I’m not a neat person but I am a clean person.
I don’t let dirty dishes, used pots, sweaty clothes, or garbage sit around but I am likely to have stacks of mail, unread books and magazines, and other projects piling up around me.
In the weeks after Kim died, some of this was necessary.
I’d rinse off my dishes and put them in the dishwasher – but there was only me. No sense in running the dishwasher til it was full.
I’d throw my clothes down the laundry chute, but there really wasn’t enough for a load. No sense doing laundry yet.
And the mail.
I couldn’t face it.
The mail was piling up in the box I tossed it in each day.
A couple of days ago I realized that it had been more than two weeks since the accident and there are bills to be paid.
I know if I let piles grow to be too large, they become overwhelming. I get to the point where I can’t see how I can possibly clear a space around me.
There are areas in our house like that. Kim kept saying she would sit with me and we would clean things out but we never got around to it.
Monday I took a couple of garbage bags up to our attic and filled them. My plan is to fill two garbage bags each week between now and the end of the year and see how things look.
Electronically, I’ve kept my email inbox below ten for years. If you send me an email and I don’t answer within a day, I didn’t get it.
Til a couple of days ago. As of last week my inbox had grown to over three hundred.
I know people who have over a thousand unread messages in their inbox. I feel better when I have no unread messages and under ten that need to be answered.
I’ve knocked it back down to fifty messages and plan to get it under ten by the weekend.
Yesterday I ran the dishwasher, threw in a load of laundry, and sat down to tackle the mail.
Two loads of laundry later I had the mail sorted into piles.
I read all of the cards and letters, decided which magazines to keep and which to give away, and set aside all of the bills.
Some of the letters took my breath away. One of Kim’s cousin wrote a thoughtful note that included several stories of her. I still love those the best.
Another began, “I’ve never done this before”. It was from a former co-worker who included stories of Kim from her early days at the hospital and ended with a story of this woman’s daughter meeting Kim and getting advice from Kim.
I paid the bills. Placed the cards and letters into a special box and now my table is cleared.
I folded the laundry, put the clean dishes away and made plans for what to do today.
This morning I got up and took my car in for its eCheck. It passed and now I can register it. I returned my books to the library.
I’m eliminating piles around me and keeping myself from being overwhelmed and boxed in.