When I was a kid, I had a retainer. Which, I threw away. More than once. It was traumatic. Aside from the fact that I had to go through trash (gross cafeteria trash) I also got yelled at by parents who were ready to pull their hair out trying to make me understand the value of the process that I hated.
This has left scars that you can't see.
Many times a day, I stand at the trash and feel a sense of loss that I can't quite explain.
This is not Suzanna – this is her super fantastic assistant. She would call me that even if I wasn’t the one writing this, so it’s not cheating. Promise.
I started that way because I want to tell you about something personal and it would be strange and awkward to not acknowledge my own story. I’m daydreaming how this would look if someone approached Suzanna in the grocery store about it, and I’m giggling, but I need to get to the point.
I’ve had well-meaning friends try to tell me this by joking it would be on my tombstone – “SHE DID IT HER WAY!”
It took unemployment, followed by a bone tumor to slow me down and teach me – to ask for help. Which frankly, is sad and very tragic. Feel sorry for me… I was stubbornly insisting I could do everything to the point where it was becoming a disease.
I didn’t expect to be unemployed. I figured since I’d done everything right, the next job would just fall in my lap like they always did. I’m a smart a girl. I’m fun to hang out with. Why couldn’t I even get an interview? I spiraled into blame.
It’s not pretty.
You might want to cover your eyes and just peek through as you read. This stuff is not something you want to look at directly. It’s just plain pathetic.
I blamed my age. I blamed this town. I blamed internet systems, HR department dragons, and all of society at large. As if that would change anything. Ironically, if I’d used gratitude instead of blame this would be a completely different story.
Then, in my sullen state, I was diagnosed with a bone tumor. Walking and chores had been hurting me, but I was pushing through because if I didn’t do them, who would? My sweet and lovely, perfectly capable family, that’s who.
My then fifteen-year-old daughter, thirteen-year-old son, and wonderful husband had been right there the whole time. Wanting, nay – aching, to help. When they heard the diagnosis they plopped me in my favorite chair and lovingly scolded me. I then spent a painful few months – not lifting a finger.
Asking for help can feel belittling. I felt like I was worthless. A lump.
I forgot that I was a lovely Mommy lump. That it didn’t matter that I couldn’t cook or clean up or anything. I was adored by my family because of who I am, not what I could do for them.
Listen to me – this is true about you, too. You are loved, not because of what you do for people but because of who you are. Your value isn’t work related. It’s just you.
Slowly it got easier. It had to happen. When I finally had surgery to remove the tumor I needed help with literally everything.
I needed help financially – and it was provided when I finally asked.
I needed help at home – and every time I asked, it was provided.
I needed – and I was helped – every single time.
Now, I’m unstoppable and I border on cheeky. Yesterday when a friend texted she was coming over, I asked for her to bring chocolate. She did.
Think about this. Where do you need help in your life? Have you really asked for help? Have you been afraid, like I was, that people would say no?
Give yourself permission to just ask. Ask for silly things, “Hey let’s go to Jeremiah’s I want some tummy yummy.” Ask for big things, “I need real help organizing all my family photos since Mom died.”
Some of the things I needed, I had to pay for, which is very reasonable. I needed physical therapy. That’s not free but I had to go into that room like a baby. Vulnerable and pliable. It’s not easy but I can walk without pain because I did it.
It’s not easy to let someone see your mess. I totally get it.
However, it’s totally worth getting help.
It took getting laid up for me to give myself permission to look at life another way. Be smarter – learn from my mistakes.
If this has touched your heart in any way – please share it with a friend on FB. If you see yourself – pick up the phone, schedule an appointment. Get help.
Fasten your seatbelts because this is one life lesson you are not going to want to miss. An organizing budget just for you. Are you ready?
Organizing doesn’t have to cost you a penny.
Spoiler Alert: LOTS -possibly even your sex life… (I’ll put a link here for that special post – I have to “cough” research some more first…)
Everywhere you look there are things that you have but you don’t really use them anymore. Why are they still there? Why can’t you just give them away or throw them away?
Modern living has tons of perks. We’ve moved past sliced bread and indoor plumbing straight to watching tv on our phones in our indoor plumbing rooms. It’s enough to get carried away!
In fact, most of us have let stuff creep in and take over our lives. Enter the newest trend, smaller living. Some folks, (Hipsters and Millennials) have taken it to tiny homes. The rest of us poor slobs (who aren’t crazy or have kids) have simply stepped down in square footage.
Thus discovering, this isn’t nearly as easy as they made it look on TV.
Fraught with emotions and overwhelming.
Grab a big box for giveaways and put it at your side. Have another container or bag ready for trash. Making it easier for you to make decisions by limiting your walking around.
Put them in your closets. Just because they say, “behind the door” doesn’t mean that’s all they can be used for.
Never underestimate the power of doing it together!
Set a goal and take a break when you’ve met it. Unpacking and downsizing is emotional. Give yourself breathing room to deal with the emotions.
I don’t know about you but I find while I can do my own nails, getting someone else to do them makes it a delightful experience instead of a messy chore. Add to the mix that you’ve moved, it’s better to have help, trust me.
I know you remember what you paid for that couch, lamp, tv but it’s just stuff getting in the way now, let it go.
In the Bathroom this means stocking up on the brand you like and not needing to try everything new under the sun. Freedom people, freedom.
Seriously. I know your grandma is putting slivers of soap into a jar to make a new bar but you’re allowed to throw it away. This is not the great depression.
They are not judging you for not filling them up with stuff. They are rest notes that allow you to delight in what you do have. It’s okay to not fill the top shelf in your kitchen cabinets. It’s okay to leave under the sink mostly empty. Space is a good thing. See them as restful.
Welcome to more freedom!
More time for what’s important. (Netflix and Chill, right?).
Suzanna Kaye is a professional organizer and owner of Spark! Organizing, LLC. She has special experience with organization for office, financial, ADD/ADHD, elderly, disabled, overwhelmed and special needs. With the belief that cluttered people are some of the most creative and interesting people she knows, she loves working with her clients in a supportive and loving environment. For more information about Suzanna visit our about us page, email info@SparkOrganizing.com or call 321-234-5499.
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