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The winds are a-changin’.  I am not a fan of change.  Who likes wind or change anyway?  Not me.  I like routine, structure, and schedules.  I like sameness and familiarity.  All those things are comforting to me.  Call me boring; I don’t care.  I sleep better at night when I know what the next day holds.  I’d rather my schedule never change, my children never grow up, and nobody ever die.  It seems those three areas of change drain my energy the most.

I feel stressed when my schedule is messed up with something as routine as a dentist appointment.  I know it’s coming….every six months….for every family member, but I’d rather it not interrupt the flow of the day.   This week has been filled with such appointments.

And then there are bigger changes like when a season of childhood ends…like we don’t go to story time anymore…that’s for toddlers and preschoolers.  Just when I established a routine geared toward babies, toddlers, and preschoolers….they went and got older on me.    It happens like that every time I finally adjust to a new season and find a comfortable niche.  Change inevitably happens.  I know that’s how life is.  I know I have to adjust to the changes that come my way….maybe even embrace the changes.  But that doesn’t mean I always like it.

Of course, the worst to me is when a loved one dies.  Surrendering to that change takes on a whole different level of abandon.

Luckily, the change I’m writing about today falls in the middle category….the kids growing up kind of change.  Yep.  I have spent many days wishing they’d all grow up and move out….or at least daydreaming that I could send them off to school for a whole day.  Equally, I’ve spent days wishing they’d all stay little forever.  I miss the days where comfort was found in cowboy boots, “babbies” (special blankets), juice, hugs and snuggles.  People always told me I would miss those physically exhausting days.  They were right!  Those treasured days were filled with early mornings, sleepless nights,  laughter, love, wonder, curiosity, giggles, frustration, weariness, and peaceful sleeping angels by 8:00 p.m. every night.  The days flowed one into the next with the same activities repeated over and over again.  Those days flew by all too fast.

Presently, I find myself trying to remember to enjoy the remaining years I have with my youngest three while learning to let the older three go a little more each year.  Hard stuff.  Hard changes.  Changes to which I have to learn to surrender…..even embrace.  Necessary change, but never easy.

We are gearing up for a school year like no other.  The first big change we had in schooling was when we first took the leap to homeschool all those years ago.  That was a big change.  But I still had my babies with me all day.  Most of our days were still the same, with maybe a half hour or so carved out for school time.  It was a good change.  It gave us a focus for a bit of the day.  But the rest of our days continued on without interruption.

More babies came, relocations occurred, more children and time were added to the school schedule.  But the next big change I remember agonizing over regarding school was choosing whether or not to homeschool through high school.  I didn’t know anyone who had done that.  I wasn’t sure I could do that.  It was scary at the time; but once I walked through it with the first one, it wasn’t so scary anymore.  It wasn’t much change….just more of the same.  We continued on with our regularly scheduled lives and added record-keeping to my list of homeschooling duties.  Preparing transcripts was the only real change for me with high school schooling.

Finally, it came time to send the first one to college.  Although he attended one class on his first day, and he chose to live at home to save money; it was a change for our family.  The little ones were devastated to see him drive away from home.  They weren’t quite sure what to do without their biggest brother under the same roof all day.  Change occurred.   We adjusted.  He adjusted.  It was time.  And, we all survived.

This year, I find myself already holding my breath, and the new school year hasn’t even begun.  Heck….I’m not even done with last year’s work.  Geez!  At what point do I surrender to that and say, “We’re done”?  I don’t know.  I’m determined to finish last year’s work.  It’s how I’m wired.

But why am I already holding my breath?  It’s not only that I’ll be sending the second one off to college for the days, and that I’m not sure I’ll be able to exhale until I see that he can make the transition.   But, it’s also the fact that the face of our homeschool is changing too quickly for me to catch my breath.  TWO are leaving our homeschool this year….not just ONE.  TWO!  That makes a total of THREE in three years.  Not too many years ago, I survived the one big year when I homeschooled all six children.  And just like that, I’m back down to three.  My first two will be in college, while my third has chosen to attend public school for the first time ever.  From homeschool to public school.  I’m excited for him, nervous for him, happy for him, worried for him.

There are a lot of changes on the horizon for all three of my older boys.  And, changes will be apparent for the ones still homeschooling with me as they adjust to being the only three here all day.  Pages in our homeschool journey and lives are turning faster than I’d like.  “Life is full of changes — We are invited to surrender to them.”  I better get use to surrendering.  We are now on the other side of the homeschooling mountain which I once viewed as an endless, almost impossible journey.

You know what’s worse than taking 4 laxatives chased down with 64 oz of MiraLAX/Gatorade mix and not eating all day while having to feed your family and still function? What’s worse is doing all that with your period. That’s right! How lucky am I!  And, that’s all I’m gonna say about that (maybe) because I’m pretty sure my teen/young adult boys checking out my blog are already a bit disturbed just reading that much.

Everyone told me the worst part of getting a colonoscopy would the preparation.  I suppose it’s all relative.  I mean, it is no walk in the park; and it’s not how I would ever I choose to spend a couple of summer days if I had all the choices in the world.  Lord knows I have enough to do without being inconvenienced with a couple of days like this.  But I have lived through worse summer days.  Several summers throwing up every day, all day and night with morning sickness stands out as a worse way to spend a summer.  Also, merely existing through the summer days when I was suffocating in grief following both my mom’s and sister’s deaths….missing them so much I could barely breathe.  Those were, by far, worse than enduring a colonoscopy just for screening purposes.

Even though I can clearly find perspective while experiencing all that goes with this procedure, which will forever be a part of my life due to family history, I still manage to feel a wee bit sorry for myself as certain associations quickly take me back to past events while living through the present.

My colonoscopy experience went like this:

I met with Colonoscopy Doctor on July 21, 2014.  It took me a little while to get over the fact that Colonoscopy Doctor, to whom my female Doogie Howser doctor referred me, is only a few years older than Doogie Howser herself.  Clearly, I am old enough to be both of their mothers.  At one point during the consultation with Colonoscopy Doctor, I feared I may have even babysat him and changed his diaper in the past as we discovered we both grew up in the same area.  But, I didn’t; and eventually, I did manage to let go of the fact that they aren’t the grey-haired doctors I think I need.  I figure it is more important that this procedure is something I have to do “for the children”, so I might as well get it over with.

So, my next stop was the pharmacy where I purchased my laxative cocktail mix ingredients, including Gatorade.  I know….the laxatives should have been my fear.  But, it was the Gatorade.  You see, after morning sickness with all my pregnancies, I have quite a list of aversions that just the sight, smell or thought of such items can literally return me to the brink of morning sickness in a matter of seconds.  Gatorade became an aversion when I was pregnant with my daughter.  A few other aversions I have are:  mochas, cereal, Burger King, Teletubbies, lemons, and eggs.

But, I did it.  On the day before the procedure (yesterday), I not only found out I could fast for over 24 hours, but I found out I could indeed drink Gatorade.  I didn’t like it, but I did it….”for the children”.  My day started out normal; but as the day wore on, I found myself tired and weak, sometimes even a bit nauseous.  But, in a million years it couldn’t compare to morning sickness.  It just wasn’t THAT bad.  And, when I was hating the fact that I was too tired or weak to care for my children, I thought of my mom who suffered with colon cancer and how she knew she couldn’t care for us and wouldn’t be here to watch us grow up.  I imagine back in those days they didn’t do screenings for colon cancer.  I don’t know that for a fact because I didn’t even know she had cancer until near the end.  That’s how my dad handled it.  He simply didn’t tell us.

I also found my thoughts wandering….about other people and things.  My brother, Dave, was in my thoughts as he has always been so faithful to get in and do his colon screenings….only to be hit with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) ….twice.  He has fought so hard; and each time he fights, he is hit with another setback.  How can I complain about a little laxative cocktail when he has fought such a valiant fight?

Also, when my hunger lingered, I thought about the homeless.  I had to force myself to stay out of the kitchen.  Ha!  I don’t even know hunger.  I have a kitchen.  I have food.  I thought about the homeless, never knowing when or from where their next meal will come…..and they have no kitchen, no home….they live in the elements. (*Note to self*  Time to get involved with assisting the homeless.)  I have nothing to complain about!

This morning my personality was completely flat as I was becoming dehydrated and really only wanted to get this thing over with.  Originally, I had thought I could get my children to swim lessons, too.  Sometimes I have visions of Supermom dancing in my head.  But, luckily, I had the foresight to ask my second son to take them.  It was a good thing too because just the same as I had experienced before with anesthesia, I had a difficult time moving without wanting to throw up.  Eventually, I did get myself dressed and placed in the back seat of my husband’s vehicle to get home where I promptly threw up.  That, was the worst part for me.  I HATE throwing up.  Hate, hate, hate it!  I suppose the procedure went fine.  They said I was out with barely any dosage of sleep medication.  I heard them say I was a lightweight; I could have told them that!

Anyway, it’s over. Done. Kayla, you can be proud of me….I did it!  I did the responsible thing…”for the children”.  Now it’s your turn.

They had the time of their lives!  Summer Theater Academy 2014 has come and gone.  It wasn’t their first experience on stage, but it was their first experience with this program.  And what a wonderful experience it was for them!   I look back to when my older three were this age and wish I had known programs like this existed.  I’m sure living in the Front Range of Colorado I could have found ample opportunities of them….if only I had known.  I seem to spend a lot of energy wishing I had done things differently.  But I also know that is wasted energy because each child’s path and experiences will all be uniquely their own…even though I have carefully tried to be “equal” with all of them.  The fact that I did my best to offer like experiences to each of them at some point didn’t necessarily mean their childhoods would be clones.   Their different interests, their unique personalities, their places in the birth order….and many other factors combined together have given each child their own unique experiences.  They all have their own stories to write and live out.

For my three youngest….this Summer Theater Academy is a chapter in their books of life that they will forever cherish.  I’m sure my Jacob wishes we had been aware of this program when he was young enough to experience the acting side.   He did, however, thoroughly enjoy being a part of the whole process volunteering to work behind the scenes and gaining new friendships….even the days he was dealing with behavior issues and cleaning up pee from little ones.  It was all part of his experience.  His story with Summer Theater Academy begins in a different place than the younger ones.

My Jeanae would have loved to have been given the opportunity to chew off more than she was given, but she embraced her role as a mer-sister (in the end playing the role of Alana rather than Aquata as originally assigned), and she was eager to sing and act every line that was hers.  Although she is a natural on stage, I’m not sure if the stage is where she will find her utmost interests.  For now, she is loving the opportunities before her.  She’s a girl with many interests, and one specific talent or interest does not yet stand out above the rest….not as far as I can tell.

My Joseph though….I do believe he was born to be on stage.  He has been dancing since he could move his arms.  He feels the music; he possesses a quality to take on any character thrown at him.  A deal breaker for him at the ripe old age of eleven would be if he had to kiss a girl.  That’s just too gross to him.  Makes me smile.  He played the role of Prince Eric.  He played the role with passion and precision….leaving his whole heart and personality on the stage.  And, he did not have to “kiss the girl”.   A hug was sufficient.

Even though the experience was fabulous, and the loud, excited conversation at dinner last night included lots of stories, smiles and laughter about specific moments from each performance; what excites my Joseph the most about the whole experience is the friendships that were made….the new people in his life that have made a difference in his own story.  It wasn’t that he had the lead, nor that he got many compliments, or even that little girls wanted his autograph (5 autographs requested so he tells me)….those were all fine moments which he will fondly carry with him for a long time.  But, what he cannot stop talking about are the people, the friendships, the opportunity to be himself and be accepted for who he is….that is what he is beaming with excitement about and continues to excitedly share with me!  Hearing the excitement in his voice and seeing the gleam in his eyes is simply priceless.

He showed up every day for rehearsals bringing a piece of himself and his heart to share with these new friends.  Not knowing if he would be accepted was scary, but he courageously showed up anyway.  He brought his whole heart and all his “Josephness” every day as he shared puppets, magic tricks, hats, jokes…..all that he wants to share with the world.  On the last day of the play, he drew pictures of the characters each of his new friends played so he could give them a small gift to remember their part and remember him.  He explained to me that his heart was thumping out of his chest as he attempted to present each of them with their individual gifts several times before mustering the courage to offer each gift with a piece of his heart still on the paper.  He was so nervous about this because he vividly remembers the crushed feeling of rejection…of having his heart ripped in two when he excitedly drew pictures for all his seven-year-old soccer teammates at the end of one season.  Unaware of how sometimes kids can be cruel, he wanted to give them all a gift at the end of the season….a gift he hoped they would all treasure.   But, having little-to-no money to spend, he wanted to give them each a personalized drawing he spent time creating specifically for each individual teammate.  The tears still well up in his eyes when he recounts the emotions he felt when he went from enthusiastically arriving for the last game with his carefully packed drawings to watching each and every one of them laugh before tearing the papers in half and throwing them away.  He gave his heart that day.  They ripped it up; they disregarded it; and they left it bruised, hardened, and a little worse for the wear.  It was sad to watch his heart break.  It was more sad to hear him four years later tell me once again how the pain was still raw and evident as his eyes glossed over with tears at the memory.  But then, the tears of pain turned to tears of joy as he shared with me how these new friends did not reject his gift….his heart.  They accepted his gifts with grace, thus accepting him just the way he is.  I think a little faith in humanity was restored with this entire process.  I believe my little boy is not afraid to show up, to be himself, to be the whole person God created him to be!

Recently I got a new electronic toothbrush.  We’ve had Sonicare and Oral B electronic toothbrushes for many years.  But some of the chargers were not working, so some were replaced….mine being one of them.  I’m not sure the type it is, and I’m too lazy to go look.  But, the first time I used it, there was a flashing red light that was giving me and my astigmatism a slight headache.  I wondered why the light?  But without my bifocals I couldn’t read the instructions.  I kept using it like that for a while thinking it must mean that it detects a spot that needs better brushing…..you know….like those red pills they gave us as kids to see how much we missed when brushing.  Seemed logical to me.  So I spent extra time brushing more vigorously when the light was flashing.  A week or so later I had my glasses on and decided to read about this mysterious light.

It turns out that the light is not indicating that I need to brush harder or for a longer duration in that area….the light is telling me that I am being too rough….that I need to be more gentle.  

Oh.

You know…..that’s what it is like in life.  Often we try to force things, force events, force people….use lots of force to “fix” whatever.  Just like the toothbrush, I see the opposite is necessary.  We need to stop forcing our beliefs, forcing to get our way, forcing to change outcomes, forcing to meet goals, forcing to achieve so-called peace.  We need to stop using force, and focus on being more gentle, more kind, more loving toward one another and toward our circumstances.  Force won’t change a thing, and it often makes matters worse.  Force won’t change anything.  But, love…love has the capacity to change everything.  It’s something to think about.

 

I overheard a bit of a conversation this morning between a man and woman.  I didn’t mean to eavesdrop…really I didn’t.  It happened because I left the house once again ill-prepared to keep myself busy during swim lessons.  I brought a Ballard Designs magazine that came in the mail.  That was fun….for five minutes.  I had my phone.  I checked voicemail, email and Facebook (twice) before I noticed my phone was almost dead.  So, there was nothing more to do than try to watch my swimmers from afar and eat their muffins.  Okay…another five minutes gone.  I was left with twenty more minutes and began overhearing the nearest conversation:  She had just texted a friend who was going back to work for the first time in fourteen years….and she needed to obtain dressy-casual clothes.  There was more….the conversation continued, but my mind began to wonder, calculate, and freak out just a little bit.

Fourteen years?  That’s a long time. (Quick calculation in my head). It’s been almost 21 years since I’ve worked.  Egads!  I wonder if I’m qualified to do anything out there anymore?  It’s not like I was qualified for anything out of college anyway.  I know I don’t have anything to wear.  Heck I can’t even find something to wear for small, informal get-togethers because I rarely attend any.  Nope.  Nothing to wear.  No career possibilities.  I sure wasted my education.  I mean…with my math aptitude and grades I really should have majored in engineering; but whenever anyone mentioned engineering back then, all I could think was that I didn’t want to drive a train.  (For the record…I did later learn there are engineers other than those who drive trains….even though I’m still not quite sure what engineers actually do).  At the very least I should have become an accountant….but that would have made my dad think I was following his advice.  Wouldn’t want that!  Too bad I was so young and stupid back then.  Why did I major in psychology?  Why?  Oh yeah….my community college psychology instructor told me to.  That’s right.  He took me to the nearest four year university after my dad died and helped me register.  That was nice.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have figured out how to register for college without him.  At least he got me to college.  And, Bob Newhart was funny…I could be like Bob Newhart.  Too bad I later found out I needed at least a masters degree to become Bob Newhart….most likely needed a PhD.  Hmmmm…. I was too lazy and poor and hungry to keep going to school back then…..

My thoughts most likely continued to ramble out of control in different directions until the remaining 20 minutes of swim lessons had passed.   All those thoughts made me realize how very much I wish my children to not be so clueless.  I want them to know who they are, what their passions and goals are.  I want them to not waste their time or talents, but to figure out their hopes, dreams and goals….and then work hard and have fun achieving their purposes.  I guess I can remember hearing random sentences like that after my dad died….people telling me I could be anything I wanted to be….Yada, yada, yada!  But, it didn’t register.  I had gone through my entire education from Kindergarten to that point in life without anyone communicating to me the importance of direction, passion, interests, careers, etc.  It wasn’t too late (at the age of 20) to figure out an interest, talent, goal, passion, etc.  It was doable, I suppose.  But the lack of guidance and clarity I grew up with sure made decision making in those days quite foggy.  I don’t think the fact that kids fall through the cracks in this area of education is necessarily attributed to how they are educated….whether they are home schooled, private schooled or public schooled. I think it simply happens all too often.  And I do believe parents are initially responsible for helping direct their children.  Later, other influences come into play.  I’m not sure how I managed to get through school…even through college…without anyone ever challenging me to think about a future.  All I know, is I want more for my kids.  Kids, let’s talk about your dreams.  Let’s make them reality!

My Soccer Mom duties began very early this morning.  I seemed to have existed in a semi-conscious state throughout most of the night because somewhere around 5:00 a.m. I needed to make sure my husband got out of bed to take my third son to the bus for soccer camp.  I take my Soccer Mom duties seriously….I do what I can.  I didn’t really need to worry about it though because this particular son has always been very good at getting up and getting to his stuff on time, and he was more than capable of waking his dad.  He’s got a lot of me in him though as he tends to subconsciously worry about things….as is exhibited when he gets up in the middle of the night to get ready sometimes.  And, when that happens, there’s a slight possibility that he may oversleep.  So, just to cushion the anxiety about getting up in time this morning, I helped him out by sleeping lightly and restlessly all night.  You’re welcome, Son.

Soccer is the first sport I put any of my kids in….even before swimming lessons.  Why?  Whenever the city’s recreation brochure arrived in the mail, I would scour it to see if there was anything in which my kids were old enough to participate because I was aware that parents put their kids in activities.  I didn’t grow up participating in any activities other than swim lessons (we just played in the neighborhood).  But with my kids, it seemed it was the thing to do once they were old enough to take part in anything because that’s what every other parent was doing with their children.  I was such a sheep.  Now a days I don’t worry so much about keeping up with what all the other parents and kids are doing.

Anyway, they had to be four for swimming lessons….unless they did the Mommy & Me class, but HELLO…..I was knee deep in boys by the time the oldest was three, so Mommy & Me was OUT!  But, soccer….back in the day they let kids start soccer at the age of three.  As my brood grew, the age changed to four; but my first three all began at the age of three.  So, soccer it was!  I didn’t ask them.  I just signed them up, took them to “practices”, and showed up to cheer for them at the games.  When they were little, those games were priceless to watch.  It was such a simple, innocent pleasure watching these clueless, adorable three year olds run around to try to kick the ball without touching it.  Or, they would play in the grass….oblivious to the game being played around them.

As with all the children out on the field, some of my kids “got it” and some didn’t.  Some of them enjoyed it, while others tolerated it.  Most of them played soccer for a few years.  But, my Jordan not only understood the game fully at the age of three, but he LOVED it.  He has been passionate about soccer his whole life.  It is his thing.  This picture shows him in one of his first games at the age of three.  The shirt was a little big and/or he was a little small.  But, what he lacked in size he made up for in determination and tenacity.  He always showed up to play hard and win the game.

1999 Jordan Soccer - 2

Through the years he has played on various recreational teams depending on our moves….always excelling and giving 110% on the field.  When he reached the age for tryouts, he played a year with his age group, then a year with boys at the next age up as he was preparing himself for high school soccer and wanted more of a challenge.  High school soccer came, and he made the varsity team as a freshman.  Everything was going his way, and he was having the time of his life.

But, then we moved.  Not only did we move, but we moved to a state which does not allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports.  Because our state had allowed homeschooler participation, I never even considered a state wouldn’t; and, regretfully, I never checked into it.  Hindsight is 20/20.

So, Jordan made the best of it, tried to stay positive, and joined a club team in a nearby city .  He was playing with boys older than himself once again, but this time he didn’t know any of them….and it made a difference.  The joy for the game was quickly lost to the point that he chose to not try out for the next season.  I was surprised to see our days of schlepping soccer chairs across various soccer fields every Saturday morning come to an abrupt end.  I didn’t see it coming.  But, I also wasn’t going to force him to play if he wasn’t enjoying it anymore.

He had a plan though.  His plan was to keep practicing, gain strength and size, and somehow find a way to play.  He joined adult leagues, he played with whoever showed up at the field on Saturday mornings, he played with all different nationalities even when he didn’t know what they were saying. Soccer is and was their universal language so it worked out for him.  He was beginning to love to play again….the joy was returning.  One nice young gentleman even stepped in to offer to train him one-on-one because he could see the potential and passion Jordan has for soccer.  I believe God placed him in Jordan’s path for a purpose.  Jordan was wise enough to accept his offer.  Yes.  He could have been a weirdo, stalker, serial killer kind of guy.  But he’s not.  He truly was and is a good man simply following his heart to help.

But, one thing was still missing….the chance to try to earn a scholarship to play college soccer.  At one point, Jordan planned to try to walk onto a team at college.  But, after much perseverance and working through many hurdles, hoops and obstacles; Jordan found a way to play high school soccer for this upcoming season.  It was not a simple process as the high schools in our district do not have soccer programs for high schoolers.  He had to find a way to be allowed to play as a transfer student in the next county.  Because he’s out-of-district, and because he has been home schooled his whole life, the process has been lengthy.  But, this fall he will enter the public school system for the first time as a senior in high school so that he can have a chance to fulfill his dream to play collegiate soccer.

This morning we put him on a bus with his new team as they headed to Missouri for a four-day camp in the 100 degree temperatures.  The kid has GOT to love soccer to do that!  It will be a first for us to have a child in the public school system.  There will be much to learn as we are unfamiliar with the whole system, and it’s been thirty years since I was part of a public school system.  It’s a little intimidating to go from a homeschool class of one to a 6-A school with class sizes in the hundreds.  I have no doubt he will do fine.  I hope the very best for him.  I hope and pray that it is a good year, a growing year, and a year filled with making memories and dreams come true.  And, what will it do for his socialization?  That remains to be seen.

You know, in the past, the times that I have slept the best, kept the house the cleanest, and had enough time for everyone were the times when my houses were on the market.  Yes, I had to be vigilant about keeping them show-ready which wasn’t always fun….but it wasn’t hard once the clutter was gone.  It’s the “having the house show-ready”…..having all the clutter gone and out of sight….that makes it so much more enjoyable.  That’s my goal…to achieve that kind of peace.  But, there is a mental block that stops me every time I try to declutter.

A friend mentioned purging yesterday.  I wasn’t sure if she meant vomiting or getting rid of stuff, but she clarified….getting rid of stuff.  Novel idea.  First of all, nobody ever taught me to purge, to get rid of stuff, to only keep what you need.  I love that idea, but for some reason….probably because I was raised by a mom who saved everything — and I mean EVERYTHING….I haven’t been able to achieve success in this area.  I was taught to hoard, not purge.  I love watching Hoarders, by the way.  It makes me feel not so bad about my house.  It even makes me feel a little smug and superior that my house isn’t that bad.  Anyway, now, as an adult, even though I know the peace I have when things are kept to a minimum, I can’t seem to unlock the part of my brain that believes I can let go of STUFF.

Secondly, I have made a few attempts at decluttering in the past.  And, you know what?  I have regrets.  I gave away my mom’s mixer….the one I grew up with.  I bet some thrift shop was thrilled to have that.  I gave away china tea cups.  I gave away one of my second son’s cherished stuffed animals — two, actually.  It was a little mommy panda bear and a little baby panda bear.  I knew he had to plea with his grandma to even let him have both of them one Christmas, but I didn’t realize they were that important to him until he was gathering his prized childhood possessions one year to store away…and he couldn’t find those bears.  I’m sure there are more regrets….those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.

But, somebody please tell me why I think I need to keep 22 beach towels when in the last two years only the two little ones have gone swimming much?  I can count on one hand the number of times anyone else in the family has gone swimming.  So, maybe I can justify keeping 8 towels….but 22?  And, bed sheets….how many of those do I need to keep?  The list goes on and on.

Obviously from the items I’ve listed above, I began trying to declutter the closet with towels and bed sheets (and a bunch of other ridiculous stuff that I don’t know what to do with).  All I’ve managed to do is pull it all out and make a mess; and then I needed a coffee break…..and the dog needed his daily snuggle too.  So I sat down to ponder why I can’t purge.

Anyone?  Anyone?  What’s the secret to letting go of stuff…stuff I never use and don’t need?  Stuff that keeps me awake at night and takes valuable time to rotate.  Stuff that simply takes up space.  I’ve done Flylady.  I’ve read all the decluttering books and tips.  The fact is….I haven’t made up my mind to do it yet.  It’s like when you decide to choose to eat more healthily, and you try about 3,000 times to follow through….but then one day you finally do it.  Something switches in your brain, and there’s no turning back.  I need the purge switch turned on.  Life’s too short to let the stuff consume me.

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