Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cobwebs From the Past

I am having a terrible time at it with the storage sheds. The work is tedious and overwhelming me. I feel buried by junk - buried by death. All the stuff just represents dead objects and what is no more. Yesterday, at the shed I ran into my old Avon lady and she and I hugged and caught up as I haven't talked with her since my move. She related feeling exactly as I have expressed - feelings of anxiety, being overwhelmed and as if she is going to have a panic attack. Her plan is also to condolidate stuff from multiple sheds into one unit - to go through stuff and get rid of the excess. She mentioned having a garage sale and I asked her to call me so I might add some things. But it is very difficult just getting through the sheds. The extra cash I might get at a sale would be nice but to be realistic, I don't have the time, energy or orgainizational skills to really try and sell the stuff. The tax donation credit I take is substantial - but to take it I end up documenting EVERYTHING I donate and you know what that means - it is just more work.

Speaking of work that is all I seem to have done since my husband got sick. Spent years taking care of him and his needs. Parenting the boys, helping my folks, even helping out Sam with his move out-of-state! This storage shed job just seems like another thorn in my side. A job that never gets done. It fits in with my observation that there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes after a spouse dies. Everyone thinks that after a few months of grieving that one should be back on their feet. But even years after the death there is work and stuff to get through, especially if it involves moving or downsizing.

I hate being told that I should just start hauling boxes to the dumpster without even looking in them to dispose of them. These are my possessions and belongings and I deserve to at least sort through them to retain sentimental items. It is just such darn hard and draining work, physically and emotionally. I didn't think it was going to be this bad. So far, I have "downsized" my storage twice so this is the third time. The first was right after the move in October. Then March-May of this year. I am still tired from the last time.

Tried sorting through things while moving from one shed to the other but that is too time consuming and I get off track. I need to move the stuff to save the money and then concentrate on weeding through, sorting and disposing of.

The last years of my life have brought with them more hardship than joy and somehow I see and feel all of that hardship within this storage shed job. Just looking at, touching, moving, constantly thinking about and being surrounded by old junk in a storage shed I'm paying dearly for is enough to make me want to collapse in frustration and fatigue. Oftentimes while I'm working at the shed I just call out in anguish that I can't take it anymore.

My Avon lady commented that it must have been a hard adjustment to have moved from my 2,500 square foot, five-bedroom home to an apartment less than half that size. Yes, it has been. And now I am left with the final job of trying to pare down from one life to this new one. There is only so much time and energy, especially as a widowed mom. I can only take so much, my personal resources only go so far.

I hope this is the final leg of this journey. It has been hot and rainy. I am irritable and angry, cross and blue. This is not an uplifting and joyful process. I wish I could feel motivated and strong that I am accomplishing something for my betterment. But I just feel so bogged down - the work is so exhausting that negativity outweighs the good coming out of this project. This is like extra work on top of all the extra work that has piled up as a result of widowhood. I'm so tired of all of this. I want to be taking a walk and admiring daylilly flowers not sweating and getting dirty in a miserable, dark, smelly storage unit. I've had enough of all this tiring crap. I want more joy and laughter. More sunshine and uncluttered surfaces. More hope and less despair. When I'm working in the shed that is what surrounds me - the overwhelming feeling of despair and hopelessness. It is time to come into the light and to become more free and less tied down to all that is old, outdated, worn out and past its prime.

Please give me the strength to carry on with this job. If I had the money to spare I'd be tempted to throw in the towel and try to do this at a less ambitious pace. But financially I can't swing the cost of these two units anymore. I pray for the resolve to carry me through the next few days. I pray for a rainbow among the clouds with all this rain. I pray for my sanity and for my back to not break under this load. I pray for lightness of spirit and for me to not be so critical of myself as I try to tackle a job most people are spared from having to face on their own. I have to say that I was a tiny bit annoyed as my Avon lady went through her rundown of feelings AS HER HUSBAND STOOD BY HER SIDE. I was glad to know I am not the only one feeling overwhelmed and overworked with this job. But it was a stab in the back to be reminded of how challenging it is to continually face this kind of stuff on my own when the majority have a spouse or family to count on to some degree.


  1. I know. It's a super crappy job! But it sounds like you're doing well. Don't give up regardless of how crappy it seems. Can you bring along a radio or ipod or something and put on some music or something that would help to take your mind off the depressing aspects of sorting through old stuff? I'm not much of a music listener, but sometimes that has helped me when I've had something truly nasty to work on for several hours. One thing that might help with the smaller tedious stuff is to just toss it in the car at the end of the day, bring it home and go through it in a comfortable place. Storage sheds are a crappy place to go through small stuff. Anyhow, I'm thinking of you. My "mess" is different now. I'm in my old house which I'm working on. In fact, today, I'm plastering over the old lath walls in one of the bedrooms getting it ready for when my mom comes to visit in a few weeks. It's hot, but not too bad as the windows are open. However, my place is in such a mess at the moment. There are file boxes of belongings in stacks all over the house. It makes me feel a bit stressed seeing all of this damned stuff everywhere, but until I get more roomed plastered and painted, there's a limit to where I can put things. I'm trying hard to ignore it. Fortunately, no one comes here to visit, so it's not like it matters if the place is in total chaos -- unless I drop dead -- and then this big mess would be rather an embarrassment! Oh well!

    As in the quote I posted on my blog a couple of days ago - about life in general living as a widow -- When you're going through Hell, don't stop! Yup, this is probably the widow equivalent of Hell, but just keep going until you're out the other side. I believe you'll get it done.

  2. Bev - I have thought alot about your quote these past few weeks of working on the storage sheds and have to say I think it is one of the best I have heard. It doesn't sugar coat the situation. Just tells it like it is. Sometimes you just have to keep going through hell. And you don't even have a glimpse of any heaven in front of you.