Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Sweet Spot

Was it this (blasted) office project that has got me to thinking more about what my future plans will or should entail? I've been avoiding cleaning out and organizing it for a few years now, and then all of a sudden it was THE day to begin. I knew the task would be long and challenging. I knew that in facing all of that 'stuff' I would be called upon to make decisions. What stays? What goes? What holds value? What is no longer useful?

I've gotten rid of old files and created new ones. I have shredded reams of bank statements, insurance forms, receipts and records. Tossed out user manuals, out dated Christmas card lists and blurred photos. The recycling bin (which is the size of an enormous garbage can) is mostly full this week because of my efforts.

And I have finally dug into The Sweet Spot: That tender place I had been unwilling to touch for years that held homework projects, awards, schedules, team rosters, cards and small bits of paper written or drawn upon by three pair of young hands. Now that I've spent time with it, I know with crystal clarity why I rushed by so quickly, eyes averted, each day. It was something I didn't want to deal with and so pretended it wasn't even there. In the meantime it had grown like a mis-managed rhododendron; thick leaves and sturdy branches strewn about on top of one another representing years that have passed and boys that have grown.  A marriage matured, family threads interwoven and unique memories. Roots that run healthy and deep.

I didn't want to revisit that pile for what I did not want to see: Time.

In turning over what had settled comfortably into that spot, I've come across grade school collages, college essays, poems, drawings, sports programs, acknowledgments, certificates, newspaper articles and notes. One of my favorites was a piece of paper with tape stuck to it shouting "MOM CAN WE GO TO THE LIBRARY TODAY?" scrawled in a nine-year-old hand. There were comments on a first grade report card (one of which was 'quite a talker') that accurately describe a certain son as the adult he is today. A collection of photos show another, book in hand, in a rocking chair, in a beach chair, by the fire, by a pool, at home, on name it. Photos of him, of course, are still likely to be snapped with the book he is currently reading found somewhere within the frame. There is a photo of an exhausted three year old, sitting up to the dinner table, head fallen back, mouth open, eyes closed......asleep in front of a plate of lasagna and garlic bread. The same kid who, this many years later, would still never desert a good plate of food.

And so it goes. The Sweet Spot has not disappeared but has been sifted through, divided up and saved. Its unruliness neatly portioned off for each son, waiting for the right occasion to be passed on.

It's time for a change. Time to take stock. Time to wrap up a couple of projects and stamp them FINISHED. Time to ramp up and plan to put a couple of new ideas in motion. In other words, in my world, its time to shake things up a bit. Cleaning out the office.....revisiting those years that hung out in the pile in the corner reminded me of this......and I think that's a good thing every so often. 

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!


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