On taking life as it comes

I don't know what happened, but after a week of feeling sorry for myself, I got over it and started enjoying not having a job. What the hell? I thought. I'll take the summer off. I'll get stuff done around the house. I"ll play with my daughter. I'll harass the major newspapers until they print my work. Stuff like that. And so far - as long as I plan my days well so there aren't long stretches of me sitting there thinking about how I wish I had a big bag of candy, as Nora plays with her toys - it's been great. I've really delved into home improvement, going beyond the whole keeping the house clean (while I'm on the topic have we really not come up with a superior alternative to sweeping in the modern age?) and have embarked on some projects. I even made a list. A list that contains really simple items like "plant hostas," but also more daunting undertakings such as "shutters." As though I'm going to put shutters on the house.

Today I took on our basement which is a serious mess. It's where we put, um, anything, when we're not sure what else to do with it. Like dog outfits and approximately six or 7,000 faux Pashminas, it turns out. I know because I was down there for several hours today, organizing items into plastic bins that will inevitably need to be reorganized once I'm finished.

If I could somehow rid myself of my sense of sentimentality I would get rid of all of it. For real. I adore getting rid of things and happily threw tons in my donation box today. But I do always end up keeping the occasional meaningful t-shirt or letter. There is always stuff that somehow evades the trash or Goodwill store, even if it has no place in my life, which is how I ended up tagging one of my plastic bins "stuff that doesn't fit and winter hats." Another, "non-nursing bras and Ethiopian clothes."

At least when I'm done, though, the unnecessary will be neatly packed away. And when I open some box in the future, view the contents - which might include a toy plastic gun and a purse with a goldfish on it - I'll remember this summer and how hard I worked, even though I had no job.

If anyone has any brilliant organization tips and would like to share them in the comments, they would be much appreciated, and I promise I'll think of you when I'm boxing up J's old copies of "Bird Watcher's Digest."