Saturday, November 6, 2010

on a roll...

I’ve been busy.
I am on the proverbial roll.

I’ve been cleaning the house of the big items…i.e.-boyfriend. And cleaning the small items as well… i.e.-lazy suzanne and pantry.

The recent change of relationship status in my life has spurred on a cleaning frenzy unlike any I’ve ever experienced in the past. Oh sure, I’ve seen in movies where women are scrubbing toilets with their ex’s t-shirts or toothbrushes and laughed at the thought. I’ve not gone down that road, but boy, the house is looking quite orderly and clean in the aftermath!

It started with my scouring the house looking for remnants of life with the boyfriend. All of it had to go. I didn’t care where, as long as it was not within the confines of my personal space. Boxes upon boxes of his fathers books had been brought to my house for future perusal when his parents recently moved. Lots of treasures from their attic that they didn’t want to mess with were brought here and stashed. And when I say boxes, I mean boxes. Plural to the 14th power. Maybe more. There were some in the garage, some in the spare room, some in the basement. His dad was a professor of history and books were his thing. Some interesting titles and some not so interesting titles. But I’m a book lover, so for me, all books are treated with care and respect.

There were plastic bins of Naval uniforms, medals and photographs from the boyfriends time spent in the Navy. Some really cool items that I was tempted to keep just for future costuming (we’re big on dress up here at my house) but that didn’t seem quite right to keep. So out they went. Rubbermaids of high school trophies and little league photographs. School photos of girls with 80’s hair with loopy handwriting of “Great to know you! Keep in touch!“ Bins of his past life that ended up in my basement.

Pictures of his brother found buried in the attic of his parents house. High school portraits, wedding portraits, football portraits. He hasn't seen his brother in years. Both boyfriend and boyfriends parents are estranged from the brother. It was my idea was to bring them here to someday, hopefully give back to him. But obviously that's not going to happen. The boyfriend can figure out what to do with them now.

There are the large items like the treadmill, the heavy bag, the snow blower and the miter saw. His big leather chair that somehow I managed remove from the house all by myself, leaves a vacant spot in the living room. All things belonging to him are now gone. All the clothes and shoes and stuff that took up space in the dressing room. Gone. No reminders. No photographs. No nostalgia. All gone.

But surprisingly, it doesn't look empty. It looks...good.

One of the most noticable changes for me, is the television gone from the bedroom. That was his as well. The wooden stand remained with the cords jutting out from the back of an unhooked up dvd player and cable box. A silent reminder of whats missing. It would be easy to purchase another in its place but I’ve made the decision to NOT replace the TV. I’ve been reading more of late without the box in there. So out the stand went. Although I couldn't do that one onmy own like the chair. Had I tried to negotiate that down from the third flloor master I be presently typing this from the confines of a hospital bed.

I used to like to snuggle deep in the down comforters and pillows nursing a glass of wine or cup of green tea and watch movies. I had a membership online with Blockbuster that would automatically rotate 3 movies delivered to my door. I canceled the subscription the day after the split. Somehow it seemed sad to continue to open movies that I had obviously put in the queue with boyfriends interests in mind. We used to watch a lot of movies. That was our thing. Movies of action, movies of horror, movies with an oriental theme, movies of suspense. I never added chick flicks, he didn't like them. No Indie or foreign films, he didn't care for those either. I know I could keep the subscription and change the titles to those I’ve denied myself of watching over the years, but I’ll just keep that extra twenty bucks in my checking account each month instead.

I’ve been curling up in my big chair in the living room with the fireplace blazing, dogs at my feet, reading. Finally getting to the ever growing stack of literature that I had not taken the time to read. I’ve been enjoying my time alone.

Bear and I have been enjoying all this time as well. Not having a third person to add to the mix we don’t have to think about anyone else’s schedule. Before we had a routine, but no longer. I don’t have to worry about having meals ready at any certain time. Some evenings Boo and I will eat early. Some nights we go out. One night neither of us were really hungry so we went and got ice cream instead. It’s been fun approaching our evenings with a “ So....what’dya want to do tonight?” careless approach.

This purging of all things boyfriend has spurred on more organization throughout the rest of the house. The bookshelf in my office, just to the right of my desk becomes a catch-all. It gets piled high with papers that I need to attend to, to file or to mail at a later date. Even the cleaning people have been bypassing this disorganized mess for fear of messing up my ‘filing’ system. The dust bunnies were turning into dust creatures. Well guess what…it’s now nice and clean and organized and dusted.

My tool chest in the basement was getting extremely unorganized. It started by taking a tool and then not returning it to where it SHOULD go, but just lazily laying it on the top. In theory putting things away where they should go is fine, but didn't happen. But hey now… I’ve got that all organized, and labeled as well. And the garage? Let's talk about the garage. All the seeds, the fertilizers, the leaf bags…all put where they are supposed to go. All these little projects that I would think about, but never quite found the time to get around to do…amazingly enough, without boyfriend, I now can complete them all.

I’ve more time.

More time for myself. More time to do what I want and not what I felt I needed to do. Unhindered by someone else’s schedule (which I did to myself…I know) I’m now able to get more things accomplished.

Bah! To putting another’s schedule before mine.
Bah! To putting myself last on the to do list.
Bah! To all of it.

I’m reveling in the fact that it is ME that I now have to answer to. If I want to get up in the middle of the night and read….I’ll do it. Or if I want to go for a walk late in the evening, I’ll do that too. If I don't want to make dinner, of coffee, or do laundry...I won't do it.

My time is my time.
And damn, if it doesn’t feel good.

But in retrospect, after all the things on the back deck were picked up and long gone, I have but one remorse. I should’ve kept the white navy uniform with the Dixie cup hat.

I would’ve looked hot in that for next years Halloween party.


  1. Wow, you have been busy, and productive. It sounds like you are in a great place with all of this. And I suspect that next time there's a boyfriend in the picture, you might keep a little more of your own schedules and entertainments and priorities!

  2. Way to go, Nancy. Feels good to let go of the past. I just had part one of my "estate sale" today. I'm getting rid of about 75% of my stuff. I just don't want STUFF anymore. The release is different than yours but familiar all the same.
    Also, Netflix is pretty awesome.

  3. Now you made me want to clean my house and then curl up with a good book, a warm fire and a napping dog. Glad things are going so well, and happy to hear further proof that less is truly more. It's good to be first on your own list, isn't it?

  4. Haha, darn. Oh well-now you haven't got all that other stuff nagging away in the back of your mind!

  5. What an exercise!

    You must have been both liberated and drained by shedding the excess baggage. I don't doubt that physically going through those items must have left you with mixed emotions and at times must have been difficult. But finally at the end of the process it sounds like you were ready to move on. It's a good thing that you didn't keep the navy uniform because I think on a mental level it was important that you return everything to be emotionally freed. Good things are happening for you because you are in the driver's seat and you'll decide what baggage to put in the trunk and what to leave on the curb. Yay, you!

  6. I love those spurts of energy that result in getting stuff done. Too bad it had to be inspired by the ex, but you rock girl! My garage could use some organizing if you still have an iota of organizing left...

  7. Glad to see your getting your time back - it's well deserved. Ice cream for dinner is a great idea.

  8. There's a lot to be said for "doing it my way" - and not having a boyfriend isn't all bad, is it? There are benefits both ways, but it's so easy to lose yourself in an attempt to please another.

  9. Hmmm... how interesting... the name of this post is "On A Roll" and in your profile, you state that "Roll With It" is your motto.

    That's how I think we need to live and process Life. Not get too bogged down in things. It's sad when relationships end, whether we wanted them to last or not... there is always a period of reflection once we get past the feeling of rejection. And that's ok...

    "It looks good," you say when referencing the empty space where the chair once sat. Good for you!!

    Like one of your commenters above said, when there is another boy friend, keep and honor yourself. There is never ever anything wrong with 'Nancy Time'... it would be nice to have someone in our lives that would share our interests...

    Re: The white navy suit with the Dixie Cup hat in which you said you would look SO hot... only if your butt and legs are cute... ;o) Ha!

    You are doing fine!!


  10. wow, how nice it is when we accomplish something, go figure ALL the things you have done!! So happy for you, your over-all cleansing process and your determination. As for the navy suit, no remorses there: you can always go on craig's list to get a BETTER one (with the 20 bucks you are saving per month).

  11. I'm very impressed with all you've accomplished, not the least of which is your epiphany about where YOU belong in the order of things! Great going, and here's to your new-found priorities! Yay!

  12. Good for you Nancy! It's good to hear that you and your daughter are getting your lives back to your "new" normal.

  13. That's odd, that he left all that stuff behind. But you're right to get rid of it. Donate it all to Goodwill. ;-)

    When I break up with a partner, I donate all the material goods, and burn all the letters/delete all the emails. Buh-bye.

  14. good for you! There is nothing in life like a good old fashioned purge.

    Love you, lady.

  15. You have cleaned out more than your ex's belongings. You have found parts of you that were compromised by the relationship. All of us that have ended similiar relationships understand the empowering process.
    I wish for you days filled with the pleasures of your desire. May anyone who comes into your life love you unconditionally and celebrate you.
    I feel like I purged along with you. It's just stuff isn't it?

  16. The problem with relationships is that it’s the substance of our connections: Even beyond that, relationships can also be defined by association or just the frequency in which we connect with people (if I see someone often, then I might say I have a relationship with them LOL).

    "I made you an X
    cause you’re a pest
    I'm off to the next
    For us is what’s best
    No need to be vex
    No this isn’t a test
    Better love; better sex
    No more chances left
    Just leave; watch your step
    Nothing I want; nor expect
    Only my wishes you respect
    But your ignorance; erect
    Proves me as always correct
    So that’s why I made you an X."

  17. Wow. Feel a little lighter, do ya? Ha ha. Good for you! Good for you for cleaning house, good for you for putting yourself first for once!

  18. Nancy: thank you so much for considering me a follower of note!! my best friend sent me a note since she recognized the picture of the one and only Verdell you used for the link!! it is a huge honor, truly!...both for Casta Zero and Verdell.

  19. Sounds incredibly cathartic and satisfying.

    I admire your spirit.


  20. Nothing like a good cleansing to make you feel, well, clean! Good for you, Nancy!

  21. Hmm... My house needs a good cleaning... I need to get me an "ex" sometime.

    I never had an "ex" - I'm not so sure I'm buying this "'Tis better to loved and lost than to have never loved at all" bit.

    Just gets mighty quiet sometimes. I hope the new job is working out well and exceeds all your expectations!

  22. Haha! Sounds like very productive activities! I do that, cleaning when I'm down. It gives you a sense of control doesn't it? I at least love it, find it very therapeutic. My mother is very proud of my clean house ;)

  23. I have been gone too long, obviously. Missed an entire relationship....

    Here's hoping you're well though. You have my email-it'd be a pleasure to gear from you....

  24. Wonderful post! I can feel both your energy and your sense of peace. Congratulations on a new chapter in life.

  25. Purging is such a great thing...and healing in your case, I'm sure. I'm happy for you, I am. I wish I could read whenever I wanted to in bed. My husband says he doesn't mind, but I worry about keeping him awake. In the olden days husbands and wives had their own rooms. Hmmmmm....

  26. What did you DO with all of his stuff? You never actually say...

    Was it a big bonfire? Were there marshmellows? S'mores?

    Mmmmmm, S'mores.... :)

  27. Sorry I'm so behind in my reading. It sounds like you are holding up quite nicely. I'm glad you and your daughter are getting to spend some quality time together. These days are numbered, and go by very quickly, so it's good to see that you're finally getting to take advantage. Congrats on the clean house as well; it's a great feeling, isn't it? :)

  28. You go girl! One must be comfortable with herself before sharing with others. Be selfish and live a little! You deserve it.


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