Dishes

I lost it.  I mean, I actually lost it.  Over Christmas, I lost gifts for my Dad that I had purchased months prior.  I then lost the family calendar I created after compiling photos and working on the project all year.  I ordered it, it arrived, I loved it and now I can’t find it.  Both things lost in the holiday clutter.  I hate clutter.

So I went on a clutter control mission with a vengeance to locate the missing items. One thing lead to another and before I knew it I was on the floor in front of my home desk cleaning out my file folders.  I knew the gifts and calendar weren’t there – I hadn’t opened those drawers in months – but I was fueled with the desire to get organized and purge.  I went through my life’s inventory saved in those slotted file folders.  My college report cards, the girls preschool pictures, a tax return from a year I earned $7,000 some odd dollars, and several other random pieces I have yet been able to part with.  Sometimes I cling to my clutter.

Divorce is clutter filled and often we find ourselves wanting to cling to it.  Not only do you have a mountain of paper representing your court file and the documents your attorney needs, but you have more mind clutter than you have likely ever experienced.  Housing, finances, your child’s custody, your neighbors, your job, your belongings, your marital memories, and your sense of security – questions about how each piece will be impacted moves on rapid repeat like a stock exchange ticker inside of your head.

So in the midst of grief and abrupt changes in mood and energy as you face your divorce, how do you control this clutter?  The same way you do in the new year when you are itching to get all of the beautiful holiday clutter packed away again.  You take it in small steps and piece by piece you find the home for different items.  One day you take down the tree, or in divorce, you compile financial statements to look at your budget.  Ornament by ornament, or account by account, you look at it and put it on the list for your lawyer.  Then the next day, or a couple days later, you move to another task.  Taking it small.  Writing down a list of to-dos so you do not have to worry that you will forget something or that something will get missed – like that snowman on the bathroom shelf.

Clearing out clutter takes courage and clarity.  Hording your divorce clutter can be as detrimental to your health as stacks of dirty dishes.  Look at what needs to be done, create an action plan, and small step by small step start taking action.  It will get done.  And after the clutter is gone you will feel that much needed sense of accomplishment, and most importantly, peace.

Angela Dunne

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