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Decluttering Down Memory Lane
It is a blink of an eye. What exactly is “it? Did you use to laugh & wonder about adults who stated that time accelerates as you get older? I remember kind of shrugging my shoulders with deference as a child on the inside at least regarding these words. The timeless thing about kids seems to include the perception that a day goes on & on for the most part. What could it be about adulthood that creates a faster spinning of the clock? For me the first time I realized that time was going by too fast was during university. The deadlines for the myriad of papers would come due right around midterm time & finals time. There seemed to be just barely enough hours in the day to finish the papers & study for exams too. It was a flurry of activity for sure. Ok, I have to be honest & admit that back then I did not exactly have stellar time management skills so in first year university I actioned my studying & paper writing just in time. Some papers still had wet ink as they were so fresh when they were handed into the profs. By the last year of university time management skills had finally set in yet time marched by far too fast all the same. Time seemed to travel by at the speed of light not just during the heavier workload time but also during the fun times too. The memories remain & I smile to think of younger me. How about you? And I realize that life is pretty damn great even with the 4 autoimmune diseases that accompany me each & every day. And time…time passes by faster than ever I find. For our youngest son time drags on for the most part & he shrugs his shoulders with a sense of disbelief that adults around him don’t seem to have enough hours in the day. It is all the most natural thing in the world.
By nature I am not a super organized person. My chaotic system worked though for a very long time. As time goes by the system is becoming non functional. Against my nature I have come to realize that I need to get a least a little bit organized so I at least know where things are so that I don’t have to waste a bunch of time searching for items which is so beyond frustrating. Although I put reorganizing many rooms in our home at the bottom of my priority list I finally just decided that I would put a deadline on these boring tasks because rascally me does not want to see these mundane chores on that list anymore. This past week I have spent hours every day in our basement with the ‘90’s tunes blasting. This September marks 10 years in our home. Wow, that is unreal that 10 more years has zipped by. Ten years ago I did not have type 1 diabetes or the other 3 autoimmune diseases. Ten years ago I was in perfect health. I had more hours in the day for sure because I was not managing the hell out of my health. Of course I also had very young boys so the days were full all the same. The cool thing about doing a mundane, almost mindless chore like organizing the basement is that you can let your mind wonder & declutter too. As I have shared before I am a profoundly sentimental person. Throwing something out or donating items is an exercise in letting go I find. I made a rule for myself as well that if I have not used something in 5 years then it was time to part with it unless it was something special from a loved one that would be passed down to our sons in the future. My favourite part of decluttering the basement was discovering cherished keepsakes that I had not looked upon in many years. One of the boxes that was pretty awesome to come across was the box filled with my husband’s hockey related days memorabilia. I put that box close to the front under the storage space under our stairs so that the next yucky day outside when I hear that age old declaration from our sons that they are bored I will bring that box out & show them these keepsakes from their Dad as a kid. The other box that I delighted in coming across was one filled with my own cherished keepsakes. The container was filled with pictures over the many years, a few newspaper clippings, some university stuff & something from my childhood. I sat down & went through that box of gems & smiled the ear to ear smile that only a rascal can wear. My favourite newspaper clipping is from 1985 with my Dad on the front page with our first dog. The dog was getting a raby vaccination yet the way the newspaper photographer took the picture it really looks like my Dad is getting the shot. It is a hoot. Naturally I emailed a photo of the article to my Dad on his birthday last week. The clipping brought back great memories. Then to my amazement I happened upon a puck from my childhood days of the hockey team that my Dad & I cheered for, The Collingwood Blues. There are no words big enough to express my delight in those memories. The puck is now displayed in our family room & looks totally out of place in an in place kind of way. Life is meant to be ascetic for our family. Next, my smile grew even bigger as I looked through hundreds of photos from over the past few decades. The majority of the photographs were loose but there were also about a dozen in frames of various sizes too. Okay, so I reorganized the basement & did bring 9 framed photos upstairs & placed them on our fireplace mantle. The love of my life is in most of the photos & I pinch myself to realize how fortunate of a rascal I am to be loved by the same boy (my husband) …that same boy that I fell in love with when I was in grade 12. Of course our sons commented that they could not believe that their Dad had ever been that young. It should blow their minds one of these days if they go to their grandma’s house & see their Dad as a little kid. The pictures of my Mom & Dad, my dearest girlfriends & our sons as little wee kids are absolute treasures. Finding this box of cherished items was my reward for completing the basement reorganization. It was time well spent. At times I looked at photos where my husband & I were making goofy faces in our first married days & thought about all that we have been through together. Type 1 for me, a couple of health issues as well for my Dear Heart husband & other family challenges have made us stronger. It has not been easy but it is not easy for anyone. The struggles are real for each & every one of us. The love remains & best of all it is stronger. In a year & a half my husband & I will be celebrating a marriage milestone & I know I am one blessed rascal for that alone. How this girly girl came to welcome 3 sons is a hoot too. I could not imagine a day without our noisy, enthusiastic, snuggly sons. And yes, I sure love it when I still hear them say that they are “Mommy boys” & want to accompany me on mundane errands. We do try to turn any outing into some sort of adventure. And I love, love love that our younger sons read a chapter (albeit Goosebumps) to me each night before bed & try to gross their mom out. And I also love, love, love it when our oldest son shares his illustrations & writing pieces & other creations with me. We live a beautiful mess of a life that happens to include diabetes & other health challenges. It can be tough some days yet together we are all strong rascals in our family. I think type 1 has taught each of us to be more compassionate & accepting & rascally fully alive. It sure has taught us that every day is precious & that no one throws in the towel when the going gets tough in any aspect of life. I am one grateful rascal beyond measure, mess & all.
The benefits of getting organized will pay off in spades I am sure. And I am also sure that items will slowly get messed up again & that a declutter will happen into the future again & again. That is ok because it provides the opportunity to appreciate the past & present once again & to savor the photographs over & over again. For the kid in me, I decided to reward myself for a job well done by picking up the brand new cookbook that I have been waiting on to be released for almost 6 months. The lady working at our local Chapters store was so gracious when I arrived at the store bouncing off the walls with excitement about finding the book. The book was not on the shelves so I asked the lady for help. It turns out that the book is so newly released that it was still packed in the box in the storage room. The lady working in the store graciously went to the storage room & retrieved a copy for me. She asked me why I was so excited about a cookbook & what made this one different from others. I told her with the excitement of a sales & marketing professional. She declared that she would be purchasing the book for herself as well. That book should fly off the shelves…it is not good…it is beyond great! Later on today I am definitely taking a trip to the grocery store to pick up some of the ingredients for some already ear marked cooking creations from the cookbook. And I look forward to having 2 young chefs in training (our 2 youngest sons) help make the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches in particular. Our oldest son I am sure will be up for the task of being the taste tester extraordinaire. I want to give a huge shout out to the amazing Mother-Daughter team that wrote this fantastic cookbook. Whenever I have enjoyed their bakery or main course creations my blood sugar has not spiked or gone haywire…not even with a cupcake & I am flabbergasted at how little insulin I need to cover off for these treats. The recipe book includes main courses & delicious goodies & they are all gluten & dairy free as well as egg free. The name of this gem of a cookbook is “Made with Love” by Kelly Childs & Erinn Weatherbie. Gluten & dairy free are finally delicious again thanks to these two food miracle workers.
My heart’s hope for you is that all your walks down memory lane bring a rascally smile to your face too.
As always, be gentle with yourself every day. By the way, the cookie sandwiches turned out amazingly well! Even my husband who is self professed gluten free/dairy free recipe detester/protester could not tell that these treats were gf,df, egg free! If you know someone that is allergic to gluten (or celiac), and or allergic to dairy & eggs or is on a vegan diet, this cookbook would make a perfect gift for them in my opinion. As an aside, another cherished item that I happened upon in my container of treasured keepsakes was my boat racing trophy from university…no water or boats were involved however in the winning of that trophy ha ha! That is a story for another day. Next Monday’s story is in the creative ether however my Dad sent me an amazing idea that will be the basis of the writing piece next time. I consider my Dad to be a master writer that I admire & cherish.