Stuff…and More Stuff


Stuff and More Stuff

In my Sunday-morning newspaper-reading ritual, I read a column about people cleaning out closets, etc., prior to the holiday gift-giving binge.

It really got me thinking about stuff…the stuff in the house, the stuff in my closet, and on and on. I have spent a good part of the last year cleaning out stuff. I clean out a bunch of old toys from our basement. I cleaned out our linen closet and donated a garbage bag of sheets and towels. I spent a week cleaning out our storage closet and got rid of so much stuff that I didn’t even know we still had! I cleaned out my closet and finally gave up the ghost on a number of pieces that – well, let’s be honest, I’m just never going to either wear or fit into again.

Cleaning out things that we never use or didn’t even know we had was cathartic. I felt like a weight was lifted with everything that I gave away or pitched. As I purged, I found that I know had more convenient places to store the things that we do use regularly. And much of what I had to give away was still in great shape…often unused or used only once. So I had a good feeling that these things could get a second life with hopefully someone in need.

But then it came time make Christmas lists. And I struggled…what did I need? I just got rid of a ton of stuff that I didn’t need…but what did I now need? Honestly, nothing. So everyone in my family was annoyed that my Christmas list was so sparse…but again, I am trying to clean out and simplify.

For years, my mother had the world’s worst gift list. One year, for Mother’s Day, she actually asked for a Swiffer…really? My view is that if I can buy it at the grocery store, it’s not gift-worthy.

But now I’m starting to get it. As I get older, and continue to get more established in life, I found that I really didn’t need nearly as much, just like Mom.

So much of my gift list involves consumables…lotions, candles…things that I can use and they are then gone. But I no longer subscribe to the policy that “the one that dies with the most stuff wins…”


And It Starts…


First Snow 2014

This is the view out my back door…it is only November 17…sigh…

I know I live in the Midwest and that it’s supposed to be cold this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. But after last winter’s Snow-mageddon, I’m not ready to begin the fight again.

Yes, I realize that other parts of the country have already seen more snow than this. My “U-per” daughter enjoyed not one but two snow days last week. But I do not live on the Canada border, so this snow – that is sticking! – is more than I signed up for and honestly, more than I think I can stand.

Forecasts are all different for just how bad this winter might be. Some say worse than last year, others say much easier. I even read in the Sunday paper a prediction that heating bills will ultimately be lower than last year, because while some cold snaps are expected, they won’t be prolonged. In other words, we aren’t entering a deep freeze.

But let’s be honest, all the weather “experts” are taking a 50/50 shot at this. Maybe this is all the snow we’ll see this year, and maybe this is just the foundational layer. Or maybe it’s something in between. All I know is that I am not looking forward to fighting the elements to get to work, digging out the snow boots and gloves, walking around the house in three or four layers even though the heat is cranking.

The upside is that maybe this will put me in the holiday mood. And if the sun ever comes back out, it will be nice and bright, reflecting off the snow. I just hope that this round melts enough for me to cover the patio furniture before the next round hits.

I guess this is one of those times we just have keep plugging along. And it starts…


Mean People Suck – Part Deux


Mean People-Part 21

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…Mean People suck.

Mean people come in many shapes and sizes. You run into them all the time…in stores, on the road, everywhere. In many of those situations, you can get angry, but then move on…these are people who you don’t have to deal with them after the moment.

But often times, there are mean people in various areas of your life that you simply can’t necessarily walk away from. Sometimes it’s a family member…you know the ones who ruin every holiday gathering with their meanness.

Sometimes it’s at your job. Unfortunately, I don’t know many people that can walk away from a decent income these days, and with the job market the way it is, it’s much harder to justify leaving an otherwise perfectly good job because of one or two irritants.

But when you stop and think about it: You spend a large percentage of your life at your job. And everyone else you work with spends about the same amount of time at the office. You send more time with your co-workers than you probably do with your family. So why would anyone want to make the experience any more stressful than it needs to be?

I recently started a new job, and I have to say, overall, it’s a decent gig. It’s a good company to work for and the vast majority of the people I have met are absolutely delightful. But there are one or two people that are clearly unhappy with the “new world order.” I don’t know if they feel threatened or just don’t like change or are just normally unhappy people, but I’m tired of dealing with their icy demeanor and snarky comments.

Most of the time, I just let it go. I’m pretty confident in my knowledge, abilities and experience, which matches up pretty well with any of them, so I can let the snarkiness roll off my back. But after a while, I just get tired of the pettiness.

This too shall pass. I didn’t take this job to make lifelong friends, and most people have been incredibly welcoming. So I will continue to let it go…but again I say, mean people suck. And I say to the mean people, Karma will out.