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That’s where I’ve been lately – in the trenches, digging, digging, digging. So much of what I’ve been up to lately isn’t exactly “blogworthy.” I’ve been doing a lot of writing in my journal – a sign for me that what I’m dealing with and muddling through isn’t ready for public consumption, or is about as clear as mud to me and even harder for someone not inside my head and heart to figure out.

I continue to wade through the piles and piles of books in our apartment, assessing, logging, discarding. I am trying to return our living space to pre-Hoarders-esque status. It’s slow going, and there have been days when I haven’t felt up to doing battle with this self-imposed behemoth. The past few days, I’ve been able to “keep my eye on the prize” and keep thinking about what it will be like when it’s finally finished, and I’m grown up enough to be able to admit that the times when I stall out are really because I don’t want to have to make the decision to part with some of it. That’s not a good time to get going, anyhow. I need to be in a clutter-clearing mood, or I won’t purge enough of it to matter. I’ve realized that even under the most optimistic of circumstances, I’ll still need to add at least two more tall bookshelves – and even then, that means getting rid of half of my books.

My new obsession with art has caused clutter, too. My dad brought over this awesome dresser from the 1800’s that he had as he was growing up. My parents willingly went through its contents (some of which had been in there since before they were married) in order to give me somewhere to go with all of it – not a small undertaking. It’s been helpful to know that I’ll have somewhere to go with some of this stuff.

I’ve been making lists and planning how I’m going to attack each area of clutter and disorganization in our apartment…in our lives. Getting it all down on paper helps me see the way through it, and makes the task seem manageable. First, the books. Then, the art stuff. Then the hall closet (eek). Then the bedroom closet. I want to live lighter, and move lighter. For now, the only one pleased with this arrangement has been the cat – because it gives her plenty of places to hide out and ponder all the mysteries that cats ponder.

All of that is just the physical disorganization of my life – and the home is the outward representation of what we feel inside. I’ve been giving serious thought to actually doing that exercise that we’ve all gotten email upon email about using the mason jar, the ping pong balls, the pebbles, the sand. I know that my tendency is to go all out in one direction, abandoning or letting slide the things in so many others. There’s something to be said for that kind of passionate pursuit of what’s on your plate, but it’s also out of balance.

So, the task before me is to create balance from the chaos I’ve created or allowed to grow unchecked. When I look at it all in one huge piece, it does feel kind of impossible. Then I sit down with pen and paper and write my way through it, list it out, create the feeling of the possible. I’m not sure why, but spring has never been my season to clean house – either physically or metaphorically (probably because I’m too busy sneezing my head off). It’s always been the fall. Maybe it’s because having grown up here in the Midwest, I have a keen sense of the fact that in a few short weeks, I’ll be mostly confined to the place where I nest, and I want that nest to feel welcoming.

Come have a look through my kaleidoscope eyes. Come walk with me, as I make my way down the Path of Mastery (complete with fits and starts and pitstops and potholes). Our very impermanence is what makes us burn so brightly, and struggle so valiantly, and feel so deeply – it’s what makes us seize the day, and the moment. Come in, settle in, share a moment with me.

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"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)