Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Boxes Under the Stairs

So, to most who know me, I've had an eventful couple of weeks.

I have been making so many to-do lists- and sticking to them- to try to steam out the wrinkles that have become my future. I have gotten so much accomplished in the past two weeks that I amaze myself. Anything that has yet to be accomplished has an appointment made to get it accomplished. I am living out of my planner. I even got a job (I will blog on my new crazy schedule very soon).

It feels amazing to have a bit of the haze clear and catch hopeful glimpses of the wonderful things to come.

Yet... I find myself, in spite of all of my optimism, clinging to my old habits. Follow me through a small piece of my day which is quite a fitting metaphor for my current mindset.

Today I have been getting ready to take the kids camping (Todd came over to help me through the process of putting up the tent, which I had refused to learn over all these years because, of course, I'd always have him to do it for me). As I've been hunting and gathering throughout the house, I've come accross boxes yet to be unpacked.

We moved into this house in February. I have about 6 stubborn boxes stored inconveniently in the closet under the stairs that refuse to put themselves away. They are full of things that have no place in this house. This house is bigger than the old one, but these pesky items simply don't belong here. So, I put off dealing with them. Some of them are things that I don't need, things people have bought me because I once collected them, and some are just things that remind me of who I used to be... rather, still am, but am actively trying not to be.

"Today," I told myself, "in the midst of all of the hunting and gathering, I will deal with these things." And it was too hard. It's not that I don't think I'm capable of making the decision of where the things should go (trash, into the house, future garage sale box), it's that I can't bring myself to make the decisions.

Then came an "AHA!" moment. I have so been defining myself on my lack of interest in making new friends, in being alone whenever possible, in my ability to be separate from all of my other commitments and honor a commitment to myself that I have actually gone and become lonely. While being an individual is still important to me, I think I have come to a crossroads where I need to train myself to welcome human contact.

I've been so sad lately and I do believe I may be stumbling upon some answers. The dissolution of my marraige is actually going to teach me something. While the separation is a good thing on so many levels, Todd not being here anymore is making me see how close I was getting to be to being utterly alone. Of course, that would never be truly so because of my children, but one needs more than just their children and their spouse to be whole.

There is no lack of people who would be here in a heartbeat if I need them to be. But the point is that I need to branch out. I have alot to offer, and I think I may be discrediting people in general by assuming that they have nothing to offer me.

And it comes back to the boxes under the stairs. I know what must be done, but I question my ability to do it.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006


I have been thinking quite a bit about honor. Chiefly, I have been thinking about honor as it relates to commitments in ones relationships with others. No, this is not about the phrase "honor your commitments," although it fits. However, the aforementioned phrase is not what got me started on this rant.

Really, my thoughts here are about relationships between people. All relationships: marriages, partnerships, friendships, familial ties. I am contemplating the responsibility we have to other people when we make commitments to them.

For example, I have big commitments and little ones. I vowed to be faithful when I married my husband; I promised my daughter a trip to the new ice cream store by the beach when she had completed the first section of her summer workbook. I wonder if there is any difference in what kind of person I am when I do not honor a commitment regardless of whether it is a major or minor one. In the above examples, I am betraying my word in both cases. Perhaps the promise I made to my daughter seems minor in comparison to my wedding vows, but is it? I am still defacing the value of my word, my honor.

Being honorable is quite possibly the biggest virtue one can boast. When thinking of relationships, we always think of things like trust and honesty and communication and compatibility as paramount to success. Really it all comes down to honor. How crushing it must be to have honored someone for any length of time (though particularly a longer length of time)- be it blindly or with proper cause- and to find out that you (or me, or anyone) have not been treated with honor in return. Having to recall all of the times when you could have broken your word, when it would have been so easy, but did not, only to discover that it did not mean anything must be so belittling. Sure, you have your personal integrity. Still, there is a moment when a person must feel so naked to discover that something they value was contrary to what a person they care about values.

I feel as though, with being treated honorably as so important to me, I need to really examine my commitments with those that I care for, or respect, or admire and make sure that I have treated others likewise.