Sunday, December 28, 2008

I don't know if I should let anyone into this part of my brain ...but here it goes

I'm sure there are several people out there who share this same after Christmas pattern with me- cleaning out old toys to make room for new toys. I'm sure this is a very smart, efficient idea that is in several books with titles like, "Organize your house and everything in it." "Clear your home, Clear you mind." or "Peace in the soul begins with peace in the playroom closets." (I don't know these are actual books but I believe they could be with all the self-help, organizational info out there. Hasn't Oprah done a show about something like this?!?) And I do agree that this is a good, solid yearly practice. But my problem with this practices lies in the innerworkings of my mind and somewhat from my nurturing environment- you know the nature vs. nurture debate. I have mentioned this several times before but I was raised by a financially careful father and a clutter careful mother. Please know that there are several more facets to both of my parents personalities but these are the two parts that have strongly been endued in me and are often battling it out in my mind. Therefore they are great fodder for posts. (I'm trying to get my sister to have to use an online dictionary by using words like fodder and endued- because that is part of my personality- although I don't think that is a nurture trait. I believe that is just me.)
But back to my inner dilemma- I want to have clean, organized closets like my mom taught me, but in order to do this I have to throw stuff away, which goes against my father's mantra of "Use it up, wear it out, make it due or do without." So when I go to throw away the one of seven baby dolls we have that has an eye missing and a marker-decorated head, I find myself creating a scenario where I would need this mutilated doll and if I don't save it, I will have to go out and buy a new one. What this scenario really is I couldn't tell you, but it causes me to have a playroom filled with semi-useful, semi-fun toys that don't really get played with but are there just in case.
And another factor that complicates this in my mind is (and shhh!- don't tell Eric this part.) ,but I don't know if I am done having children, so I should keep that Bob the Builder Memory Game just in case I have another child and just in case it is a boy! AHHHH! I really need help. Plus my mom who attacks unuseful clutter the same way one should attack a stuck on band-aid- just rip it right off- is halfway across the world so she can't tell me to finally throw away that Chinese checkers game that I bought from DI 13 years ago when I started teaching school but I have never played with my kids. But really who knows when the mood might strike me to play a game of Chinese checkers-which truth be told I don't even know how to play. And so the cycle plays through in my head. And if anyone has any suggestions on how to break this cycle- please let me know! But for now I will just sleep peacefully knowing that if anyone gets the urge to play with a talking barbeque whose lid falls off every time it gets opened- I'm their woman!

15 comments:

amberjill said...

i'm that same way! i try to de-clutter and my biggest inner battle is that i don't know what Grady will want to play with, so i better just keep it all! the good thing is, at least you still fit in with your adopted family, too! you wouldn't be considered a freak at our house by me, but maybe by my husband. but, then again, unicorns comes to our birthday parties!

Amy said...

You crack me up! Sorry, but I side with your mom on that kind of stuff. Declutter until your heart's content.

Your Christmas card was really cute. I am so enjoying reconnecting through blogs!

Finn said...

I think Michelle was right all along, you were adopted.

Julie said...

Just let your house go to Hell in a hand basket...You can worry about being clutter free and clean when your kids are old enough to remember it.

Wood Family said...

very funny missy- 1st of all- you already told me what "fodder" means and 2nd I used my context clues to figure out "endued". Although, I must admit I have NEVER heard that word!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I'm in a rush for my post-Christmas blog catch up marathon, so I'll keep it short: loved it. And I understand.

Sestra Robbins said...

Wow, we caused a dilemma for you!!

Liz said...

Use it up, wear it out, make it do AND CHUCK IT OUT!!!! I believe that if it hasn't been used in a year, it won't be. Our goal in life is NOT to acquire things, it is to get rid of what we acquire.

Allison said...

Chuck it. Just chuck it. I agree with the previous commenter--If it hasn't been used in a year, get rid of it. (But I married one like your dad, who likes to keep everything, just in case. I have gotten myself into trouble with my tossing hands.) Here's an idea. Have a garage sale in the spring--someone will want those semi-fun toys. Whatever is left, throw away. If your garage buyers don't want it, you really shouldn't either.

Kelly said...

You need Fly Lady girl! This is also where D.I. comes in. I was raised the same way, but taking car loads of old toys to D.I. feels much better than throwing them away.

kj said...

Haha . . . if you figure that one out, pass it along. I am the same way!!

I miss you!! One of my new year's resoloutions is to keep in better touch with all of my favorite people . . . I hope blogging helps! (I stink at it so far . . . another resoloution maybe?)

p.s. I DID get your Christmas card . . . DARLING!! Your family is beautiful.
p.s.s. So fun that you guys know Mandy and Jon! They are so awesome . . . I'll tell them hello!

Lori said...

Like I keep telling you, you need to write a book with the wonderful skills you have for expressing yourself. Hope you are having a great time in the RV in New Orleans.

Jennifer Finally said...

I do so love you! I tried to come by the other day before you left, but missed you, and I tried to call, but no answer. So I guess you'll have to come visit me next Nov. Sounds good.

Tamra said...

This is a little late, but I am al for the pre-Christams clean up and toss out (as well as the pre-Easter, pre-Birthday, and pre-anytime the mood strikes me). My husband and kids live in fear of the "pre-Event" declutter sessions. But my new thing is, I try to sell it all on KSL first. Everything sells on KSL and even if I only get $5, I don't feel so bad for getting rid of it. Probably should be more of a humanitarian and donate it to DI or Savers or Good Will, but truthfully-I'm not. Good luck. Your post really made me laugh, I can now view myself through my husband's eyes a little.

The Christensens said...

Every year the day after Christmas I take everything down and start organizing. This year we were a little late, but it was still down by Dec. 30. I like to throw away and Jeff's a pack rat. He has stuff in our closet that hasn't been worn for 10 years, but he won't get rid of it.