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I’ve been on a rampage to clear space in my house and am writing this the day after 1-800-GOT-JUNK removed a truckload – literally a truckload – of stuff from my house. These junk removal professionals were amazing. I could not believe their ability to move large, bulky items from three floors through tight spaces on a hot and humid day while remaining polite and friendly the entire duration.

My body aches, but my mood is elevated. Last weekend was spent sorting everything in the basement, separating trash/donate/retain/set aside to unload on son who has his own house now. Share the love. The decision to retain items usually followed an argument with H who was clearly not feeling the glorious satisfaction of purging that I was. It sort of went like this:

Me: “Let’s get rid of the dust-covered workout bench where spiders are building a home without paying rent.”

H: “I’m going to use it again one day.”

Me: “In your dreams.”

H: “I like to dream.”

I don’t use expletives in my blogs, so I’ll end the recap there, but there were other similar dialogues such as H already thinking about how to fill the space I just emptied. My inner dialogue was saying, “Shoot me now.”

Yesterday, we tackled the attic (to be continued today with more arguments no doubt) before the junk company came, and we attacked the garage after they left. While all the items removed from the garage were laying on the grass, a quick but heavy rainstorm came through, which was a blessing because it rinsed everything off. After some discards and some returns to the garage, I can now easily pull my car into an empty space rather than an obstacle course.

After a shower and IcyHot Cream rubbed on on my back, we celebrated our empty spaces with takeout Chinese food. Well, I celebrated. He groaned. So, here I am, the morning after. My back is still sore and begging me to stop, but my brain is motivated to keep going. I’m a chiropractor’s dream.

Why do I push myself beyond physical capacity and drive H crazy to accomplish this? Maybe I like big, open spaces. Maybe I am just bored and need projects. Maybe I always want to be market-ready because, well, you just never know. Maybe physical labor shuts my overactive brain down for a little while. Or maybe I like the idea of working on something over which I have complete control. Unlike my corporate job and freelance writing, the only sign-off I need is my own, albeit I am a tough customer. Every time I take action to improve my home, I find something else that should be (or in my obsessive state, needs to be) done. If you’ve never experienced this, read the children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” I’m the mouse.

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