Emotional Storage

12 12 2015
Messy_storage_room_with_boxes

Scientists have finally revealed what the inside of my brain looks like.

I have been working slowly – actually, I think I’ve given new definition to the word “slow” – let’s say, “slothily”- through the various rooms and closets in my house in preparation for ultimately moving at some unforeseen time between now and the next sighting of Haley’s Comet, scheduled for sometime in 2062.

Over the years, I have realized that having lots of things and clutter around me does nothing to help with anxiety. Or, actually, it helps anxiety a lot – which is the problem. I need help ridding of anxiety, as the case may be. Always thinking ahead, my prominent thought is “how the hell are my kids going to get rid of all this crap after I die?” No one can accuse me of not planning ahead.

There are so many things that have been boxed up and set aside in storage for years and years. I am not sure when exactly I am planning to re-look at all of this stuff. Perhaps it is this fear that one day, if I am lucky enough to become elderly, I will be all alone; just me, a practical cup of tea, my new “iCollar” for the elderly implanted in my wrist and a handkerchief surrounded by nothing but photographs and illegible artwork and a slew of elementary school report cards to remind me of a life long past. How freaking depressing! And don’t get me started on the compendium of marriage related photos, albums, letters, cards, and wedding paraphernalia that were left behind for me. There is a whole section of my attic that looked like a marriage threw up in there.

No thank you!

Always one to look for the meaning in anything, (as is the tendency of “Sags” as I recently learned), it occurred to me that I have been carrying quite a load in my emotional storage locker, as well.

You are probably familiar with the idea of “carrying baggage” around – those experiences and feelings that can become obstacles to us moving forward in life. But what about storage?

Storage, to me, is even worse. With baggage, you can compartmentalize or hopefully, discard all together, but storage? You’re in for the long-term, brothers and sisters! With storage, you are just taking all your crap and placing it somewhere else where it never goes away. Sure, in the short-term, it’s great to be rid of it for a while, but it’s there…looming, waiting, and eventually, reminding you of, wait for it – your baggage.

I write a lot about thoughts and the impact that this has had on me, both in a positive and negative manner. Many of my thoughts are all about storage because I don’t necessarily carry them with me front and center but they are nestled deep in some cerebral storage locker just waiting to be uncovered, unpacked and let loose. The hell with that.

I am committing myself to trashing, donating or selling most of everything I have stored up – physically and mentally. So, if you are interested in some thoughts, perceptions and feelings that aren’t of any use to me anymore, hit me up – I am very reasonable.

What are you storing that it’s time to discard?

Until next time,

Marc





Where Should I Live?

21 10 2015
It's hard to remove but it can be done!

It’s hard to remove but it can be done!

My house is for sale. There’s not much progress on this front and nor do I expect there to be at this time of the year. I am anxious for it to sell for many reasons, including the opportunity to reside somewhere that feels unknown to me and have something that feels new to me without a memory captured within every corner and around every bend.

I have to stay in the same town because I do not want my kids to have to move schools especially since they have good friends here and feel comfortable where they are. It’s temporary for me, though. I have lived here a while and in 5 short years, when my youngest is deciding on where she is going to go to college, I am going to be deciding where I should live.

I hope that I have the means to choose. The way things seem to be going, it’s tough right now. However, I do feel like this is a temporary situation and once I get over the hump, it won’t take long to build things back up again in many different capacities. My plan has been to move closer to NYC, if not in NYC. For those who know me, this makes a lot of sense and there’s not much explaining needed.

I am realizing, though, that wherever I live, just as wherever I work, the people who I am surrounded by are the most critical factor. I have always said that I could have a job making widgets and I could find happiness as long as I am working with some good, decent people. I can have the “job of my dreams” and not have one person around me with whom I trust, and I would be miserable. I have been in both of these situations at least once in my life. 

The same goes for my living situation. I live in a town that, while it has a lot going for it, it is not the exact type of community I think I can thrive in. For a long time, I assumed that an urban environment was the only place that I could really get that type of experience. In speaking with people and visiting other towns, I know that to not be true, (though I really still want a place in the city and a place near the ocean if I had my druthers – whatever druthers are!).

I do know that simply physically moving oneself to new friends, new jobs, new locations does not change a damn thing – not in the long run. You always bring yourself with you. Whether you decide to get up in the morning and start fresh or dwell in the past has nothing to do with where you move to, but does have everything to do with how you live.

It reminds me of that Crowded House song from the 80’s – “Weather with You”; (there I go again with my 80s music references – I really need help):

“Well, do I lie like a loungeroom lizard

 Or do I sing like a bird released?

 Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you”.

I still want to move but wherever I do, I want to make sure the emphasis is on where I “live”, not just where I “move”.

Until next time,

Marc

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Staging a Life

2 09 2015

Whatever you do - don't live...it might mess things up.

Whatever you do – don’t live…it might mess things up.

Today, I had the realtors in my house this morning to take photographs to get ready to list it for sale. As some of you may know from earlier blogs, I am getting ready to put my house on the market as part of Marc 2.0.

I spent a lot of time over the past two weeks cleaning, patching, caulking, painting, weeding and generally making the home look more like something you would see in a catalog than where two kids with little propensity for closing a drawer let alone concerning themselves with Feng Shui harmonization principals would reside.

The realtor brought along a photographer and a stager. For those who may have not had to sell a property in a while, the stager is the one who moves things around and places things, removes things etc. such that prospective buyers can imagine themselves living in what will soon be your past home. 

It was interesting because upon exiting, the realtor said “the stager said there really wasn’t much for her to do – you did a good job.” I know this was meant as a compliment but as someone who reads meaning into almost anything, I found it an interesting metaphor for this turning point in my life and the life of my kids.

I have been spending so much of my time over the past year or so reflecting on how I got to this point in my life and trying to derive some sort of positive meaning or learnings from it. The one thing that has been an incredible discovery is the chasm that exists between the self we want everyone to see and the self that we actually are. Perhaps it is the self we don’t even want everyone to see but that we feel, out of fear (see past blog post), we are expected to portray. 

How much of our time are we staging our life for the catalog version of who we are, what we do, how we engage? Sure, there is a need to stage parts of our life, if for no other reason, than out of respect for those around us who either do not want to be privy to the cluttered, more realistic version, or more likely, have their own version to deal with. However, just like the staged home, expecting that we are going to live within that version is a dangerous proposition for us and especially those around us.

My house will never ever look as organized, clean and approachable as it will in photos posted on line. My life will never ever come close to the staged version that so many people are more comfortable with seeing. That’s just life. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t take pride in those moments when the staging matches the reality…those moments when it just seems to be going right; the times when a glance in the mirror tells you that you don’t look so tired today or the ride to work was as close to a traffic-free car commercial on a winding terrain as it’ll ever get it. Those are good days.

I don’t look forward to having to keep the clutter hidden and the beds made for the next few months while strangers “imagine” how their lives will unfold in my current home. It’s not the work so much. It’s the sterile detachment from life, from the messiness of life in particular, that depresses me.

I have never been jealous of homes that look like they are straight out of catalogs. I think it looks amazing and wonderful but it also strikes me as removed from what a clinical home is versus a house with stories to tell. Maybe that’s just my excuse for never being able to get things perfect. I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not comfortable with something straight out of “Hoarders” either. I think you get my point, though.

Tomorrow, the photos of my perfectly staged home go up on line and people I don’t know will picture themselves and their lives in my house – maybe their yet to be kid sitting at the kitchen counter doing homework or a family game night in the living room. It is the way relationships are built, brands are marketed and homes are sold. Behind closed doors, the un-staged version is much more appealing to me. It says “welcome to your new home – it’s going to be a wild and messy ride.” What are you staging?

Until next time, Marc

Thanks again for reading. I appreciate it. If you haven’t already, please consider enrolling to get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox through this site, email me at marckaye91@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @marckaye91. (Better yet, how about all 3). Also, through October 15, for every new follower I get, I will be donating $1 to Nechama, a disaster relief agency, in honor of my daughter who is raising money and awareness for this great organization for her Bat Mitzvah project! Thanks again, Marc








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