recycling, purging, reflecting

yesterday turned out to be an unexpectedly productive day. i woke up late with a massive tension headache caused by my sinuses and i thought sunday would be a repeat of saturday :: sitting on the couch and doing nothing.

but the headache medicine kicked in pretty quickly so i took some things out to the garage to put away. that, for some reason, triggered an urge to go through the junk that's piling up near the garage entrance. lately, going into the garage was like going through an obstacle course :: dodging and stepping over empty boxes, sports equipment, the drying rack, various art supplies, etc. plus, there were tons of stuff to be donated from months ago, so i pulled it all out of the garage, reorganized the sports equipment, finally decided to recycle all of the empty boxes i'd been saving for a rainy day, and went through containers and drawers i hadn't opened in a long time.

rupert took a prius-full of stuff to donate, and i set my sights on making a dent in my crafting supplies. that's going to be harder to deal with. i have no issue purging other people's stuff but when it comes to my stuff my hoarding instinct kicks in. my goal is to go through it all this summer and decide, once and for all, what i will use and what i will never use. that means i have to abandon some of my crafting ambitions and admit i'm never going to make polymer clay accents or learn how to calligraph.

let me back up a moment and talk about those boxes. i have been saving almost every single usable box i've received in the mail for the last couple of years. since i sell my crafts i kept the boxes in case i needed to ship something. the boxes piled up higher and higher, and packing materials started overflowing out of them. it was overwhelming to walk by that tower of corrugated cardboard. and guess what? i hadn't used a single box! getting rid of them was enough to clear the air in the garage to make it feel more clutter-free (that's an illusion, though; there's still much more decluttering to be done).

towards mid-afternoon, while going through a container of stuff i found old letters i'd been saving in a plastic bag. you'd think that if these memories were important enough for me to save, i wouldn't leave them in an old grocery bag buried inside a box i don't ever open. so i went through the letters, sorted them by sender and approximate date, and slid them into sheet protectors in a binder. i could just get rid of them all, but i'm a sentimental sap. how could i possibly throw out recycle love letters from rupert? or from my best friend?

skimming through some of the letters it really hit me that my world was so small back in high school. my friends and my relationship with rupert were everything to me; even the slightest disturbance in my relationship with these people was traumatic and emotionally all-consuming. seriously, judging by the letters, my life must've been d-r-a-m-a-t-i-c compared to my life now.

i do have to say, though, my generation (or was it just my friends?) were good letter writers. in this age of emails, texting, and im-ing i think the art of old fashioned note-passing and letter-writing is getting lost. we took the time to truly express ourselves in words and complete sentences. i'm glad i kept these letters because they really reveal my life and feelings when i was 17 years old; things that i've forgotten but i know helped to shape me. i'm not sure i want to share some of the letters but it's good to know i have them to read again and again as i get older and need a reminder of what it was like to be young.

so, after a jaunt down memory lane i finished up in the garage for the day and headed inside to play rock band with my sister and her boyfriend (even ian joined in). after that i managed to make a quick layout, which i hadn't done in months. so i think i ended up using all of my productivity for awhile!

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