Sunday, May 17, 2015

Clean Lines and Clear Spaces

It's Sunday evening and Jace left about 3 hours ago for a class trip; he returns Tuesday evening. It has been a whirlwind day filled with laundry and decluttering his room and packing. But we finally managed to get it all done and pulled up at exactly 5:31 p.m.: only one minute late. Jace could barely contain his excitement and pretty much every single one of us in the family was exasperated by his boisterous enthusiasm by the time we headed out the door.

Today has been a jam-packed day in more ways than one. This morning at 9:00 I headed over to the gymnasium to watch the Class of 2015 march down the aisle to receive their diplomas. This class was quite an interesting group that wormed their way into the hearts of the teachers despite their grandest efforts to reflect academic apathy.

After the ceremony, we all came home for a quick lunch of leftovers and then I hit Jace's bedroom. I wish I'd counted how many bags I hauled out to either give away or throw away; I'd say it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 or 7. Let's go with 7 as that sounds really impressive. I went through Jace's closet and his book shelves and his dresser shelves and his desk and I even made Jace crawl underneath his bed and drag out a ridiculous number of socks and uniform shirts. I even think he found a pair of pants.

Ah--my son!

He said, "So that's where they've been hiding!"

I just rolled my eyes.

Because I'm 13.

But it's all done and Roy even took it all to either the trash or Goodwill. And the good news? He only pulled out two things from the entire pile rather than his usual all things pulled from the pile. Seriously. He's a packrat. But clearly I'm making progress. No worries--I'll keep working the system.

And now when one walks into Jace's room, one is greeted with clean lines and clear spaces. The closet and drawers and shelves are all neatly organized. Everything in his room is usable and age-appropriate. You know, no more Disney puzzles or Toy Story characters.

I am making progress.

I find that it's really easy to get rid of other people's junk. My own? Not so much.

Anyway, about 3:00 this afternoon Erin showed up and off we went down Holcombe Cove Road to conquer the uphills and swing 'round the maintenance building and then 'round the retirement center and, finally, back up the hill by our house, clocking 3.1 miles in 47 minutes. Or maybe it was 48 but really, who's counting? About the time we got midway through the retirement center neighborhood (what is that called??), it started to rain. It was a light sprinkle at first...and then before we knew it, the rain was splashing; but we were undaunted. We kept walking and we kept on talking because, well, that's what we seem to do best.

And so, after Erin pulled out and headed for home, I ran upstairs to shower and made Jace a couple of burgers and then quickly threw his clothes in a bag and hustled him out the door. Well, really it was more like him hustling me out the door as he just knew we were going to be late.

And then once we pulled up at the school, the back parking lot was alive with people that I know: there were Gina and Daryl and Shane and Erin and Dily and Paula and Eileen and Julie and Laurie and many, many more. All of these adults coming together to launch our kids on a class trip where they will be "wined and dined" by some self-sacrificing people who are willing to reach out for our kids' sakes so that we can stay home and enjoy a couple of peace-filled days. (Thanks, all. Really appreciate that.)

So as I stood there watching everyone bustling around packing up ice chests and loading up suitcases, and as I listened to Jace's laughter as he bantered with his friends, and as I talked with other moms that  are all doing they best they can with this life we're all living, I couldn't help but feel my heart swell with gratitude.

Sometimes I feel frustrated with the actions of others; sometimes I'm hurt by the words of others. But the truth is, sometimes my actions are painful and my words can be less than becoming.

Sometimes it's easy to pick out other people's "junk" and pretend that mine isn't quite such a cluttered mess.

Recently when Erin and I were talking, she  said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could keep everyone's actions and words in perspective so that they didn't affect us so deeply nor so personally?"

I've thought about that a lot since she said it. I want to stay out of the fray and rise above the "riff raff." I want to see the good and ignore the bad. I want to spend more time decluttering my own life rather than worrying about what I may perceive as the clutter of others.

I want clean lines and clear spaces.


  1. Ah this is so good!!! So true, too. It is so easy to take other's words/actions WAY too personally. Also, Jace's room is amazing. Maybe I should have you do mine….esp. my closet. :)

  2. Do mine do mine do mine! Actually this post, and getting to see the transformations in action yesterday inspired me.. I'm going to get ultra organized this summer!!!
    And remind me of my saying frequently. Easy to say, harder to do.....:)


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