Friday, June 27, 2008

A Change in Perspective

Yes, I see the irony (post title: a change in perspective; blog description: a perspective on life change...)

The first change in perspective I want to share is about a new project I've gotten involved with at my church in the last couple months. We take donated furniture and home goods like appliances, linens and dishwear, and then we work with state, city and non-profit organizations that identify people who are in need of these items. It's been a great opportunity to not only get out of my shy self and meeting people in the church, but also to benefit people who really can use what others have put to the side.

One of the reasons I got involved was because I deal with depression. I've "dealt with" depression for 15 or so years off and on. Finally in the last year, I've found a very good counselor who has helped me see (when I was not in the middle of an episode) that the beginning stages of an episode are very self-indulgent. Perhaps it's a stressor in life that triggers an episode, then I become wrapped up in myself. For instance, a few years ago, our neighborhood was evacuated for threat of flooding (just a threat - nothing floated away!) and the stress of those few days was such that I then became very self-centered, reliving the experience over and over, being overwhelmed and not taking action, seeking escape and solace in books and food. "Cue, downward spiral!"

I felt the beginning stages of a new episode begin again while I was contemplating this project, and that actually urged me on with more reason to do it. I wanted to get outside myself, focus on other people, others' needs, instead of holing up in my house with my books and my overwhelming sense of powerlessness. So often I've felt depression begin and I just take a deep breath, accept it as an inevitable part of life, and kiss the next few months of my life goodbye.

No longer! I DO have the power to change the cycle, and the last month is proof!

The second change of perspective I've experienced coincides somewhat with the church project. I began to see what others were giving away to new homes. Some was in pretty rough shape, but after a little reconstruction and a good cleaning, most of it is re-usable in some manner. Then I began hitting Yard Sales (Garage Sales, Tag Sales...) and seeing all of those items that would otherwise just be thrown in a landfill, taking up precious space. I began to see every item around me in a new light. Could it be re-purposed? Could it be taken apart and used with something else to become something completely new? Could it be given away?

But still, I was a half-hearted about this reform. I didn’t want to get carried away. I tend to keep a lot of things anyway, so I was also kind of wary of creating more “stash” in what should be a nice, roomy house for my hubby and me, but is beginning to get a little “cozy!”

Well, when I found Wardrobe Refashion, that nudged my perspective right over the edge! I saw these ideas for using jean material and thought – Dang it! How many pairs of jeans have I thrown away over the years because they had one stupid hole in them? And those slacks I busted a seam on a month ago – long gone, aren’t they!

And now, presto! I’m understanding that what I don’t have a use for today may still have life left in it for something else tomorrow.

But here’s my dilemma: organization. Yeah. I can help other people get organized, but it’s as if I walk through the threshold of my home and it becomes a portal to a no-organizing zone! I don’t want to have scraps of material in every room, never able to find any of the five pairs of scissors in the house, moving piles to get to the ironing board, then moving piles back so I have a place to sit while I sew!

So although I’ll be away for the weekend, I have grand plans of getting organized in the not-too-distant future. (Though first, I may need to organize the mess that is my laundry pile, my kitchen counter, the dining room table, the pile of worn-but-not-dirty clothes in the bedroom, the “craft table” that somehow morphed into the “I’ll leave it here for now” table, the mail, oi…)

It looks like I just planned my Independence Day Weekend!!!

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