Friday, April 22, 2016

THAT'LL DO, PIG


Merle helps Mom do the dishes. 






Among the things I wrassle with, and you know those numbers are legion, is focus. As I was getting dressed to go out and tackle the patio problem in advance of the salon bbq tomorrow, it struck me that perhaps I need to try to do only one thing at a time.  (See? Right there! I thought AND I put on my clothes.)

Is it my nature (to attempt) to solve many issues in as short a time as possible, or my profession as a producer wherein multitasking is essential to the successful completion of a project? I rarely do only one thing at a time.TV plus needlework or web surfing. Doing the dishes plus listening to audio book. Even sleeping now requires management of podcasts to help me fall asleep.

So, this morning, I am to see if I can limit the number of things I am doing and see how that goes.

And I can hear CB quoting Yoda: There is no trying, only doing.

And meanwhile, if anyone has any practical ideas about how to detach from "stuff" I'd be open to hearing them. I have too much and, so far, no practice has helped me to learn to let go.

In general, just as a caffeinated side note, I attach a lot of reasons and "noise" to things, causality and consequence and possibility clauses. That might be worth something. So and so gave that to me. So and so might like this. I acquired this at such and such time. I could repurpose that to ... I could make that into ...

I am struggling with this. Perhaps some of you are as well.


 Front yard tomato/pepper patch.

Report from the trenches.

I can barely force myself to do any of this. Not to place any particular blame, but my mother's way of dealing with things, like so many of us, is to shove them into cardboard boxes, place them on the leaky patio, and never think about them again. Where, not only do they get moldy, but they can get plenty of dirt from the Los Angeles Basin polluted air, augmented by freeway dust, the freeway being less than a mile away.

I emptied a box that was full of my brother Carl's keepsakes: diplomas, letters, cards, machine heads for his guitars, cassettes of his old band, Gush, and other such things. A card from his dear friends Fico and Debee on the occasion of his 50th birthday. He didn't live to see 51. All going to the trash.

And in my mother's papers, I found all the documents relating to her reverse mortgage. That's a great place for legal documents, right? Where stray cats can pee and dust gather. Ugh. I am sorry. I had to take a break and hope that I can dig in after a calming down session.

In better news, I found my dad's shop vacuum and it still works! I don't have all the attachments, but it is easier to vacuum some of this mess than to sweep. At least the first time through. Maybe I will even make it to mopping sometime.

I have been more successful at not yelling at her. And her memory loss seems to have evened out. But she is so passive. Even I ask her to do a simple task that she is fully capable of executing she wants me to do. Not because she can't. She doesn't want to do much of anything.

Going through this stuff on the patio is huge. And I am not even working on my own belongings moved from Berkeley last summer that need sorting.

Non-attachment is a survival skill that should be taught early and often. But I guess that goes against the capitalist, acquiring culture. And, yes, there is more to it than that, so I am not advocating not having anything ever, just figuring out how to let more go more quickly.

And I remind myself that if I could let go of all my records, in actuality if not in my fantasy mind, perhaps I can use that as a yardstick of value. Is this item more valuable than the original copy of Elvis Presley you let go? Those early Beatles albums? (Not going to detail any more. I am sure Amoeba made a lot of money.)

Saturday.

Well, progress has been made. I need to get out and make room for my guests in the patio and backyard. My garbage cans are getting full of papers and cardboard. And, my mom and I powered through getting the refrigerator clean. Plus, James came over last night and hung up my new pot rack.


I think I have a new motto, taken from a fine film, Babe. "That'll do, pig."  (I am not calling myself any names here.)

4 comments:

  1. I'm a purger. I get frightened if I grow attached to an item.Having been forced to up and move in the night and leave things behind, due to evictions and other plights of the poor and chaotic, I learned to not get attached. Do I sometimes have regrets? Only for the memories that the items represent. Regardless of potential dollar value, I never fret about money or perceived value lost. I have 6 identical plastic crates that I allow myself for memorabilia. That includes crates that hold my photo alblums. I organise my stuff with large envelopes until I get them into a photo album/scrapbook..etc..only one of the 6 crates are full. If I get to a place where they are too full, I do some further purging. No real hints to get you more mentally up for the task, but for me, having a specific limit on how much stuff I can keep, helps. As well as organizing the stuff into scrapbooks/photo alblums.See you later.

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  2. I so much struggle with attachment to things and I have more room hence even more things. But although I totally understand the Zen of simple and clean, I also love that I am attached to things because I give them totemic power or memory salve or sheer beauty of the craft, engineering or design of a thing. Books, guitars, my handmade art, glass beads, so much vinyl and CDs, tapes of my radio shows, hundreds of coffee table books, presents from friends, family mementos, photos, on and on and…………….
    I forgive myself this vanity and also feel good when I get rid of stuff. A conundrum and I imagine at some time more of a heavy weight but for now I still get so much enjoyment form enjoying my stuff and I do regularly do look or fondle or use my stuff even though there is so much I ignore for years I never know when one of my "things" will call.

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  3. I'm a purger. I get frightened if I grow attached to an item.Having been forced to up and move in the night and leave things behind, due to evictions and other plights of the poor and chaotic, I learned to not get attached. Do I sometimes have regrets? Only for the memories that the items represent. Regardless of potential dollar value, I never fret about money or perceived value lost. I have 6 identical plastic crates that I allow myself for memorabilia. That includes crates that hold my photo alblums. I organise my stuff with large envelopes until I get them into a photo album/scrapbook..etc..only one of the 6 crates are full. If I get to a place where they are too full, I do some further purging. No real hints to get you more mentally up for the task, but for me, having a specific limit on how much stuff I can keep, helps. As well as organizing the stuff into scrapbooks/photo alblums.See you later.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stuff. Yes, I am attached to my stuff & (would) have difficulty getting rid of much of it. I don't NEED these things, I LIKE them, and like having them around me: books, CDs, antiques & other old stuff. It doesn't help that I am apparently the family keeper of keepsakes, and regularly receive boxes of "treasures." If I though someone else would keep them safe I'd happily send them off. For less valuable stuff, my method of dispersal is this: put in large garbage bag & if not missed for a year, take to thrift/charity shop.

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