Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.
I feel like I’m watching train wrecks in slow motion. It’s all too heavy and too big and too powerful to stop. There’s nothing I can do or say to make any of it stop, to put brakes on these locomotives, and all I can do is sort of back off far enough to watch until things settle down and maybe then I can figure out what’s happened and what’s still happening and why and maybe then not be quite so lost.
But I can feel the shifts in the air around me.
I’m finally going through the closets I never cleaned out when I filed for divorce two years ago. I’m finding little items of my ex’s that I’d forgotten about and I guess he had, too, since he never mentioned them. A baseball, mugs, junk like that. Nothing of any value other than sentimental, and those I’ve sent back over to him.
I even had the urge to throw out old photo albums, particularly ones I have on digital, and the scrapbooks from high school, college, and even my first award- winning years of working for the Department of Defense and publishing my first novel.
The girls are a little taken aback but Shannon today seemed somewhat amused, watching me going through boxes I’ve kept unopened for the past decade and seeing me discard things that haven’t been a part of my life in years.
The last time I did this kind of spring cleaning, I was suffering from severe depression, still married, and tossing out things that had lost their meaning and their use, in an attempt to unclutter my life. My cleaning process had actually frightened my children, who’d heard that people who threw away and gave away everything often had no plans to live. Suicide wasn’t on my mind but rather, I wanted to be able to find things when I needed them and to do that, I needed to get rid of all the things in my way. And no, I don’t mean that as an analogy.
I’ve had an incredibly productive weekend, thus far, and I’m sore and tired and still have plenty left to do. But something pushes me on, and it’s this bizarre sense of cleaning house, getting my house in order, and getting prepared for something. Though I have no idea what. It’s just this tremendous urge to make sure the repairs are made inside and outside the house, get the decorating finished, don’t buy anything new for the house but plant more flowers, get those closets cleaned out, get the car paid off, get all the accounts settled, get the tax extension finished, get things in the mail, and…okay, this is a strange one….
For the past year, I’ve been making sure I’ve had an ample supply of all my girls and I needed, including keeping the pantry and the freezer well-stocked. I make meals ahead and freeze them in little snack-baggies for lunch or for the girls. I make casseroles and freeze them for company that might arrive on short notice. I buy the two-for- one specials at Winn-Dixie and freeze them. There’s a sense of abundance and security. Today…today I got the message, in a very strong way, to go ahead and eat every- thing that’s stored in the freezer. That’ll likely take the rest of the summer and into the fall. And to eat from the pantry. For whatever reason, we’re to spend our food supply.
Why, I don’t know. With hurricane season starting this week, I’d think having the pantry well-stocked would be a good idea, though not necessarily the freezer. But, freezer first, I’m told, and then the pantry. Why, I still don’t know.
But it scares the hell out of me.