FINDING TIME . . . and the problem of STUFF

As I grow older, I discover that time is not my friend. Time has changed. It is no longer elastic. Remember how, when you were a child, the summer days seemed to last forever? Now at age 67, I know there is no forever — only now.

I quit my job last week. I’ll continue until mid-December. No more extra tiny paycheck twice a month. I loved it, but what had begun as a little part-time job had morphed into a monster of an always-on-call part-time job. This means pawing through the generic products at the grocery, but I’ll get through this and the pets won’t suffer.

I have goals:

(1) Writing — here and elsewhere. I WILL FINISH THE NOVEL. I awoke a couple of weeks ago with the solution to a plot problem. This is good because I am motivated once again. This is bad because it requires a bunch of rewriting and rearranging. And the blog is hereby revived. I promise to post more often than once every two years!

(2) Clearing out and scaling back — I don’t want to leave a mess behind for strangers to deal with when I’m dead.

I belong to a wonderful online quilting group, StashBusters on Yahoo, which is devoted to encouraging its members to use the fabric we already own rather than buy more to add to our already overflowing stash. Some members have two, even three, rooms in their homes devoted to fabric and other crafty things. (Rest assured: I am not that bad.) We hear tales of women who die and their families throw out their beloved fabric because it has no value to non-sewers or non-quilters.

I have no family. So, I hope my friends will get to my stuff and distribute it appropriately before my landlord can toss it in a landfill. Stuff can be comforting; one can touch it and remember when you bought it or the person who gave it to you. Stuff can be limiting, chewing up space, stealing cash and requiring care, time and cleaning. Stuff can be a resource that one can tend and use as needed, such as the items in my pantry, my freezer, and my fabric stash, plus a 30-day supply of underwear. (StashBusters’s motto is: Shop your stash!) Stuff is demanding of time and attention whether for good or for ill.

(3) Live a tidy, uncluttered life. — I’m so damn tired of living like an impoverished graduate student. No ramen noodles here, but lots of junk. (Junk is best defined as Stuff that has gotten out of control, is lying about the place in piles, is clutter that poses a traffic hazard, is in boxes that have not been opened in years and requires — Ugh! — cleaning.) The 25-cent books that the public library disposes of are a particular temptation.

(4) Finish — Not begin. One of my online handles is UFO Maven. UFO = UnFinished Objects. God knows,  I have enough of them. Probably at least 15 quilts at various stages of completion. Novels. Plays. Garments. Doll clothes. Knit. Crochet. Embroidery. Cross-stitch. All those books on the to-be-read list. Movies to watch. Music to listen to.

Lord almighty, all this is making me tired. Now, I need to find the time to move aside all that stuff so I can take a nap.


P.S. — Did I mention the cobwebs?



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