Choices: Living with Regret to Get Reward

Being a photographer and loving light, it’s going to be a long time before I get over the regret of missing the sunset-lightning-fireworks for the ages experienced by Vancouver on Saturday night, all for more work on the home, but I will get over it, and then I’ll get to live with the results generated by that loss.

Deep down inside, I know I’m shit company when I’m distracted by things I feel I need to be doing. I get obsessive and focused, and conversation isn’t very conducive to making me on anyone’s top 10 to-hang-around list anytime soon when I’m in that mode.

Which is sort of where I’m at. I know I wouldn’t have been “present” wherever I was on Saturday, I know the price I’ve paid will ultimately reward me more than the regret will haunt me.

balcony-reduxI’m telling myself it’s all worth it — all this slaving over the minutae of organization, the methodical and slow process of actively choosing what of my past I can discard and move beyond.

As I slave and grind, I’m imagining the feeling of writing at my desk in this room of order, in my new workspace location with a view of all that transpires in my little corner of the world, how fun writing will be from a new perspective, and my living room with its new paint and new shelves. I’m daydreaming about parties and entertaining I’ll be able to do when I’m not always worried about what skeleton’s going to fall out of which closet.

I’ve tried decluttering and organizing on my own, but I’m usually so exhausted after weeks and weeks of work that I lapse back into old habits. But this time I have Professional Help. Mentally, it’s not as draining. Terra* made me a to-do list and starred the important ones for me to tackle. She’ll be here for the proverbial and literal heavy-lifting.

And while I may regret missing one rainy, stormy sunset people might talk about off and on for the next weeks or years, I’m working toward something that, whenever I’m at home, will utterly surround me. It will be the world in which I live, work, write, love, sleep, hide, rejuvenate, dream, and collapse. Home isn’t a stopping-over place, it’s not some fleeting location we see for Sunday dinners. It’s where we live, it should be where we most feel ourselves and in control. These days, mine feels like a tumultuous nightmare, and has, since I blew my back out last October.

I can’t wait for that day soon when it all feels like home makes sense, like I have control again.

It’s ironic that I blew my back out when I did, as I was just getting around to really trying to declutter again when my world came apart for awhile. That I was then forced to not only live with clutter as it was, but sit around literally crippled for the next three months and unable to even keep THAT in check as my home became invaded with cockroaches, well, let’s just say the desire to get HERE, where I am this week, on the cusp of really accomplishing something, has been a fantasy for nearly a year. I know now how destructive it is to live in a home that controls you. Without even THAT as a safe space, it’s hard to feel one has a footing in the world.

Even when all this was at its worst, I wasn’t very sure I’d be able to let go of some things. It’s funny what holds us back sometimes, when we think think these challenges are more pain than they’ll be reward. Like purging my storage last week and getting rid of that table of my mom’s. I was resisting letting my dad, brother, aunt, etc, know I’d gotten rid of the table, since it was Mom’s last dreamy arts-n-craft purchase before her death. Instead of the disappointment I thought I’d hear, I got accolades and applause. What? “It’s good, maybe it’ll help with moving on for once and for all. Good for you!”

I had those conversations last night, after another weekend spent thinking, “Fuck everyone, I need this for me.”

In the end, that guilt proved unnecessary. Family and friends understand that I gotta do what I gotta do, and that keeping any of this isn’t going to bring my glorious past back into my present, nor is it going to somehow compensate for the pain or loss I experienced way back when.

My Saturday regrets came as a result of knowing, though, that this week was going to be a really hard one to cope with — both with the physical work required and the mental dedication needed to get through it — my thinking was, fix up my balcony so I finally have one safe, beautiful, uncluttered place to take a time-out in whenever the rest of it gets to be too much.

The photo included is the end result of my patio labours. And, frankly, my thinking was brilliant. There’s nothing more satisfying right now than five minutes on my balcony to remember what the end goal in all of this is.

Sanity.

Good thing to remember. :)

*Terra’s organizational services will be available to YOU in Vancouver soon, too! She’s founding a new company, Manic Manipulation, which WILL have its own website soon but is under construction, where she’ll come save your untidy, unkempt ass with organizational solutions that work for your life and your way of coping.  Stay tuned, in the coming weeks you’ll see all the glorious before-and-after photos.

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