Friday, June 5, 2009

Fresh Starts

My house is regularly presentable. I can tackle the Laundry Monster and win, usually without breaking a sweat. I can step back and discern the very next step in The Thesis Process and move forward, rather than feel overwhelmed by the insanity of it all. The sink is always shiny when I go to bed. A. and I are spending more time together, and I haven't snapped at him in WEEKS. I am regularly doing yoga. And flossing. I am starting to wake up happy and not anxious. Getting out of bed doesn't require a monumental effort anymore, just a big effort. More mornings than not, I win that battle.

I am feeling much, much better. I have the energy to reclaim my life and I am not allowing anxiety to ruin it.

Life has been really, really, nice lately.


Therapy is going well. I am more comfortable with my therapist. I am being honest in our sessions so healing and honest work can happen. There are surprises, discoveries, connections, patterns and long buried memories coming to the surface. It is good. It is terrifying. It is exciting.


This last session I was telling my therapist -- in a very animated way full of exaggerated facial expressions and over-the-top hand gestures, which is the real me!! yay! -- how I've started to implement the ever-nerdy/geeky Getting Things Done methodology into my work and thesis life. I explained how I went through every! last! random storage thingy! pile! drawer! in my office and got everything that has been bouncing around my head and causing mini anxiety attacks right the hell out of my head and into a safe place so I could just. quit. thinking. about it. Now I am learning to trust myself, my system, and that I will see whatever it is that needs done when I need to. It has been both exhilrating and relaxing and such a damn relief.

Anyhoo, my therapist had this HUGE smile on her face and said, "You loved it, didn't you?" Yes, indeed.

I wish I had realized that A. was joking when he said he was going to ge me a labelmaker for my birthday that year. My disappointment ran deep. And obviously, I haven't forgotten.

It is lame but true: Few activities are as satisfying to me as gutting a room and tossing out ALL the clutter and re-organizing. LOVE. IT.

I am looking forward to moving someday and getting to just PURGE our house of so. much. stuff.  Man, I get all hopped up and twitchy with excitment just thinking about it.

It is like having a mini fresh start.

How about you? Do you enjoy de-clutting and purging or is it daunting? Do you like to hold on to stuff? Why? I am intersted!

Happy Friday to you!


  1. I love the deep, organizing clean when a) it's in a public part of the house or b) it's a kid's room and a kid's stuff. I dread it a little, of course, and I'm always annoyed by how QUICKLY things revert to a state of disorganized pens-in-with-the-balloons mess, but basically, I like doing it, and I feel good after.

    With my own spaces, though, I'm perpetually overwhelmed (oh the files on my two and half computers! oh the piles of reading lists and projects and clippings, none quite large enough for its own file but definitely too big to leave in a pile next to my bed! oh the book I'm planning to read and thus MUST leave on my nightstand instead of putting it back on the shelf!). I hate the mess but I can't get out from underneath it. Organizing it all seems like a waste of time. Buying the equipment to deal with it is too expensive. Once put away, I'm afraid the project/ plan/ book will just quietly die, and I hate that.

  2. Oh, I love organizing! LOVE IT. It is calming to me, much like weeding. It is therapy, it is peaceful, it is wonderful.

    I used to save all sorts of things, but I am definitely a minimalist now. I'm one of those people at work who never has hard copies of anything; everything is saved electronically. My inbox never has more than 12 emails because I either read and delete them, or save them to subfolders for easy reference.

    Hmmm...back when I used to save everything, I was a lot more stressed and angry. Interesting.

    Keep up the good work in therapy! I'm happy you're getting a lot of good things out of the experience.

  3. You are so cute. I am so glad that you are feeling better and therapy is productive for you. I want to come visit and see your organized house!

  4. I do like organizing, unless I am helping someone ELSE organize all THEIR crap and they are being stubborn and stupid about stuff that they do. not. need. Then it makes me nuts, so I just don't touch it and don't think about it. My own stuff, though, yeah.
    Cleaning is even better, though, for me. I don't care too much about the tupperware not being super organized, but I DO care about, say, the top of the fridge being dusty. The organizing thing only gets to me if it is TRULY disastrous and I don't know where stuff is.

  5. Really? You love organizing? You are welcome to come organize my place. Especially my office. Because, really, I think I need an intervention. Someone to sit me down and get me to admit that I'm never going to read the three years' of back issues of The New Yorker that I insist on keeping because I'm going to catch up on them someday!

    I do have an occasional organizing frenzy. Usually when I'm in the midst of anxiety overload and just need to feel like I can control . . . something.

  6. Putting things in an order and throwing stuff away is n obsession, i just love it!I regularly do that in my room, going through my desk, drawers, my bathroom, my handbags...but the best part is when summer clothes come down and winter ones go up at the attick and vice versa-that's my favourite time of the year!I guess i am kind of a freak, because when it is really messy around me I just cant functionproperly and i get all stressed:P

  7. I own two labelers. TWO. I love organizing, which is why I think I hate our office. There are two computers with wires everywhere, stacks of things that need done or need filed, and there is not a place for everything. Sometimes I just want to burn it down.

  8. i love to organize!!

    you'd think i'd also like to STAY organized, but you'd apparently be incorrect.

  9. I am slow to comment on this... but I should note... that right this very moment I should be organizing and cleaning out my closet and the rest of my house... but alas -- instead I am avoiding it at all costs... I guess that is my answer... although I do enjoy it when I get a huge batch of motivation and I organize an entire something... but... that isn't as often as I'd like.
    So glad you are happier lately... I hope this week went well too.

  10. Organization is PAINFUL. As in, PHYSICAL PAIN. I suffer. I agonize. I am terrible, TERRIBLE at putting things in order. In fact, I must stop talking about it now because OH THE PAIN.

  11. You sound absolutely fabulous!

    I am so happy for you.

    I'm with Erin, oh, the PAIN of trying to get organized.

  12. I live by serendipity and synchronicity and somehow I find Sunday is often the day for the triple S's. I took a break from my favorite Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood TV program to check email. I received an email from Hannah who left a comment on Julie's blog, which is about Julie Powell's book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. One click led to another and there I was at your blog, Sagebrush and Serendipity. What caught my eye was the name, "artemisia". I don't know if it's your actual name and reading this blog entry and your profile, lead me to surmise that your interpretation of artemisia may be the plant, but the reason it got my attention was because of my appreciation of the book by Susan Vreeland, The Passion of Artemisia, which is about the Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653). That book led me to look more into her life and that of her father, the Roman painter Orazio Gentileschi. Anyway, I digress. My point is that I clicked on your blog because of my interest in your name and upon reading your comment on Julia's blog, What Could Happen, this blog entry and your profile, I found myself feeling one of those instant connections. It happens infrequently, but when it does, I like to act on it. I have been in therapy for ten years (yikes!) and remember once entering the building and crossing paths with a woman. We looked at one another and said "hi", but with an acknowledgement of each other's presence that made it feel like I knew her and she me. I mentioned it to Diane, my therapist and she responded that it happens when there is a real connection for whatever reason and when it happens, well, it just feels good to feel connected. Whew! All this as a result of Julie, Hanna and Artemisia. Well, I have a blog also and would welcome your stopping by, if you are so inclined. In any case, thanks for the "feeling of connection".


    PS I love the cartoon!


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