find another way.
Enter the phone, and the idea.
I couldn’t part with these artworks, I just couldn’t. But at the same time I HAD SO MANY. At this rate I should have bought the house next door just to accommodate her take-home stuff, and that would have been one expensive storage solution.
So I decided to do with her artwork, what I do with all those photos I take that I don’t develop.
I store them digitally.
I set about today taking photos of every single piece of her art from kinder years. I’ll get to primary school in due time 😉 I lay them out and snapped away, throwing out piles and piles of paper to feed the recycling bin, while I kept what is a minutely small pile in comparison.
Well I have to keep something, duh.
I feel better already. And though it’s only the beginning of my clearing process, the weight has already begun to lift off my shoulders…