Groundhog Day: Why Decluttering Isn’t Always Enough

Isn’t it too bad that wishing you were mainstream never makes it true? You just become that person rowing frantically with a stick wondering why all the other boats are passing you by.

I purposely don’t write a lot about my specific challenges with decluttering. There are so many reasons a person gets into trouble with clutter, and so many reasons we can all benefit from getting rid of it, that I don’t think my idiosyncracies warrant much press.

However, everyone has their unique challenges, and my family is no different.

Squirrel and I have learned from our journey through the fascinating workings of our oldest son’s brain that I share a few of his genetic variations – if you will. For example, we both have a poor short-term memory and experience a great deal of difficulty in the area of motor planning.

Squirrel likens our challenges to living a perpetual Groundhog Day where we relearn the same thing over and over again without really automating anything. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect general intelligence but it is a little hard to explain when I’m reading the directions on the box of pasta for the fifth and sixth times or when I suddenly forget how to turn on my car’s engine.

There have been many times in my life when I’ve told myself –  if I can’t make a paddle out of this stick, I really should head for dry land. But since I became a mother nine years ago, I’ve found myself drawn back into the current, striving towards my vision of a normal Mom while the kind of Mom I can be and want to be passes me by.

I know the road ahead for my son is a difficult one and my hope for him is that he builds his life around his talents and that those successes buoy him up for the daily challenges that he will undoubtedly face. And, I hope he pins his hopes on extraordinary instead of the ever elusive normal.

Getting rid of our clutter was a giant step forward for our family. Still, there are many things in our lives that we can eliminate or automate to free us up to struggle less and enjoy more. In the next few weeks I’m going to attempt to put our meals on auto pilot. Despite all my magical thinking, it turns out there is no healthy dinner fairy, and that the longer you wait for her, the more likely you are to get a visit from the pizza man.

What’s the first thing that you would eliminate or automate to simplify your life?