It has been a while since I have posted in this blog and I have to say that I did not give up on sharing and inspiring kindness, but a challenge to my own kindness-level—moving my mother-in-law into Memory Care and the subsequent cleaning and emptying of her apartment—left me with little extra time for blogging. I did not give up on the challenge, however, and I managed to complete the 40-days of the Kindness challenge, as well as the personal challenge I faced of completing the sorting and cleaning of a house overstuffed with my mother-on-law’s collections and clutter.
My mother-in-law is a typical child of the depression, with the motto, “You never know when you might need that.” Of course, fill in the blank “that” with anything, as in bags, boxes, paper clips, socks, hats, gloves, cassette tapes, cowboy DVDs, flashlights, magnifying glasses, whatever. The list went on and on. Once she had moved, we put in her notice to the apartment building and had two months to clean and clear out her possessions. At one point, when the deadline was ticking toward the end of the lease, I almost lost heart because the task never seemed to end. It was almost as if the stuff was multiplying on its own. Once you start emptying closets and sorting the contents, it seems like you have made things worse rather than made them better. Feeling that you face an insurmountable task is very discouraging.
Many, many bags to the garbage…many, many bags given away to the thrift store, given so that other people could use those clothes, dishes, books, flashlights, cowboy DVDs, and rugs. My time and effort was required to sort through all of it to be sure that each useable item found a new home. Pressing on through it was the kindest thing to do. I remember how many times when my kids were little that I was so grateful to find good quality items at a thrift store. Turn about is fair play.
However, working steadily at it instead of giving up is the only way to succeed at a task like this, one that won’t finish itself. It takes a person who is committed and willing to keep at it. If you have a task like this, don’t give up. By all means, cultivate the help you need from others and keep at it.
Picture the turtle, slow and steady!