Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Storage and Simplification - Marfan Medicine Drawer

Ugh.  More stuff.
Marfan Syndrome and Simplification

If you have been following my 'Project 100' you know I have been trying to simplify.  I want to pare down the number of things I own.  Over the past how ever many years or so the accumulation bug has happily lived and flourished in my body, embedded under my skull.  I suppose it got into my brain through the ear canal, listening to all those TV and radio commercials telling me 'I just had to have'!

Uh-oh.  Just like with the Marfan Syndrome challenge, the hoarding of stuff comes back with a vengeance when it appears progress is being made.

So I thought I was doing good.  The garage had been cleaned.  That was about another 100,000 things told to go their own way; nuts, bolts, nails and other junkets that predictabily ended up in a couple of my neighbor's sheds.

I used to love to go through trash piles heaped up beside the road down our neighborhood street.  The thrill of discovering a shower head that could be possibly repaired or an old turn table with potential was always more than I could bear.  One day when the kids were small we were all walking around the neighborhood and I spied a fabulously gigantic pile of 'stuff' someone who was simplifying (they had it figured out long before I did) had tossed out by the road for the garbage people to pick up.  After grabbing a couple of plastic five gallon pails I noticed one of the kids fleeing across the street and jumping into the roadside ditch.  Apparently some of her friends were playing outside a few yards down from us.  I do not understand tweens' fear of their friends laughing at them for dragging home perfectly good reusables.

And I still wonder if the trash people fill the area behind the truck cab's seats with goodies salvaged from their daily pick ups.  Bet their houses are decked out like none others.

Back to the topic at hand - the bathroom medicine drawers.

My stay on topic attention capability has suffered greatly since the open heart surgeries.  I know I've already written about this many times.  But people forget!  Just the other day I was over at someone's house who knows me very well and she was telling me something.  If there are more than ten or twelve words in a sentence I get lost and stop following whatever the person is rambling on about.  I mean I can not keep up and by the time they are saying word number twenty my brain is just processing word number four.

It really gets bad when the first twenty or twenty five word sentence quickly turns into two or three or more twenty five word sentences.  Grrrrrr!  I want to slap them or tell them to put s-p-a-c-e-s  b-e-t-w-e-e-n their words.  I am dealing with a serious cognitive pathway traffic jam and people just don't get it!  Honk! Honk! Honkkkkkkkkkk!

Mostly my response so far to date has just been a smile.  But this time I interrupted her and it felt good!  It felt really good to just blurt out, 'I can't understand what you are saying!'

She was immediately taken aback and frowned and shook her head from side to side in disbelief.

'I don't get it!  I did not understand anything of what you were saying,' I repeated myself just to hear the words once more.

She sighed, speechless.

I smiled.  I felt like I'd won the lottery or a national election or the Nobel Peace Prize even.

Alas, off track again.  Back to the bathroom medicine drawers.  When I emptied two small drawers in the bathroom today my estimated count of 'stuff' I owned easily doubled.  It was hard enough trying to understand the jumble of words the other day.  But the bathroom drawer jumble of pill holders, tubes, plastic this and thats, and all the other 'stuff' shocked me.  My Project 100 had just encountered another setback.  Just like those mornings when I know I've got Marfan whipped and I roll off my floor sleeping mat to stand up and my ankle or knee or back decides to side with the Marfan for some obnoxious reason, the clutter of bathroom drawer stuff totally and cruelly short circuited my brain.

What was I going to do with all that stuff?  How did I fit that much stuff in those small drawers?

Ended up I threw most of it away and put everything else in a cotton bag that is now hanging on my side of the closet.

Now we have two cleaned out drawers, a home for more 'stuff'.

What did I learn from this?  Not much that I can remember now.

Perhaps dementia's curse is compounded by being a slave to stuff that will end up in the landfill.

But every time I get rid of something else I feel a little bit more free.

And I really like freedom from complexity and from long sentences without spaces between the words.

This morning, just outside the window I sleep under, a bird was singing a most beautiful, sweet and melodious song.  The sun was coming up and warm golden colors had started to blanket the saw palmetto fronds out back.  A cool, refreshing breeze softly wrapped around my face as I sat up and leaned against the windowsill.  The first deep breath, really deep breath and slow exhale never felt so good.

I couldn't fit any of those things in the bathroom drawers.  Nor in my cotton bag.

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