Hi, it’s me. I’m taking a break from the newsletter this week because All The Things are happening on All The Nights this week and time to finesse words is not the top priority. I’m currently typing this introduction with my thumbs in Google Docs on my phone while occasionally RICE CHEX WHEAT CHEX CORN CHEXing into my lapel mic as Bryan configures audio for his studio setup.
He’s working on something for Reality Ain’t, and I’m his Andy Richter, his R2D2, his Olaf!...his hilarious and sassy sidekick.
The good news is, my busy week means you get another microwaved post!
The following was originally posted to my old blog in December 2007. The kids were two and four, and we lived in a different house. For a little context, I was and still am a Pile Maker, and “cleaning” usually consists of moving my clutter piles somewhere else but not actually dealing with them. I once read a description of my personality that said:
“When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, you are typically unaware of such things. You might go long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, for instance.”
It’s true, stuff just disappears from my vision if it sits there long enough. A grocery bag in the hallway will eventually blend into the wall until someone who isn’t a Zug comes over and I look at my home as if through their eyes. Then suddenly I notice the clutter.
These days I simultaneously care less and I’m generally better at keeping on top of it. The kids are older and contribute more. We work better together as a family to keep things tidy. We have less stuff and also have better hiding places for the stuff.
Twenty-two years into a thing, you’re better at it than when you’re only six years in.
Well, Bryan just groaned and muttered, “I’m an idiot…” which means he finally figured out the thing he spent the last hour troubleshooting, so I’ll sign off for now and see you next week.
Until next time,
101 Things Found on My Piano
The Great Purge of 2007 did not stick. Most everything that I decluttered is back to its original glory, that is, CLUTTERED. A girlfriend came over for lunch yesterday, and I had to kick toys out of the way to get through the living room, then clear off the counter to make lunch, then clear the dining table so we could eat. We had a good laugh about it, but I felt embarrassed and discouraged.
So after she left I put a movie on for the kids and decluttered the top of my piano, which is a major hot spot of clutter in my house – it being the only surface in the living/dining area that doesn’t need to be eaten from or have a drink set on. It’s a non-functional space, so it’s easy to drop stuff there and get it out of the way.
You’re going to die laughing when you read this, but as I began to clear stuff off the piano it was cracking me up how ridiculous I am. JUST THROW IT AWAY, ALREADY!!! I know the list is tedious, but for the sake of humoring me, you should skim it over. Plus, I’ve rewarded you at the end with a picture of what it looks like now.
Here is everything I removed from the piano:
One expired Costco coupon book.
One half-finished construction paper crown Ruthie started in Sunday school class.
Two unmailed thank you notes from my birthday, which was three months ago.
One construction paper turkey headband Ruthie made at preschool one month ago.
One glasses case.
One unmailed thank you note from Ruthie’s birthday, which was nine months ago.
One borrowed nightgown waiting to return home.
Three drink coasters (the fourth was cut to pieces by a small human in our home).
One blank birthday card waiting for a birthday.
Various thank you notes and birthday cards received that until now I haven’t had the heart to throw away.
One invitation to a party that happened eight months ago.
Two sets of iPod earbuds.
One small wedding photo album.
One unfinished felt project started on a camping trip three years ago.
One deck of playing cards.
One homemade mosaic picture frame, broken.
Two framed pictures waiting to be hung.
One user’s guide for a bluetooth hands free speaker.
One tube of chapstick, cap missing.
One pen cap, red.
One 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon.
One small flashlight.
One box of inhalation medication.
One huge box of baby wipes, owner unknown.
One purse waiting to be returned to a friend.
One bunch of Sedum Autumn Joy flowers I thought would dry well, but really just left a mess of dried flower pieces.
Pictures given to me by a friend two summers ago.
One wrapper to a spool of yarn I want to track down online.
One “control-a-man” remote I received for my birthday.
A wedding program from two months ago.
One scrap notebook the kids wrote in.
One book I’m waiting to review.
One 8.5 x 11 piece of paper with a tiny phone number written on it.
One rag that needs to be put in a box in the basement.
One book that needs to be put away on the basement shelves.
Scholastic book order forms from Ruthie’s preschool, overdue.
Class pictures from Ruthie’s preschool.
One Pound Puppy named Banjo, owner unknown.
Ha! That’s so embarrassing, but there you go. Merry Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, Bryan hung up the Christmas wreath and it’s starting to look (and smell) like Christmas in here!
p.s. I probably won’t have a cancer update this weekend, either. Nothing new to report until after some tests and appointments next week.
A brilliant post, Jen - wow to the piano haul! AWESOME!
I have at least one pile of denial in at least every room. So proud of my efforts. 🤣
I feel seen... thanks!