Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sorting, tossing, giving away

Shoot, it's Wednesday already and I meant to post earlier about my progress last week. I did find some time to hand quilt but have just a bit more to do before the last square is done and I can move on to the last triangle. How much will get done this week is a question, plus I'm nearly out of thread and waiting for another spool to arrive in the mail.

So I thought I'd get a lot taken care of in the studio, but it must have been too much for me to face. Instead, I found myself working on the garage, then the storage closet downstairs towards the end of the week. Much easier to decide what to do with old caulk and paint thinner and stuff for car maintenance that I'll never use. Thanks to Freecycle, a friend with a big truck and my neighbor, lots got taken away to new homes where it will actually see some use.

I've always been a bit of a packrat, too sentimental by half and a bit lazy, so to find so much stuff to get rid of is no surprise. The surprise came when I ran across some things I truly thought I'd ditched in the last move! Well, hold that thought, I told myself, and out the door they went. What will continue to travel with me are a box full of journals, a scrapbook from my college days and memorabilia from my late husband - letters he wrote hoping to get published, special cards and notes to me, pictures, the good memories of a 25 year marriage.

The weekend saw me doing some things for the last time - the 3rd Saturday of the month meet at Borders with my best friend and quilting buddy, a drive out to a little quilt show given by the first guild I belonged to to say goodbye to those I've stayed in touch with. Monday and Tuesday held dinner parties - the couple who got us out to Wisconsin in the first place and became our good friends, and a gathering of couples from my church. Sweet goodbyes all and wonderful to see them so happy for me.

I had hoped that my downstairs sorting success and feeling of release would spur me onto similar success upstairs and in the studio, but it is hard to jettison things from there. I sidetracked a bit to shred files, but eventually tackled the chaos, as I've been calling it.
Margaret commenting on my post of a few days ago said... Surely corralling chaos is an artistic goal -- "it all feeds into the same place" and if you're being distracted by chaos, that saps your creative energy. Oh so right. Plus so much time is lost just trying to find this and that. So although I may not be pitching much (although some kettle cloth and some orange loosely woven fabric from the '70's made it into the Goodwill bag), at least I'm organizing. All the vest and purse ideas/fabric/notions are together in one bin, my most recent art quilt ideas/efforts/in progress pieces in another, the leftover mostly traditional UFO's that I still want to finish in a third. Next I need to pull out the footlocker still harboring the last fabrics I bought for making shirts and blouses. I know there will be lots to go there which will make room for a stack of fabric that's been on a shelf to keep most of the folds out of it. Already I feel less tension when I enter the room.

And so it goes. Tick, tick, tick off the lists, although it doesn't seem like enough is coming off. Tomorrow afternoon it's the final haircut (can't tell you how much I wish I could take my beautician with me!), then the final servicing of the car to ready it for the long drive. I should feel a little lighter every day, and do, but then I see the time left and it all compresses into weight again. Frankly, I can't even look at the calendar right now. Just keep reminding myself that what doesn't get done can most likely be taken care of on the other end.

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