Act 3, episode 3: Sexy

I had thought we'd discuss sex today.

As in: the circumstance. The factual existence of.

I think it's interesting.

Not the areas of gender or anatomy or identifications.

And not "intercourse," per se, because that is generally a male-anatomy definition.


Before you close the screen and run away, let me assure you that sex is not today's topic.

But if it was, you know me, I'm not going to get too crazy.

It's just a topic, after all.

It happens. Throughout history. Totally natural and normal.


I had my blood drawn this week by a super nice woman in full PPE.

I was particularly chipper

at seven a.m.,

which lent a lightness and brightness in a flavor that only I can deliver.


I don't love the needle, in the crook of my arm.

I assured her, it may appear like I'm going to hyperventilate, but I actually won't.

She got me talking to distract me.

It was an obvious remedy, but I welcomed the conversation.


What do you do? "I'm a writer."

What are you writing about? "I'm writing about gray divorce..."

The needle in my arm was so smooth, I barely felt anything.


My excitement for the topic was not particularly shared, until she related what I was saying to a Netflix show she recommended.

"You HAVE to watch this!" She was very excited. Like, beyond birthday excited.

She even wrote the title on a post-it, which is completely my love language.


Valeria. That's the show.

It is set in Spain, naturally spoken in Spanish.

With dubbed English, I watched.


The characters are barely 30, and commiserating about getting "older."

I'm dearly loving being 52 right now, so I did not relate.


There's quite a bit of sex in this show. I was perplexed,

as I tried to connect my morning's phlebotomist with what I was seeing.

Blood Lady was definitely post-menopausal, like me, but a little older.


And I thought: is she typical, and are all my peers really into sex?

Which led me to what I thought would be today's topic.


I recently started working for an organizing company called B Organized Today,

as an organizing assistant,

and most of my friends really want to know about That.


I'm so curious about which topic is more exciting to a woman--

orderly closets

or orgasms?

Interestingly, most got excited about the job.


We accumulate.

We gather things to us, just by living.

We fill family needs, and home corners.


I've talked about buffering my feelings with food,

but we also escape our feelings with shopping.

I know of which I speak.

Unwilling to see what's in our heads, we cover it up with fabrics, woods, metals and paper.

So much paper.


When my kids were young, they brought home stacks of paper each Friday.

Perhaps the teacher couldn't function with the clutter in her classroom.

I scanned every sheet with eyes of discernment, determining Paper's fate.

I kept what reflected my child's daily activities, the proof that she lived

(and was mine.)


Their pieces of writing reflected their inner lives: brain theories and formed assessments--

but also their troubles and fears.

His little hands drew this, wrote this, shaped this.

I created her and she created this. Every piece is proof of that miracle.


When I was a child, and then on my own, there was little to no advance notice of my moves.

Often my mementos and clothes were still half-packed, ready to go again.

Apartments with my birth mom, then friends, a foster home, rental rooms, basements--

a wintery Wisconsin porch with no heat.

Then a new home, a real house in a Michigan suburb.


Through all of that, there were My Boxes.

A few photos...gifts that I did not use, but held onto like parachutes. Life lines.


When I married, My Boxes went into a closet.

I kept them with me, but didn't look at them. Ever. They were triggering.


It grew, and I ignored it, as I had babies--

and saved their lives in boxes, too.

A half closet, then

a large closet and eventually

the extra bedroom, barely saving space for our computer desk.


Occasionally, I smooshed and folded items into fitting shapes, to contain it all and shut the door.

A room filled with The Past.


My post-divorce apartment is significantly pared down from the family house with all of it's 27 years of stuff.

Yet, I still brought my past.

My ex has his, to carry and decide to keep, or not.

The rest is a shrine to three childhoods, in a home just for me.

Our Boxes again fit into half a closet.


My organizing job has taught me to sort

in the categories of past or future.

I still sort and purge. I'm not sure that job ever goes away.


This has been the perfect time to dive into every piece of paper,

with all of their emotional tags.

I again hold it up and tag it with a thought and decide it's fate.


Each stack I attack clears my head a little more.

Amazing how the mind and the environment are linked together.


Today's Deep Breath: a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.


The Job. It's the absolute perfect job for me.

I journaled for a few weeks, listing out all the details of what I want under this

new umbrella of employment.

After three and a half pages of hand-written details, including travel time, coworkers and

HOW IT FEELS,

this job literally came to me, and answers each and every ask. The Law of Attraction.


If you've ever watched The Home Edit show on Netflix, season 1 episode 4 shows

solutions for a family's kitchen.

This is most similar to what we do.

It involves lifting, sorting, and only with the client's permission, purging.


It's fabulous.


I helped with a garage last week, and it was, of course, sweaty.

(Florida.)

But still, so very satisfying.


This is the sexy stuff.


Every time we walk past items in our home that we are not using,

or that we emotionally-purchased,

or clothes with tags lingering in our closets,

we have thoughts that kick us in the pants.

Guilt. Shame.

Should. I should ______.

Mistake. I shouldn't have ______.

Judgement.


ENOUGH!

It's time to get real about all of it. Especially the judgement.

Even if you're not an over-shopper, purchasing for pleasure or distraction or relief of emotions,

we all can become more AWARE of every piece that comes into our homes.

The awareness starts at the store, or more commonly, the online cart.


Here's my boss's great rule:

if this new thing is coming into my home,

I have to donate something in it's place.


Many dream of parking their car in the garage, or walking past a shelf without feeling shame.

Take five minutes and look at your most cluttered areas.

Imagine what could be, and how it could FEEL, if that was sorted and cleaned out.


Don't be afraid to ask: How do I want to feel in my space?

Then make it happen.


Ohhhh. Super sexy.