The Weight

It’s easy to trace elements of my constitution to parental influences.  From my Father?  Intellectual curiosity, empathy for the less fortunate,  love of music and the arts, and complete comfort among people from diverse backgrounds.

From my Mother?  Cold, dispassionate strength*.  The kind of strength that would allow me to bury a body…  Umm… if ever needed.   She is fierce, in her way.  Good Appalachian-American breeding stock.

Unfortunately, i also inherited one of her more crippling afflictions.  She is a hoarder.  Excavating her house prior to renovations took three months.  i have to fight it, or fear that i will become buried in my ‘stuff’.

It’s not bad.  Yet.  But i catch myself saying “Hey, i might need this someday…” as i find a stash of wood scraps in the garage.  That old coffee pot?  “It might come in handy if…” Rubber bands that i’ll never need.  Twist ties.  Plastic storage bags.

i fight it.  i recycle aggressively, and throw things out regularly.  It’s there, though.  Percolating beneath the surface.  It isn’t obvious to others, since i’m fortunate to have a LOT of space.  Plenty of storage space lets me squirrel it away.

January is when i have traditionally launched my “winter project”.  Last year?  Organizing the office, and building the Murphy Bed.  This year?  i want to finish my theater room/exercise room/bar downstairs.  To do this?  Excavations are required…

But…

It is hard for me to let go of a cardboard box.  You never know when you’re going to need a box, right?  i like a wide selection on hand.  As i started to dig, i was surprised at the number of empty boxes i had stashed in the storage room.  Round one?  Break ’em down and send ’em to the recycler!  Boom!

Reluctant at first, now i’m in a “GIVE IT ALL AWAY” state of mind!  The local thrift shops will be delighted to get the Jeep load of appliances, clothing and odd housewares!  Bed, book case, shelving unit?  See ya!

The “stuff” now feels like it weighs me down.  Makes me less mobile.  Pins me to the floor.  i am making progress…

Not only at home, but at work.  Last week, i started a new assignment.  New building.  New office.  This required a move.  After 31 years working for the same employer, i’ve got “stuff”.  i thought i was pretty brutal when i packed it all up – filling two large boxes with papers and documents for the industrial shredderator.  Many trips to the dumpster, too.

This week?  Unpacking and setting up the new digs.  Is there anything more promising than a clean, empty desk?  Vows to “get organized” sproinging around in my head.  Such promise!

And the purging continued…

Not too hasty, mind you.  This little pic?  A gag crafted by my colleagues.  Appeared on my office door.  While getting hammered at a conference team building during a business trip, i’d mentioned that i find intelligent men attractive.  i was challenged – “What about the smartest man on earth – Stephen Hawking?”  to which i replied “i’d have his love child”.

He wants me...

And this.  i have an obsession with post-it notes.  As the boxes were unpacked this morning, i threw post-its in a heap.  All shapes, sizes and colors.  These?  i’m keeping…

i can quit anytime i want to

Memories.  i discovered a map of Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, along with photos taken from my hotel room balcony.  My first trip to Europe in ’92.  i can keep these a few more years…

We'll always have Paris

At the end of the day?  Boxes.  So very tempting to break them down, and stick them behind the desk.  Prepare for the next move.  Always be prepared to move.

boxing day

Perhaps the best aid for rapid deployment?  Travel light.  The boxes went to the recycle bin.  Weight reduction.  Lean up for the new year!  i’m getting better at this…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* It occurs to me that i haven’t told her full story here.  Future blog homework.

Carry that weight…

“Maximum weight in your backpack should be no more than 40% of your body weight.  And you want to start well below that…”

Advice from a new friend, who agreed to coach basic backpacking, and introduce me to the local trails.   My adventure buddy, Studley McRocklegs, is playing along, as we add another skill-set to our adventure toy chest. 

Prepping my pack, i decided to start with twenty-five pounds.  My tent, sleeping bag, and about a gallon of water in a sealed jug was my starting load. i hopped on the scale to weigh the result. 

Twenty two and a half pounds.  Seemed a helluva lot heavier to me, though, as i hoisted it onto my back.

Then it hit me:  this is exactly how much weight i’ve dropped since the beginning of May.  

Damn. i’ve been carrying around a LOT of excess.  With another twenty-five pounds (minimum) still to be shed, i’m pretty sure i’ll feel a helluva lot better by the time i get there.  

And it’s sure going to make the backpacking easier…

Onward…

Triple dog dared…

Yeah? So what?  i’m easy…. A few dares, double dog dares and “oh no you wouldn’t’s” thrown in the comment section on this post was all it took.   Oh, and being able to just barely squeeze myself into a fabulous black and green satin corset, picked up in California over a year ago. When it was three* sizes too small…

As always, this is dedicated to my corseted muse, the fabulous and entirely edible nursemyra.  If the stars align properly, she and i are going to bask in the Mediterranean sun together for a couple weeks next summer… always a good plan to have something to look forward to, isn’t it?

greenblack5

* Now?  It’s only about a half size too small.  Although it’s been a slow and unpleasant slog, aggravated by a skiing accident and the ensuing knee surgery, i’ve managed to drop just over 30 lbs since January.  Not quite done yet, i’ve set a goal to drop the final 20 lbs before Thanksgiving.