Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.
I feel like Iâ€™m watching train wrecks in slow motion. Itâ€™s all too Â heavy and too big and too powerful to stop. Thereâ€™s nothing I can do or say to make any of it stop, to put brakes on these locomotives, Â and all I can do is sort of back off far enough to watch until things settle down and maybe Â then I can figure out whatâ€™s Â happened Â and whatâ€™s still Â happening and why and maybe then not be quite so lost.
But I can feel the shifts in the air around me.
Iâ€™m finally going through the closets I never cleaned out when I Â filed for divorce two years ago. Iâ€™m finding little items of my exâ€™s that Iâ€™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 Iâ€™ve sent back over to him.
I even had the urge to throw out old photo albums, particularly ones Â I have Â on digital, and the scrapbooks from Â high Â school, Â college, Â and Â even Â my Â first Â 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 Â amused, Â watching me going through boxes Iâ€™ve kept unopened for the past decade and seeing me discard things that havenâ€™t Â been a part of my life in years.
The last time I did this kind of spring cleaning, I was suffering from severe depression, Â 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, whoâ€™d heard that people who threw away and gave away everythingÂ often had no plans to live. Suicide Â wasnâ€™t Â on my mind but rather, Â I wanted to be able to find things when I Â needed them and to do that, I needed to get rid of all the things in my way. And no, I donâ€™t mean that as an analogy.
Iâ€™ve had an incredibly productive weekend, thus far, and Iâ€™m sore and tired and still have plenty left to do. But something pushes me on, and itâ€™s Â this bizarre sense of cleaning house, Â getting Â my house in order, Â and Â getting prepared for something. Â Though I have no idea what. Itâ€™s just this Â tremendous Â urge to makeÂ sure the repairs Â are made inside and outside Â the house, Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â get the decorating finished, donâ€™t buy anything new for the house but plant more flowers, Â 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, Iâ€™ve been making sure Iâ€™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 Â at Â Winn-Dixie Â and freeze Â them. Â Thereâ€™s Â a sense of abundance and security. Today…today Â I got the message, in a very strong way, to go ahead and eat every- thing thatâ€™s stored in the freezer. Thatâ€™ll likely take the rest of the summer and into the fall. And to eat from the pantry. For Â whatever Â reason, Â weâ€™re Â to Â spend Â our Â food supply.
Why, I donâ€™t Â know. Â With Â hurricane Â season Â starting this week, Iâ€™d think having the pantry well-stocked would be a good idea, though not Â necessarily the freezer. But, freezer first, Iâ€™m told, and then the pantry. Â Why, I still donâ€™t know.
But it scares the hell out of me.