The joy of purging

 The desk. 7 years ago.

The desk. 7 years ago.

Clutter makes me claustrophobic. I get anxious and moody and want to throw everything out. I didn’t grow up in a home where we had knick knacks and collectibles all over the place. Sure, we had a few, but they were always well-placed. And, moving 5 times over the past 5 years has really taught me how to live with less and less…’stuff.’

Each time we moved, I would do a MAJOR purge — donating whatever we no longer wanted (clothes, small pieces of furniture, baby gear, etc.) or tossing what I deemed to be in too poor condition that it would be insulting to donate. I choose to donate for the obvious reason of paying it forward and helping others — but also because garage sales are a lot of work and I absolutely cannot haggle in person over something I want to get rid of in the first place.

 The desk today. Plus a child. Yes, that’s the same dog!

The desk today. Plus a child. Yes, that’s the same dog!

I find purging to be extremely cathartic. It allows me to really see what I have, and what I don’t need. It’s like starting over with a clean slate. I regularly do this with clothes and accessories — if I haven’t worn something in the last 6 months, I either sell (on Poshmark — haggling online is much easier) or donate. This was especially therapeutic to do after becoming a mom, since my wardrobe changed, and I suddenly wasn’t wearing statement necklaces anymore. Is anyone?

Anyway, today — as I started preparing and packing for our next move, I went down my list of what we wouldn’t need and what was on its last leg. I decided to say goodbye to a desk I used to write at, but had become a sort of console table in our bedroom, holding books and a fake succulent. I had painted this desk from a horrid red/gold bird and forest design to a blue-gray and I should have added a protective coat on the top because there are some stains and water marks from I don’t even know what. So, while it’s fixable — I just feel like it’s time to give her a new home.

I exclusively donate to our Veterans, so I know she’ll be in good hands.

I can't have fun - I'm a MOM!

0.jpg

When I saw that Justin Timberlake was going to be at the Times Union Center in Albany, I was pretty excited. JT’s newest single “Say Something” was on rotation in our after dinner family dance party playlist, and come on — I’ve loved Justin since his Justified album. *NSYNC was cool and all…but corny. Anyway, the show was months away at that point — 4 or 5 months, I think — but it would likely sell out fast, so we decided to grab some good tickets.

Pre-parenthood, my husband and I would frequent concerts of all kinds, finding excitement ranging from easygoing, chill vibes to wild crowds to some foul-mouthed, annoyed concertgoers bumping into us looking for a confrontation. We’ve battled for front row standing room to see Liam Gallagher in Boston, danced our faces off at John Brown’s Body in Chicago and a few times in California, and Eve 6 in Orange County was quite the experience, to name just a few.

But, as I sat looking at the order confirmation email, I wondered…are we being irresponsible? I had realized I was sitting in the exact same spot in my living room as I was when news of the Ariana Grande concert bombing broke. Cue the mom guilt and anxiety.

IMG_5394.jpg

Motherhood, for me, has brought about a certain layer of caution. I think it’s normal, as I don’t go overboard with it. But, while my initial thought was “Let’s go see JT!” — my little mommy conscience started wagging her finger and telling me that going to an arena with thousands of people, where you’re in a confined area was a bit of an unnecessary risk as a parent. To be honest, I’m also not a huge fan of movie theaters unless I’m in the back near the door and this started way before being a mom.

BUT.

If parents don’t do things like this — things that we enjoy and enjoyed before parenthood — we will go nuts and lose our sense of self. And, of course — none of us can live in fear, so there’s that, too. I was conflicted.

As the JT date neared, I admit, my anxiety over the possibilities heightened. I talked about it with my husband and mom who did an amazing job at reassuring me I was just feeling like this because I’m a new mom. My husband logically broke down the security measures with me and then looked me dead in the eyes, held my shoulders, kissed my forehead and said, “If you don’t want to go, we won’t. And, if we go and at any point, you want to leave - we leave. Simple as that." I thought about it for a little while. Then, I told him, “Let’s have fun and where do you want to go for a drink beforehand?” Simple as that.

And, we did have a LOT of fun.

Sigh. Does it get easier?

So much newness

moving.jpg

Moving away from the only place you’ve called ‘home’ at the age of 31 has its challenges. You don’t even realize how much work goes into settling into a new state/area until you have to actually do it.  And, I have done it three times since then.

You need a new:
Primary Care Doctor
OBGYN
Pediatrician
Dentist
Closest ER/Hospital
Closest Emergency Animal Hospital
Pharmacy
Hair Stylist
Eye Doctor
Veterinarian
Dog Groomer

And that’s just (some of - I’m sure I’ve missed something) the important stuff. For me, it took a few first visits with doctors until I found one I liked, and once I did alllll of that and got us settled, I had to do it again. And then again. At least for this next move, I’ll have some familiarity of who to get established with and where some things are.

(SN: Don’t you think it’s crazy the ONLY 24hr emergency animal hospital is in Latham? That’s so far for folks who live in East Greenbush, Bethlehem, etc. especially during a stressful situation with a fur baby)

So, if we’re connected on Facebook (why wouldn’t we be?!) and you live in the Capital Region, I’m sure I’ll be asking for some suggestions (especially for things like a hair stylist, good manicure, etc.) as our moving date gets closer. It’s literally just 3 weeks, now!