Doc on the go
Doc on the go
As I was decluttering my kitchen, I was reminded also of the holidays as they are right around the corner. I remembered the smells emanating out of the kitchen, the sounds of kitchen wizardry and the feeling of possibility.
Holidays were a whirlwind of food prep, crisis house cleaning and bonding with our friends and cousins as we rallied against “the adults”. Many a holiday night were spent sneaking out of the house, running the streets and hiding in the trees. We used to explore and hide all over the UC Berkeley campus – the very institution my mother and her friends fought against to preserve the city parks for their children and in the end won the battle.
It’s amazing the memories sitting and decluttering in one’s kitchen bring up as I go through each drawer. I think of my mother now as she sits most of the time, like the Buddha she loves and breathes the present moment in and out. My mother has Alzheimer’s, the real thing. She has her meals delivered to her now and she no longer cooks Indian food for us. Like the items in my kitchen, she is treasured. No, I won’t toss her out or donate her – she goes in the Keep pile.
Questions to ponder as you declutter your life:
Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?
Does this item represent someone or a place and time that I want to let go of?
Do I have unfinished business with who or what the item represents?
Is this something I want to save in my mind – suggestion: take a picture of the item.
I recently I found myself at a crossroads. I had passed the magic “50 yard line”. I had turned 50 something and I want to share the impact decluttering has had on my life and my ability to transition to the next stage of my dreams.
Cleaning house and decluttering has literally cleared enough space in my mind to expand into more possibilities.
The first room I tackled was the kitchen. I found duplicate items to almost everything I own: two can openers, two spatulas, two crock pots, and you get the idea. I found many, many keys, in fact, a half a drawer full of new and old keys. As I dumped each drawer onto the cleared off kitchen table, I made three piles:
As I tossed the older items that were worn out or had no mates I am reminded of my mother’s house when I was growing up. Who knew decluttering would evoke memories like this!?
Think back to your childhood kitchen. Do you remember family members gathering and cooking in the kitchen? The spills on the counter and stove top? The overflowing pots and the aroma coming from the oven? Do you remember having guests over for tea and in our case to plan the next resistance against UC Berkeley for stealing our rec parks, the ones near our house where the University planned to put up dorms?
My family’s kitchen was a watering hole for us four kids, the neighborhood kids and my mother’s feminist gatherings. Back in my day it was about women’s rights and how they could stop being traditional wives. We sang songs by Holly Near and Chris Williamson and Joni Mitchell. We entertained people from all walks of life – but mostly “hippies” from the ‘hood. When my mother and father first moved to California from upstate New York in 1969, times were tough early on and we received weekly food deliveries from the church. Our friends included musicians from Cazadero Music Camp, the future mayor of Berkeley who was my friend’s mother and all of my mother’s therapist friends – you kind of had to watch your step around them!
Part 2 coming soon!