Is it possible to contract ADHD as an adult? If so, I think I got it. I keep trying to focus on one thing at a time in the attempt to quit stressing myself out. Generally, I am a peaceful, laid back person, but this past year has tested me. You would think that working from home would lessen the stress in one’s life, but I can’t really say that it has. I enjoy working from home, but walk around feeling guilty about everything that needs to be done that I can’t get to.
At the moment I have taken on the monumental endeavor to attempt to sell my house. Yes, I know that the housing market sucks for sellers. What I also know is that I am spending 98% of my life energy trying to pay for and maintain a house that we only use about a third of now. My daughter is away at school and my son and I have somehow found ourselves spending our evenings hanging out in my office. We have the TV, our laptops, my artwork, his music all in one small room. We use the kitchen to fix food and then it’s to the office and then each of us off to our rooms to sleep. Three rooms I use on a regular basis out of 7 (I’m not counting bathrooms, but even that is 1 ½ out of 2 1/2). The dining room I spent two years remodeling looks good, but is a glorified laundry room, only used for folding clothes. Our big family room seems a little overwhelming for just two of us and a dog.
So, now I try to focus on work, but keep jumping every time the phone rings. Is it for the next showing and do I have time to do the frantic clean up? Then there is the bill juggling. Ok, those of you who are self-employed, you know what I mean…especially in this current economy. My payments come in a little at a time and trying to keep in all wrangled in one place to make that mortgage payment every month is eating away at my stomach. I don’t get one or two paychecks a month that I can divide into neat pieces anymore. And then there is the tuition! And I only have about a year and a half until there are TWO tuitions!!!
My goal is to cut 2300 sq. ft. of living space down to about 1300 sq. ft. It is all daunting right now. Fourteen years in this house including a two car garage with a storage room. Fourteen years of STUFF that has to be cut at least into half. What do I do with my Grandma’s 50 year old massive deep freezer that I still use? Can I sleep at night without the security of that extra stash of food knowing that some freak snowstorm is heading to the Carolina’s this winter that will require us to forgo a trip for milk and bread? Can I sleep at night without the three comforters in the linen closet that we don’t like, but are there for that same darn blizzard?
I’m not even a real pack rat. I have just kept stuff…just in case…just because I didn’t know what to do with it. And the art supplies. Oh, the art supplies. Having to give up all those dreams of the art I could paint, sew, sculpt and draw. I have decided to only keep the pencils (this includes two large sets of colored pencils and a small drawer full of charcoal and graphite) and my acrylic paints. In reality, these are the only supplies I use…oh, except for the jewelry bits and the metal…. Do you see why I’m in a state of non-focus and hyperactivity?
In my alter-life I live in a contemporary, minimalist small home with no knick-knacks and walls of built-in, smooth, sleek door covered storage where everything has its perfect place. When it all gets too much I glaze over and go to my happy, organized alter-life, hoping that when I come to my Fairy God-Mother will have cleaned out all the drawers, shelves, cabinets, and boxes. I could then blame her when I really need that third comforter or start missing that art project that I did in college. Yes, I kept some of them and have been dragging them across two states for 20++ years now. Just smack me. I know.
It’s not the physically grueling act of downsizing that wears you down. It’s the millions of little decisions of what to keep and what to let go of. It’s pulling out all the papers and drawings your kids made in kindergarten and knowing that keeping the papers will not keep those cute little kids from leaving home. It’s deciding if it’s worth the effort to dig up my great grandmother’s rose bush AGAIN and trying to find a place for it at the next landing strip. It’s wondering if throwing out my late cat Blackie’s collar is the equivalent of losing the memory of him. Suddenly, every item my hand touches seems to come with a story or a memory that’s important.
My hope is that my house sells fast. First, so that I don’t have to pretend to be Martha Stewart every waking moment so that my house is always in a magazine cover state (I can hear my close friends doubled over in laughter now at this thought). Second, so that I don’t have to keep going through this emotional upheaval every time I open a cabinet. No, I want it to go fast so that I can either, throw everything into boxes and put them in storage and my kids can sort through the crap when I’m dead or I can throw everything out on my front yard and all of you can drive by and take what you want. Please, just don’t ask me about the story behind it.
Wish me luck!