Word Of The Year Check-In: January

I began this year, sicker than a dog, no voice at all. I mean, I whispered for several days (about five, actually). Today, my voice is still not one hundred percent — and I am still crackly and broken vocally. My throat feels as if a volcano erupted inside it and it is still recuperating. Trust me, this is a great deal better than when my voice initially deserted me because then it felt as if the volcano were erupting in my throat.

How does one submerge into that sort of experience? lol

There was not much I could do about that. I got very sick on December 23…which made, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day all voiceless experiences for me, while I still felt ill…and I had to smile…not that the holidays were not excellent–they were…but with an eight-year-old in the house, I had to be happy and energetic and upbeat…

Once New Year’s hit I did begin to improve. I’ve had my ups and downs. If you are wondering if I had Covid-19, the answer is no. I had some sort of flu and then something else that settled in my throat. My sense of smell, which is typically faulty due to an ‘accident’ when I was a kid, has been more than pristine of late…I mean, I can nearly tell you when the stray cat outside arrives in the yard to roll in our spearmint my sense of smell has been so acute since I got sick.

Upon the New Year, I began my plan to submerge myself in becoming a ‘house-proud wife’. This is not as difficult as I thought it would be. I tend to start one thing, then have to work in circles in order to accomplish that task, and end up getting mired in a day-long task that keeps going and going because if this has to be here, then this has to go there, and to go there, that has to go over here…that sort of thing…

Well, I have married the best man in the entire world. I am able to start a project, work for as long as I can (despite the whole 15 minutes per day ‘rule’ I have set up for myself), which may only be twenty minutes at a time…and then I can leave things where they are, instead of having to finish everything all at one go … so long as we can get around things and it isn’t blocking access to anywhere or anything … rest … and then come back to it, say, later that day, or the next day. This alone has been a boon for me.

Every single day, whether I am sick or not, I have this sustaining drive to do my ‘fifteen minute deep clean’, as I call it. There have been days that I actually do work for fifteen minutes and then call it quits because that is all the energy I have, but do you know how good it feels to work for those few minutes, set some things to order, and then go … do whatever … which so far this year has consisted of sitting with our youngest, reading to him (when my voice is willing), knitting, crocheting, or just reading for myself? It is an amazing feeling.

Clearing the clutter in the house is clearing the clutter in my brain, in my heart.

Oddly enough, as I examine some of the things we have accumulated, it strikes me that I have collected many things for other people. I had a stash of blankets, sheets, pillows, enough for both oldest children to take lots of each and not have to worry about anything when they get their own place. Once my oldest moved out the first time, I understood that most of the stuff I hung onto for them — frequently because they told me to, no less — I no longer needed to hang on to anymore. That was a revelation.

A revelation that keeps coming back as I go through the next layer of things, the next layer of linens, the next stack of books, or boxes, or bins.

I am also looking at things very differently than I did ten, fifteen years ago. Sometimes I notice that I frequently sink into the mindset of being a single mother…and I am no longer a single mother. I do not need to hold on to things anymore because the situation may shift on us and I will need to have xyz stock-piled and ready to go. This is it. This is where our family is. This is where our family grows. We would have more if we had less.

Believe me, this isn’t easy either when you live in a house where everyone has trouble letting go of things and getting rid of things. However, we have all committed to this project this year…and we are all working on it. Although there is not a thing in this world that will make our youngest part with any single thing that his Granny has made or given him (like his crystals)–or his sister has made or given him, ever. So, we do what we can with what we have.

Questions? Comments? Go ahead and leave them below.

Thanks for listening.