If, twenty years ago, I was told that I would spend this particular day, the last day in New Year, inside, and taking care of possession-related loose ends, I would have been horrified. And horrified isn’t even a strong enough word.
I had, up until that time, prided myself on having a minimal number of possessions. This is because I was living the life of an unfettered traveler. For example, I remember one day, on a whim, flying to the east coast and visiting family members and friends. And I did just that, thinking nothing of it.
Alys and Bradly sorting at the wearhouse
I spent today inside, only going out once, in the morning, to do the morning chores. The rest of the day was spent inside, taking care of administrative and clutter. Well, most of the day. I did spend a few hours working on yet another chapter of my book project book, the one that begins with the line “This book is about an abundance of books.” It went quite well, my having decided a while back that this should be a book of self-exploration. So I wrote about how father shaped my self-perceptions as a reader/writer. And as I did this, I had another idea, which is, when I finish this, to write about how my three mentors, Wendy Bishop, Donald Murray, and Frank Soos shaped my writerly perceptions.
From there, it was all downhill. Pete came upstairs to assist me in paying my United States Icelandic Horse Association dues. As I hovered, which is what I usually do, I realized that I could not step anywhere – there was that much clutter in my small space.
I had to do something about this, though what I wanted to do was go outside and get the horses out. It was snowing, big, heavy, slow-moving flakes.
Instead, I stayed put. I suspect that if I were tossed in a prison cell with nothing besides a roll of toilet paper, that I’d make a paper mess.
My paper trail, it had become very convoluted and non-linear. I had piles of the People’s Paper, with copies of my articles in them. I had to cut them out of the newspaper and put them in my light blue file box. My file box was also a mess. I straightened it out.
I sent notes and copies of my article to friends who sent Pete and me holiday cards. I packaged up books to mail to friends. I got caught up on writing up my project notes. I put the books that I most want to read in the basket that Pete gave me for Solstice.
Ya de da, ya de da, and more ya de da, you get the idea.
I would not have had to do any of this had I kept my possessions to a minimum. And had I kept my possessions to a minimum, bookwise and other, I could have spent the day outside, which was my original plan.
Well, if there is an upside to this, it’s that I am going into the New Year feeling slightly more organized. This is a plus given that my unforeseen lifestyle seems to have me locked into place.