Making Progress By Flipping Life the Bird

I don’t talk about my back issues in much more than a passing reference here and there. Because this blog isn’t about my back. It’s about trying to simplify. But sometimes life throws you a major curveball. And you have to deal with it.

Let’s just say we’ve been thrown for a pretty good sized loop. In an 8 day period of time (beginning last Thursday and ending on this Friday), the following have, or will have, occurred:

  • I had another MRI. It shows damage to two more discs in my spine. Part of me is relieved because it means the pain isn’t all in my head. But, I admit, it took me a day long pity party to wrap my brain around it, pick myself up, dust myself off and move on.
  • The Girl will have had surgery. It’s an outpatient thing, but any surgery on a child is not something that you look forward to. It will require anesthesia and a surgeon. So, yeah.
  • I will have had another back procedure. I will be sedated and it will involve needles and injections. It’s not guaranteed to work. So, I might still be in pain after the shots and no better off whatsoever.

All of this makes me want to write a string of obscenities set to music. And not a rap song, either. I’m certainly saying them in my head. They might be brought to you by the letter F.

On top of that, work is ongoing in the house. But not without its own tangent. We found out the popcorn ceiling in our family room and breakfast room had asbestos in it, requiring an environmental abatement company to come in, clear it out and monitor the air the entire time. Hasmat suits people. We got the all clear to move forward with construction, but not without a delay and major expense we hadn’t planned for. Damn.

None of us are immune from tangents, curveballs or external forces that threaten to derail progress. Sometimes they are little softballs. Sometimes, they’re giant boulders.

Regardless of what life throws at you, you have to keep on keepin’ on.┬áSo, in the spirit of flipping all of this the bird, here are a couple of points of progress:

1. We donated another comforter we no longer need.

2. Stephen and I watched youtube videos on minimalism and decluttering and a documentary on The Tiny House People for inspiration. After which, Stephen got rid of an entire garbage bag full of clothes and socks (donated to a charity that picked it all up from our house). Then he thanked me for watching the videos.

They must have hit a little inspiration spot in him. You see, Stephen is the king of this house when it comes to the sheer volume of clothing items he owns. He has three closets and a large armoire. All full. Plus, shoe trees in his closet and, I honestly don’t know, how many boots.

A few months ago, I tried to edit his wardrobe. I went through EVERYTHING. Pretty sure I donated half of everything in there and the closets are still packed. He still has at least 20 short sleeve golf shirts. Seriously, he doesn’t need that many golf shirts. Still, I kept on. We narrowed him down to nearly half of his items. And there is still another round to go.

By my count, that’s at least 15 pair of dress and/or wool socks. He kept just as many more and hasn’t gone through the white sports/athletic socks yet. But be warned: they take up two drawers of space in his armoire. Yes. Yes they do.

Socks Could Be The Subject of Their Very Own Post in This House

Socks Could Be The Subject of Their Very Own Post in This House

We stopped at actually counting the number of remaining socks. It would be a frightening number. Just purging some was enough for now.


After the socks were addressed, he moved on to other random clothing items including two baseball caps (he’s got at least 10, possibly more), ski pants he hasn’t worn since 1996, very worn jeans, shirts, sweaters and some dress shoes. I tossed in two t-shirts that had small stains on them. Someone else could either use them for a project or, if better skilled at laundry than me, could get the stains out. And the Girl dropped a too-small bathing suit in there.

The charity we chose came to pick it all up today, so now it is gone and destined, hopefully, for someone who will appreciate it.

That, my friends, is how you give some life difficulty the middle finger. By not letting it derail you. Instead shove it’s face in the pile of items you plan on getting out of your house and donating to someone with a need at that.

Donaters Unite!