Karthi is officially into summer hols from today. Oh yes, the kids' exams were over by mid-March and they have been completely immersed in activities of their own choice for the past two weeks. But it is not really summer vacation without the whole gang of neighboring kids finishing their exams and joining up, is it?
Meanwhile their sly Momma has been using them to help finish reorganizing our home. We just had not realized till we called in the painters last December that Karthi was harboring a lot of junk. This time we were only getting our downstairs portion painted. So we had to shift everything except the heavy furniture upstairs where we set up "camp". In the process, cupboards after cupboards brought out so many things we had stashed away without thought. Our peripatetic way of life went on hiatus 5 years ago, and we never had to face all the accumulation of our belongings all at once like this. By the time we had to move things back, I was paralyzed by the thought!!! I would have taken a picture of the chaos that was the upstairs hall which was stacked on all sides with various things with only a narrow path left in the middle to walk through... only I was sure it would give me nightmares to look at it later, so I desisted :D
I have this strong belief that we get guidance to solve our problems before or as we are facing them. For me this usually comes in the form of - what else? - books! Last June, I got to read this fabulous book by Marie Kondo
I am and always have been very interested in organizing books and Marie's KonMari method has really helped me. DH and I decided that we will move down ONLY that which we use and love downstairs and would bag up the recyclable items for our dealer as we moved through the things we needed. That way, the recyclables didn't even come into our newly emptied space.
I took this opportunity to dump a lot of stuff I was holding on to in the name of sentiment - which included old clothes, books that I never enjoyed any more, etc. As the kids and I went through the items, I appointed Kunjunni to ask me if I really was going to keep certain dubious items. He performed the role very well and prised out more useless items out of my grasping clutches and dumped them in the recycling sack. I only hope I will not take to raiding the sack which is currently awaiting the recycling guy now. Wasn't it really forward-thinking of me to appoint a supervisor over me? Knowing oneself is the greatest achievement one can attain you know!
I applied the KonMari principle to getting the kids' clothes organized too. Every year our kids get clothes as gifts. While Kunjunni will happily wear anything that fits, Ani is very choosy and will not deign to wear something that he has taken a dislike to at first sight. Their clothes were arranged in stacks to which the laundered ones were added on top after each wash and they pulled off the ones on top the next time they got dressed. Which meant that on most weekends they would be wearing the same outfit!
So we pulled out all their clothes and first I asked them to choose the ones that they loved and fit them. I stopped myself from persuading Ani to keep things that still fit, but that he didn't like. But I did snatch an old t-shirt from Kunjunni that had tattered ends and huge holes in the armpits! Gee, I think he is more like me than I thought I was!!! Then I helped them learn the KonMari method of folding their outfits to make them stand properly in the drawers. So now they get to wear what they love and can see all their choices properly!
Now all that are left upstairs to be organized are our framed pictures and files and folders of every year from 2007. I am absolutely reluctant to drill holes in our pristine walls (just like guys with new cars are wary of each scratch!) and I think most of the files and folders need careful revisiting and decluttering.
Speaking of help arriving in the form of books: I have to tell you about three books that came my way after I lost my mother. I chose them all for different reasons, but unknown to me, all dealt with mother-daughter relationships and helped me clarify my feelings and grieve properly.
The first book is written by Brooke Shields:
This book of course jumped out at me because of the subtitle. Although my Mom was nothing like hers, I could relate to the death scene and acknowledge me feelings of being a witness to my my mother's passing.
I love reading the stories of crafters about how they evolved through their craft. So my next pick was Rachael Herron's book:
As I read through her stories, I found most of them related to her mother and I started remembering the days when Ma used to stitch dresses for me on her old Singer, the very one on which I cut my teeth, even before learning hand-sewing...
This was feeling a little weird. Whatever I read ended up being about mothers! So next I chose one purely for the title without looking at the blurb. The title said "Glitter and Glue"... but the cover should have tipped me off???
Turns out Kelly Corrigan's father was the glitter and her mother was the glue. And if her relationship with her own mother wasn't enough, there was material about a family in which she au-paired where a mother had died of cancer and left a family bereft....
All these books helped me into coming to terms with my loss. Which is why I believe in guardian angels and divine guidance....