Category Archives: Digging Out from Under

What to Do?

I was going swimmingly along and then all of a sudden, I’m not. Why? Well, it’s the usual for me: I noticed/wrote about what was going on.

That was for decades the most frustrating thing about the way my head is wired between the abuse and PTSD: when I start to overcome the issues, if I acknowledge it, it stops. For a long time, the acknowledgement would trigger a panic attack: full blown. These days, I just stop making progress.

The maintenance jobs are getting done, not as quickly or consistently, but they are. I keep expecting, naively, apparently, that I will just move into a space where I can simply do things. That isn’t so. My body still has PTSD and my intellect isn’t the boss of me.

What isn’t getting done is progress on the culling and house clearing. Yes, I’m overwhelmed. Yes, it’s a huge task. Yes, I’ve been doing this for years decades. I have a few things goading me on.

  1. I don’t want to be remembered for being a hoarder. An ex-hoarder? That I can handle.
  2. If I/we get COVID, the stuff will make caretaking harder.
  3. If or when we have to move, the stuff will have to be dealt with then, and it’s harder every year to move the stuff around.
  4. I want out of this prison that the PTSD/abuse created for me, decades ago, to keep me safe. I have a friend who calls the house my fortress. It was. The funny thing about a locked room — it can keep you safe, but it also can be a jail!
  5. I’d like to find out what life is like otherwise. I’d like to see what I can accomplish when I don’t spend a huge amount of each day caretaking/dealing with stuff, and without the stuff in the way.

So, I went looking for inspiration/motivation, something. I started looking at my get organized books and found a piece which said that when all of a day’s jobs areĀ  maintenance, you need to add an achievement task, because you need both.

Maintenance jobs are getting done. Achievement job? Hm. What could I do which won’t make more mess and can be completed . . .

  • Sweep the front walk.
  • Make up a gallon of sanitizer. (1/3C bleach to 1 gallon of water)
  • Get the rags/kitchen towels put away.

All of those are maintenance, again. Achievement goal?

If a maintenance goal is characterized by being continually repeated and an achievement goal being a one-shot . . ,

  • Finish the 2017 tracking for the farm which was started last week.
  • Work on the “house book.”
  • Work on the long-term planning.
  • Finish the touch-up on the entry baseboards.

atomic-bomb-test

I don’t remember where I got the image. But it illustrates a lot of my present mental state!

J

Just Right? Not Enough? Too Much? a/k/a The Goldilocks Dilemma

If you’ve followed along here for any period of time, you’d notice that I keep trying to find “rules.” That is, I keep trying to find set answers to recurring problems.

  • Can I cook in such a way that the kitchen cleans itself while I’m doing it? (See self-cleaning tab above.)
  • The three ways to save $ is another.

Here’s my latest:

I’m trying to figure out exactly what to keep, toss, or buy, and have been for a long time. I decided to try and “formalize” the decision-making process because I keep revisiting the issue.

I posed the problem in a forum where I participate. The answers I got and my reactions to them got me to create a spreadsheet.

From an hour’s worth of work, I came to these conclusions: storage limits are a major determinate for me — every item I considered it was a potential issue.

  • So, imposing a SPACE BUDGET should always be my first step when considering an item to keep, cull or purchase. The next consideration is whether or not what I’m considering is a durable item or a supply item?

(A SPACE BUDGET is a given amount of space allocated for a certain item.)


I discovered that I need to treat supplies differently than durable goods. Supplies tend to be things that are not used all at once. And they are things which are meant to be consumed entirely. So, for a bag of cat litter, space allocation needs to be big enough to hold the full bag, even when it isn’t.


So, this can be approached in two ways, from either the amount desired or the space needed.

  • How much of a given supply do I want to have on hand at the most? — How much space would it need?
  • Or, How much space do I have to allocate for this supply? — How much of the supply can be stored in the available space?

Some supplies require specialized storage, which of course makes it even more complicated.