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Simplifying isn't for the faint of heart but then neither is grief.

So, it's almost been a year, since Jerry left me.  I've come a long long way.  I still have a long way to go!  As I look back at what's helped me the most through this year I realized I have simplified my world.  True, it's a whole lot smaller now but it feels more manageable. 

I first let go of friends/people who create havoc, drama, and or negative vibes.  Even though I know they mean well, most of the time certain folks in my life were draining before Jerry died.  Since he's been gone I can't afford for anything else to drain me.  I begged off, told those ppl thank you for understanding my need to grieve my way.  I hope I handled it in a way as to spare feelings but I have since come to the conclusion I'm better off right now without a bunch of people cluttering up my mind.  I can count on one hand that the people I've kept close.  There are those few people who dropped ME,  and it did hurt my feelings even though I understood their needs.  I'm okay without them and probably better off for it.   Social life simplified and it feels good.  

Somehow, I have been able to process what's important or doesn't actually matter.  By the grace of God, I've been able to stop worrying about what I can't control.  One of my greatest fears was living without Jerry.  It's here now, and I'm still standing.  Anything else (barring something happening to my children) is a piece of cake.   NOTHING else that is thrown at me will ever be this awful.  I've truly learned what the phrase "give it to God and let go" means.  Mental status simplified and it feels good. 

Purging my home.  For no reason in particular and without any thought to it, I began to purge each room in my home.  I've been like a woman on a mission since that first room was done.  I have been tossing out whatever I can find that hasn't been touched by human hands for over a year.  In addition to that, I've tossed out what I just didn't need.  I mean, I have my favorite cookware,  so why do I have 2 or 3 of every type of pot?  Tossed!  Who really needs 50 or so storage containers?  Gone!  The sheet's I never use for one reason or another, cut up for cleaning rags.  Makeup I haven't used in years tossed.  The list goes on and on.  I love that my home is better organized, simple even.  I feel like I am breathing better just knowing unnecessary accumulations of general stuff isn't cluttering up my world.  Also in a weird way, I have cleaned the slate and can now make my house into a home for ME rather than the home Jerry and I put together for US.  Home simplified and it feels good.    

Simplifying my kids.  Of course, it isn't cut and dry, black or's damn hard to be a single parent of grieving teenagers.  Heck teenagers are hard without adding in grief.  They have lost both their daddy and their stepfather within a 2 week period.  It's normal for them to go haywire.  I have simplified my style of parenting them.  The one I have at home anyway.  One chose to leave because she didn't like my simple rules.  She is 18 and has to figure out her own way.  The 16-year-old went from being a normal kid with average angst to being hell on wheels.  I tried being patient, lenient and understanding but it didn't work.  There were all out wars around here for a little bit.  I honestly didn't want to live if I was going to have to live the way our lives were going.  So gone are the arguments, the door slamming, the attitudes.  I now have a very nice teenage girl who is a pleasure to be around again.  How?  I simply informed her I was done parenting her.  I gave her a list of rules, guidelines, and way to work on herself that wasn't overwhelming for a child and consequences.  Then I stuck to my guns.   What I have now is a kid that went from F's and D's to straight A's. A kid that was being brought home by the police to one that is home well before curfew.  Mom life simplified and it feels damn good! 

I've always had high anxiety and weird OCD issues. When you add grief to this, the feeling of every aspect of your life being out of control is overwhelming.  By accident or divine intervention I've learned to simplify and be grateful.  This has helped me personally in my grief and in others areas of my life.  My next big order of simplifying will be putting together a capsule wardrobe and getting rid of clothes I don't need, fit, or want.  SMH, how did I come to amass 30 pairs of plain old jeans? 

If you are feeling stressed and out of control simplify one small thing and see if it's a fit for you.    

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Comment by Rainy (Misty) on December 10, 2018 at 7:23am

70 items, I'm not sure I make that list but YES, Taryn makes up for it.  She doesn't leave the house without dragging something home with her!

Comment by Athena53 on December 8, 2018 at 4:03pm

Apparently I can't Edit comments- forgot to add that the average American buys almost 70 items of clothing per year!  I know I didn't so maybe your daughter makes up for it.

Comment by Athena53 on December 8, 2018 at 4:01pm

Misty- so true about simplifying!    I haven't gone at it with the discipline you have, but I'm gradually "lightening up", including finding new homes for things that Ron brought into the marriage that I just didn't need or feel attached to anymore.  I worry about throwing something away and later regretting it but it hasn't happened yet, although I picture Ron coming back and saying, "What did you do with..." but I know it's not going to happen.  It's just my place now.

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on December 8, 2018 at 8:26am

Thanks for sharing Sunshine, who knew downsizing would or could be so gratifying. 

If I could only convince my child she doesn't need 1000 items of clothing! :) Good luck with your house hunting, that to me would be so exciting!

Comment by sunshine on December 6, 2018 at 7:54pm

Although, after 2.7 years since LH dod, and I'm still experiencing brain fog, and an unknown life direction... your simplifying post deeply resonated with me, as with in weeks (really I think the same week) after my LH passed in 2016, I went strait into Decluttering mode.  (in hindsight I'd been reading minimalist blogs for years, and attempting to truly live a simiplified life..

but that was prior to meeting my future husband... so when I blended my life with his & his family, including his 3 adult married daughters and grandkids, simplifying was like a foreign word ... And became a pardox for me).  Yet, with losing my husband, as if with a crazed energy in the midst of trauma, I started clearing out... And none less than with our very own wedding items... Almost as if I was declaring if I can't have my husband back, then I don't need this to remind me I'm no longer married.  And I was determined I didn't want to be held captive by stuff (mine or his)... But even with that determination, simplifying has taken much longer than I expected in the first 6 months, as just the estate matters took almost 2 years.  Then finally, this past spring, I was able to move out of our home... and although mentally & emotionally drained, I continued to declutter.  Now in my current "temp" home, I have my clothes down to 1very small closet, and few drawers, plus 1 seasonal bin. And all my other personal home belongings are in a temp 10 x 5 storage unit, that I think is only 2/3 filled.  And I have made peace simplifying several relationships as well ...after grieving them, giving both myself and others the "pass" to "let go".. and some in just accepting the changes.   And the vision I had in pursuing my own new path upon moving out of our home... That has come to a halt, although not without bumps & bruises...  But as I realized that earlier plan didn't include the reality of the needs of my own extended family.. Ie aging sick members & young ones that need a hand every now & then. And I'm not willing to leave them "yet".. So my main course of action now, is to continue a few, but difficult decluttering projects of files & photos.. & Get my ducks in a row & then find a new home, that definetly emits simplicity. 

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on November 12, 2018 at 9:07am

Thanks Texas!

Comment by Texas on November 7, 2018 at 5:40pm

Very cool way of managing your stress. Good for you!

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