~ boxed in

What is it in me that looks at an empty box and deeply desires to keep it? Walk into my bathroom, and on the top shelf there are empty boxes that once contained a toaster or a mixer. Walk into my bedroom and on top of my cupboard are empty boxes that once had a VCR or a IBM tower. Get into my closet and start sorting things out, and there are boxes with boxes in them.

Is it the ghost of Christmas past? For mother and grandmother would exclaim, on receiving a beautifully wrapped parcel, that it was a shame to ruin the wrapping. So they would carefully carefully remove the coloured paper, never tearing. And then they would put the wrapping and the gift tag and the ribbon or bow in the box with the gift. Did they actually use that paper again, I wonder? Did they actually find another occasion to reuse that ribbon? Or did they, like me, find it months later when they were looking for something else… and then finally discard it?

I find myself thinking, when I receive something in a box… 'oh… this might be good to put something in if I have to mail things… or if I have a gift to give.' But invariably I never need them. And even if I do…. I don’t mail 100 parcels a year. Maybe just one small box. At that rate it will take me 20 years to use up the ones I’m hoarding… and I’d be sending some big boxes with very little in them.

This week I ripped up several boxes and put them in recycle. But I still have more. Even writing this I feel a great reluctance to give away that VCR box… even though the VCR is more than two years old and the warranty has expired. I need to reassure myself that boxes will be available to me if I should ever decide to move… which will likely be never as I can’t face trying to pack all this stuff up and move it anyway.

But I am proud to announce that I actually (once I moved some boxes) was able to get into my walk-in closet today. I have several boxes of stuff to go through… but Big Brothers is coming Tuesday to pick up donations… and the junk van is coming Wednesday for the stuff that can’t be recycled or given away. So I am making progress on my goal to reduce, reuse, recycle and throw away.

But… I happen to know a friend is sending me something in the mail. It should arrive this week. It will be in a box.

Uh oh.

be gone, stufffffffffff!

I am trying to clean my bedroom - a Herculean task of mammoth porportions. If you don't hear from me, bring a tractor over & dig me out. Seriously. But I did find the abstract I painted in August - it's good, I like it. And I found piles of music I'd forgotten I had, in a box.

Anyway, I wonder how I managed to get all this stufffffffffff in one room and still breathe. No more, I say! The junk men are coming and taking it all away, soon!!! (Don't worry, I recycle or give away anything remotely useful.) But first I must have a lie down. Just looking at all those boxes makes me exhausted.

Sticking to your guns

You know, somewhere along the line, after waffling for years, never finishing anything I started… something changed. I actually began something that didn’t end. I certainly thought about quitting - a lot. I procrastinated. I didn’t follow through sometimes. But I never stopped totally. I kept going.

I kept going to voice lessons even when nothing felt good, even when I was making no progress in spite of excellent instruction. Every time I thought about stopping – and I often thought about stopping – something in me said, even if I never sing anywhere… there’s something I need to overcome just for myself, and this is helping. Of course, I love music, and that passion helped me to stick to my guns as well.

I was so tangled up inside with old programming. I had no trust in myself at all. But on some intuitive level, I must have understood that evolution comes from struggling to move forward against the odds.

If you ever go into my kitchen, you’ll see something on my fridge. It’s a little list of goals. And at the bottom, in big large letters, I typed “I promise myself I’ll never give up.”

Yep, slow and steady wins.