Rip Tides

One of my favorite proverbs is “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, because that’s so how often how I feel about things these days. As a perfectionist, the list is always miles long, and the days are always hours short. There are things I want to create – sewing, photo albums, writing, gardens; things I ought to do – paint the bathroom, tidy the basement, deep clean the carpet. I mean to be here writing and sharing more than I am, and it annoys me that I fall short in this. But alas, that is the season I find myself in. And we can’t change seasons, anymore than we can change the weather. So here I am.

Within these seismic shifts occurring off stage (namely the reinventing around school and career), I can picture in my mind how my life will look on the other side of change – but only just. Right now, things feel turbulent, like a rip tide pulling me out to sea, or a lava flow decimating a hillside. The struggle and destruction are all too apparent, but I feel that so often in our lives we must completely rebuild certain things, and in order to do that, the old must be cleared away, without sentiment. And it’s messy and intense and exhausting, but to quote a certain movie franchise, “what is necessary is never unwise” (as Sarek told Spock in Star Trek).

To this end, I have tried to create sanctuary for myself, and so the elimination of clutter has risen to a fever pitch. Boxes upon boxes of things have been donated, and I still feel the need to pare down more. Knowing a closet or cupboard is crammed with things I haven’t looked at or touched in months (and sometimes years) stresses me out beyond belief. It feels like drowning in things, or worse yet, being buried in them. Not to give the impression we’re hoarders – we’re certainly not. Everything has a place and we keep a tidy home. But for some reason our normal storage is bothering me. Why do we keep these things if we’re not actively using them? So out the door they go, and hopefully the space these things occupied remains vacant – light, airy, and free. Room to breathe.

We are also working on our goal of being outside more. We’ve had our first fire pit of the season, and a few opportunities to grill out and relax on the deck, but we’ve also joined a hiking club. It meets every other month, so we’ve only done one so far, but it was great. We learned how to build a wilderness shelter, and took a forest hike. We also received a complete set of local trail maps when we joined, and have already organized them by priority in terms of where we’d like to explore. We have a goal of visiting every trail in our county by next winter. I feel better generally when I spend regular time outdoors, so it’s been a great lesson to be reminded of that. Sometimes the fixes for stress are the simplest things.