Lightening the Load

Sometimes life seems to be burying us alive.  So cliché, but kind of true.  I haven’t been posting for a couple of months.  It just seemed like there was no time.  I have felt life weighing me down.  I have a friend who fell ill over a year and a half ago, and living two doors down, a lot of the burden has fallen on me to “arrange” things.  Without close family, children, or living parents, she is virtually on her own. A few close friends (along with a brother who lives up north who is fifteen years her senior) and I have managed to help her finalize a divorce, close down a business, take her on four over-night trips to Mayo Clinic, get court orders for guardianship, sell two beach condos and her home, and get her moved into a temporary home until permanent choices can be realized.  She has zero short term memory from brain damage due to Autoimmune Encephalitis. 

The emotional “toll” it has taken helping her through this process, and being the “go-to” friend due to my close proximity, has been profound.  I was expecting when we finally reached the closing date of her home on May 5th, after completion of packing, storing, having an estate sale, etc., that I would feel a huge relief.  What came instead was a feeling of intense sadness, allowing myself to now dwell on the fact that my friend’s life as she knew it, was over.  I had to keep those thoughts somewhat at bay to get through the process of taking care of the “business” of her life.   Now I can move back to being a good friend, and not “running her life”, but having to accept what it must be like for her to wake up everyday and not realize what has happened to her is almost physically painful.

Trying to improve my sense of gloom, I dove into a project of my own…cleaning out my office and dressing area.  I like things fairly neat, and when disorganization creeps in, it starts depressing me.  I needed a “feel good” fast.  Within four days, I had removed everything out of my office area and dressers, sent three pieces of furniture to auction, taken out bags of items to donate or throw away, and called in my painter.  The result was a sparkling new canvas to set up my office and have the new dressers and dressing table delivered.

Cleaned out office/dressing area… too bad it can’t stay just like this!.Dressing Room 

New  dressing table                                                             Dressing Table

It has also motivated to go through my entire house, room by room, and unburden myself of unnecessary “stuff”.  After the past five years of dealing with closing down my mother-in-law’s house to move her into assisted living, packing and moving my mother’s house into a senior living  apartment, and now packing and moving my friend, I want my house to be simplified.  I know it’s old news that relieving yourself of extra “stuff” is liberating, but I am here to testify that it is so.

My mood lightened considerably with just that one area of improvement…therefore I need to keep going.  So tomorrow I have a professional organizer going through my entire house and we are going to prioritize areas that need purging.  (I have one of those houses that looks perfectly neat, but just don’t open drawers, closets, or look in the garage!).  I feel better just knowing what’s ahead and that one day my children will be thankful!  Here’s to “lightening the load”!


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