Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cutting the clutter.... one small step at a time.

In case you haven't noticed, I save stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  I have odd bits of string, folded up bits of brown paper, wrapping paper, gift bags, bits of ribbon, scraps of fabric, old clothes...

You get the idea.

I am *trying* to do better.  Especially now that space is at even more of a premium.  I'm going to be sharing my office with the nursery stuff, because honestly the other little "bedroom" is only about big enough for a crib.  It's very small, and even the little closet has a steeply angled floor that is essentially useless for storage.  That room has become B's dressing room/office/catch-all room.  I told him that was his area to do with what he wants.  The only time I go in there is to feed and water the cat and put away bits of his work clothes.  Since I'm knocked up, he gets to change the litter box (WOOT!).  Other than that, I promised I'd not go in there rooting, throwing stuff away, or straightening.  Things have changed a bit since I made that arrangement, though.  I may end up sharing the space with him as a combined office for the both of us, later.  Right now, I think it'll be alright to have my office and the nursery combined.

I've started in my "old lady" corner in the living room.  The rooms upstairs have been thoroughly gutted and thinned since I rearranged the entire upstairs at the end of March.  I've been opening up the boxes, bins, and tins that have my Gramma's and Great-Aunt's sewing notions, saved bits of string, ribbon, fabric, paper... you get the idea (this is a handed down behavior :-P).  I've been tossing stuff I don't recognize the purpose of, stuff that's obviously past its prime (elastic that won't stretch anymore or breaks when pulled), stuff that is only available in bits too small to realistically be used, odd saved things that will never find a purpose in my home (a truly fabulous antique singer sewing needle that was so retro-cool, but realistically I won't ever use it, along with a cigarette holder, a single plastic brass-colored knob...)  So far I've actually consolidated several small boxes and bins, thrown out a small trash can full of oddments that I can honestly say I'll never use, and found a good bit of actually useful stuff.  Like five yards of thin elastic "for use in light underwear and doll clothes" that apparently cost 15 cents when it was originally purchased, and still has all its elasticity!  Perfect for those all-in-one diapers I am planning to sew.  I also found a tracing wheel, shears sharpener, several measuring tools (a ruler and some tailor tapes), and a HUGE pile of needles, both hand and machine for every imaginable purpose, and some I have no clue what they are intended for.

All those polyester slacks scraps are now gone.  I made a couple of couch pillows, and pieced a top for a couch quilt (but I changed my mind on it.  It's really not very comfy to snuggle with crunchy polyester from the 70's), but the rest of it is now gone.  I can't imagine what else I might have made with it that I would actually have liked.  It's so scratchy, even though the colors and patterns are fabulously retro lol.

I've got a few boxes of books I have no idea what I really want to do with.  I don't want them, won't read them, but don't know anyone else who would either.  I tried to donate them to the thrift shop here on post.  I didn't even want to consign them, just get rid of them.  The thrift shop won't even take them!  So... sadly, they may end up in the trash, but I've got to get them out from under my feet.

Slowly but surely, I'm trying to pare down the things I save.  I'm trying to re-evaluate what "useful" actually means, and hopefully in the process will get my home a bit more organized and less crowded feeling.  If I can open up some more space, I can possibly move some of the office stuff out of the nursery and open up that room a bit more, too.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Well, it's officially official and officially unavoidable.  Not that there was really any doubt anymore at this point, but somehow seeing that misshapen blob on the ultrasound screen made it more real.  And more terrifying.
 According to the ultrasound tech, I'm farther than originally estimated by my doctor.  I don't know exactly how much farther.  I assume they'll give me an updated due date when I go back to my regular person.  It still seems weird, because it still feels only semi-real.  I've had only some of the "typical" pregnancy symptoms.  It kind of seemed surreal to see visual proof.

Is there ever a time to lie to one's spouse?  I don't think so, but at the same time I felt awful guilty for telling the truth.  When we left the hospital, B asked me if I was excited and happy.  I told the truth.


I'm not.

Not At All.

I feel like a disposable extra from one of the Alien movies waiting to find out if a chestburster is going to erupt from their innards.

I'm scared, nervous, anxious, a whole slew of things that are decidedly not happy or excited.
I have nightmares almost every night.
I'm surrounded by people who, given the opportunity, squeal and coo and giggle and make all kinds of obscene feminine noises that make me feel even more alienated, alone, scared, and guilty.
I feel even more guilty for smiling at these completely incomprehensible antics.
I feel like I should be excited, but this is just too big to be excited about.  Exciting is a new puppy, or a road trip, or something fun, pleasant, and eagerly awaited.  This is unpleasant and set only to get even more intrusive and unpleasant.  The end of these upcoming gestational months will not mark an end to the upheaval, either, although it should mark the culmination of the physical pain and unpleasantness.

Nope... it only gets even more scary from there, because after that I'm supposed to be responsible for the entirety of the existence of some other human creature.  Puppies, kittens, squirrels, birds, possums, goats.... name it, and at some point I've probably taken extensive care of it, up to and including nursing young back to health who've lost their mother.  They're nothing like human young.  I've dealt with those, too, and quite frankly I don't know what to do with them.  They don't communicate like other baby animals.  It's like they're mentally deficient up until they get to the pointing and grunting stage, which is only marginally better.  If I'm as ignorant of my own child as I am of every other human baby I've ever been forced to tend to, the damned thing won't make it past a year.

I think it was my Gramma who once said that it would be more appropriate to mourn at a birth and rejoice at a funeral.  She said the baby is coming into a world of evil and heartache, while the corpse is going home. There's not much religious stuff that I subscribe to.  I am more of a heathen spiritualist and shun every Western organized religion.  I'm a little more open toward Eastern belief systems, simply because they're less concrete, more tolerant, and less judgmental.  But I'm getting off topic...  I believe that.  I believe that we should be happy when someone dies and sad when someone's born.  Look around you.  Maybe not in your home.  Your home might be a pleasant place full of love and joy.  Look at the world.  The wide world.  Do you like it?  Do you love it?  Does it have a funky beat you can dance to?  You might, but I don't.  It's big, ugly, and indifferent out there.  The 1950's, good neighbors, patriotism, and rolling steel are gone forever from almost everywhere except military housing.  (I have to add that caveat, because I have found good neighbors here, and what actually feels like a neighborhood rather than just a cluster of humans forced to inhabit the same space.)

Why am I not happy and excited?  I was scared and a little disappointed when I thought I was losing it, but now that it seems it's going to keep, I feel even more scared.  Add to that all the excitement that everyone else is displaying, and I feel like maybe there's something not right with me after all.

When I told B that I wasn't happy and excited, that I was still tending toward nervous and scared, he just hugged me.  I know it wasn't the answer he wanted, though.  I'm glad he's happy and excited.  It makes me less scared, and sometimes it's even a little contagious.