Aha! Finally I’m vindicated!
“It is crucial to point out the difference between clutter and hoarding. Hoarding is a mental disorder in which, “someone acquires an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner, usually resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter”. Howard agrees: “There is an idea of excess and abundance built into the word, but you don’t need a metric tonne of the stuff to call it clutter,” she says.”
I’ve been saying all along that I’m not a hoarder. You can walk on the floor in every room of my house, all the plumbing works, and nothing is stored in a chaotic manner. It’s clutter. And I own up to that — I know I have too much stuff & I’m working on paring down to the essentials. But I’m not a hoarder & I never have been.
There’s a new term making the rounds: cluttercore. Cluttercore is a design aesthetic that can be described as an organized clutter or mess. Although examples of the aesthetic were first shared on Tumblr in February 2020, the concept became popular on TikTok in July 2020 following the circulation of cottagecore videos on the platform. (“Cottagecore, also known as farmcore, is an aesthetic based around the visual culture of an idealized life on a Western farm. Common themes include plants, animals, rural kitchens and straw.”) I was going to say that I’m more cottagecore than cluttercore, since I like natural furniture & accessories, but I don’t fit that definition at all, except maybe for plants. I’m more in the spirit of my friend Ros, Autumn Cottage Diarist, who collects all sorts of beautiful old things. I’ve done a bit of that myself, but have pretty much stopped that (and of course since I can’t go anywhere because of COVID19, I’ve completely stopped it) but now am looking at each item & wondering if I love it enough to want to keep it, or if it’s a family heirloom, or is it something I can let go of? I’m finding more & more things in that last category, and then it becomes a problem of what to do with it? Good Will? Compassion Planet (“Compassion Planet brings two groups of youth, called trainees, into their program twice a year. Comprised of aged-out foster youth and youth from at-risk backgrounds (ages 18-24) these groups are empowered by 1,200 hours of on-the-job training, therapy and life skills training before graduating into CP’s Next Steps programs.” and they have a thrift store that you can donate to, so I give the good stuff to them, and the less good stuff to Good Will [who have contracted their thrift stores out to a private company, and who skim all the good items donated to their web site, where you have to pay the stated price, plus shipping; the stores are now filled with broken or mostly unwanted items.]) Have a whole stash of food items I don’t want, which I’ll give to the food bank (along with 2 boxes of paper bags — they use those to hand out the food in). Sometimes I just give things away: I gave the kid across the street the portable battery charger — I don’t have a car, what did I need it for?
I try to be ecologically sound while passing things on — it takes a bit more work but my conscience is clear.
Another lovely fall day: NOAA say it’s 86° & headed for a high of 92° but the patio thermometer says 82° which is certainly acceptable. But tomorrow is predicted to be 91° and there’s a red flag warning in place until 8:00 in the morning. More for winds of 7 to 8 MPH. combined with that slight heat and of course bone dry fuel loads. Fingers crossed that no more big fires get started! AQI is excellent at 41 although it’s predicted to be moderate later today, tomorrow and Sunday, before dropping bad down into the Good zone on Monday.I walked this morning. And Oh Lord! but I didn’t want to! My knees still hurt & I was stiff as a board. But I gave myself a good talking to, to the effect that I’m not going to get any better if I keep sitting on “my considerable behind” (Blather). So I started out, but amazingly it got easier & easier, so that now my knees aren’t hurting at all. Back is still wonky but that’s a steady state these days, and I’ve managed to get the dishwasher loaded & running in spite of it. Will get the hand dishes done when the dishwasher is done.I succumbed to temptation this morning and DoorDashed from La Bou. Got a ham & Gouda croissant, an almond croissant (which I’m saving for tomorrow morning) and half a baguette, which I’ll make into garlic bread tonight to go with the spaghetti I’m planning to cook.
So all in all it’s a good day.The only down side is: Housemate has been acting funny lately, and I’m wondering if he’s planning to move out. I’d hate to see him go — it’s a loss of income & I’d have to air out the room for at least a month to get the weed smell out. But part of me would be glad too. I put it in my God box:
The God Box is a useful method for helping you to let go of worry, reducing anxiety and for solving the seemingly insoluble problem. You could also call this your Higher Self Box, or Angel Box – whatever suits you. It doesn’t have to be a box – it could be a jar or bag – whatever is convenient, but it feels good to make it special in some way.
This is a technique that originates from the 12-Step Programs and many thousands of people have found it very effective. It works like this – quite simply you write down whatever issue it is that is concerning you that you have been unable to resolve or let go of. You then place the piece of paper in the God Box and relinquish control of fixing the situation to a higher power.
Whenever you think of the problem again, you just say to yourself, “It’s OK, it’s in the God Box – I haven’t been able to sort this out, I’ll let a higher intelligence do it for me”.
You don’t have to believe in God for this to work. If you don’t have any spiritual beliefs you may wish to think of this higher power as:
- that part of you that is connected with the great intelligence that orders all things –
- the intelligence for instance, that is always trying to maintain balance in our bodies without any effort on our part (and despite our best attempts to throw it out of balance!),
- or the intelligence that can change a caterpillar into a butterfly.
- or maybe quite simply that part of you that will bring to mind the name that you are trying to remember – that makes it pop into your head out of the blue, but only once you’ve let go of it and have stopped trying to remember.
You can put anything you like in the box:
- Worry about the future,
- about your health,
- worry about your anxiety,
- about your children or how to deal with your children
- or your relationships
- or your tendency to be impatient or lonely or angry,
- even where something is that you have mislaid … whatever you like.
Basically, this is the same as:
- what author Richard Carlson calls “putting things on the back burner of your mind,”
- or Eckhardt Tolle calls “living in the now.”
- what Meher Baba was encouraging us to do when he famously said, “do what you can and then don’t worry, be happy”.
You will find this practice at the center of all effective self-help techniques and all spiritual practices.
The beauty of the God Box is the physical component of writing your concern down and placing it in the box. The mind enjoys the finality of that gesture and isn’t so tempted to keep revisiting the concern because it is physically safely tucked away in the box and handed over to a higher intelligence to sort out.
The simplicity of this technique belies its power. It combines something of the benefits of journal writing with the immense benefits of being able to let go of thinking about those issues that you cannot or don’t know at present how to change.
By putting thoughts down on paper we give them more structure, rather than endlessly going round and round without direction. We so often keep coming back to the same thoughts again and again in an attempt to sort the issues out.
The mind has the tendency to constantly go off on tangents and writing is one way of bringing much needed focus to the mind. The end result is a quieter, more peaceful mind and because we are not so caught up in our worries we are more open to picking up on those things that are going to help us.
The God Box is not an excuse for sitting back and doing nothing. You continue to make decisions and take action when appropriate.