Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Great Cull

The “nesting” continues.  I have to admit I kind of don’t like that term, and I’ll tell you why.  It makes it sound like I am being taken over by some instinct that wouldn’t be natural anyway, like some robot.  To me it’s all logical.  I’m in, “if I don’t do this project now, I won’t get around to it until the kid goes to college” mode.  I mean, really, having a contractor over stirring up plaster dust and moving all the furniture around while breastfeeding?  Having strange men tromping in and out all day while my toddler tries to take a nap?  I don’t think so.  I’m trying to set up a situation to keep the chaos at a minimum around here those first few years.  It sucks because all of this involves money I don’t have, but I am willing to go into debt/delay my debt payoff schedule in the service of having the house clean, organized, and ready for when the baby comes, and to not have to do these major projects again for at least ten years.  That’s the goal. 

Yesterday was The Great Book Cull.  It took ALL DAY.  I had planned on a couple of hours – nope.  All day.  My hands were black at the end of it.  But it felt fantastic.  For the first time, well, ever, I got rid of books no longer relevant to my life (independent filmmaking instructions from the late 80s), books that have no sentimental attachment for me, books I’m not interested in ever reading again.  Then I grouped them together which I don’t think I’ve ever done.  The categories were kind of interesting – Old/Cool Looking, Film (I kept a few), Writing, Languages/Travel (most of these I kept only to make me look all continental), Religion/Atheism, Feminism, Psychology, and finally, Kids.  I was surprised by just how many kids books I still have.  Many of them have a girl slant to them – Little Women, Alice in Wonderland, Little House on the Prairie.  Not sure how to handle that when it comes to my son.  Are there great series that have boys as the subject?  It seems like most of the books of our childhood have a girl perspective…or maybe that’s just because I am a girl.  Well, at least there’s Narnia. 

Late that night I got a wild hair up my ass to open a couple of boxes tucked away in a closet that literally have been taped shut since the late 80s, and was amazed by what I found.  Although I didn’t find the original Mary Poppins series I have been looking for for ages (they’ve got to be around here somewhere, dammit), I did find an entire box of even more kids books, almost all of which I’d completely forgotten about.  It’s amazing what happens to an adult’s brain when they just look at the cover of a book from their childhood.  I felt all gooey and good.  There’s one called “King Brioche” which has these fantastic late 60s – early 70s psychedelic illustrations of a king and his love of pastry; there’s one about a new baby in the house that has these adorable pictures of this little hippie family.  So many great memories.  I was huge about books when I was a kid.  I hope my kid gets this from me.  I already have a plan to have a kind of “reading hour” when he gets older where we both turn everything off and just read.  Hopefully I’ll be able to follow through with this. 

I also found some little record albums about Bible stories from my old church, and quite a few books for kids from that religion, too.  I’m a bit torn on what to do with these.  I don’t mind giving them away; I will give some of these books away.  But it did cross my mind that it’s kind of f-d up to give away a book just because it mentions God, Jesus, and the Bible.  Still, that’s not going to be our belief system, so why have them?  Kind of conflicted. 

I also did a Jacket Cull.  I have a coat tree that is positively overloaded with jackets, scarves, hats, and purses and bags, when in fact like most people I only ever wear one or two jackets, one scarf, and use the same purse every day.  So I put all of these things away and will give away the coat tree.  Already the room it was in looks clean and streamlined without that big mess in the corner.  Awesome. 

Today the Book Cull continues.  Then will follow the VHS Cull and the DVD Cull, followed by the Utility Closet Cull (I swear I have every mop and vacuum I’ve ever owned in there, and half of them are worn out or broken), the Big Closet Cull (already did this last year when I put in hardwood floors in that room, but it seriously needs another go over), the Tool Cull (again, I have just about every tool/piece of hardware I’ve ever used for any house project, and nearly all of that can be tossed at this point).  So for me Christmas is all about getting rid of crap, as opposed to acquiring crap.  It feels fantastic.

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