Good Grief

Getting rid of things is fucking hard.

It's so hard that in three years of trying, I've somehow filled this 3-bedroom house with even more things that I don't know how to get rid of.

It's so hard that no matter how many books I've read on the subject (I'm looking at you, Marie Kondo); no matter how many how many fits, starts and full-blown attempts I've made toward tackling a corner, a room, or a category of items; no matter how many trips to donation centers or clothing exchanges I one-sidedly join — I just can't seem to shed myself of all the SHIT keeping me tied to this neglected house (a rental), this torrid place (Phoenix), and the whole clusterfuck of memories leading up to and following my mother's death from pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve 2013 (three months after I first moved in, just 36 days after she took up residence in my new spare room to die).

Getting rid of things is so hard, I don't even know how to start writing this blog.

But here I am.

How I Got Here

It's not hard getting rid of things all the time, sure. Like, when something cheap you don't care about breaks. That's trash. Trash is easy to get rid of, and you know exactly where to put it.

It's getting rid of the good stuff that's really tough, and oddly, sometimes, the bad. So, that's why I started this blog. To help me sort through all the mental and emotional shit that goes along with getting rid of actual, physical shit.

That's a lie. I actually started this blog to procrastinate getting rid of things while creating the illusion that I was making progress.

For a few months, I fussed with my brilliant blog's setup and design, perfected the theme and cover image and overall feel. I then let the hollow shell of my noble undertaking sit idle for weeks.

If I hadn't told my landlord that I planned to move out at the end of July, that strategy may have worked for a little while longer. But when I asked for more time, it was too late.

Now, I have to get rid of all the things that won't fit into a 1-bedroom apartment in the next six weeks.

Where I'm Going

When I realized that getting rid of things (GROT) was now a race against the clock, I considered abandoning this blog entirely. Who has time to write about GROT when there are 2,000 square feet full of things to go through?!

But after five days of frantic sorting, considering and deciding, placing each item into its fated pile (Donate, Sell, Keep, Store), I had to step back, assess, reflect. I really, really needed a break. And after all the dust I inhaled, I also really, really needed an allergy pill... Achoo!

I spent last night playing with my pup in the pool, enjoying the limited time I have left with the clean, cool, chlorinated water. The pool is one of the only things included with the house that I'm not responsible for cleaning, a true oasis of privilege I haven't used nearly enough all these years.

It felt great. After making so much progress, I didn't feel guilty for taking the night off. In fact, I felt like I'd earned it. I had cleared enough space in my home (and my head) to let myself do whatever I wanted last night. I had successfully gotten rid of (some) things.

When I woke up this morning, I realized the one thing still missing from my entire process: this blog.

This blog is here to help me step back, assess and reflect while I sort, consider and decide. It's the space I need to suss out the shit that comes with the shit.

I miss my mom. I miss her so much, I've been scared to confront anything that even comes close to reminding me of her — good or bad.

And while there's plenty of bad stuff to stop me dead in my tracks and make me break down and cry, there's so much more good stuff to sort through — even if rekindling my connection to these most precious things, my mother's things, makes me cry sometimes, too.

Here we go.