Begin Anywhere


Begin anywhere 2-6-13

Last year my sister Christie gave me a magnet that says “Begin Anywhere.”

I like that. What a trim motivational sentence. Without being pushy, it suggests that I pick a spot, any spot, and move forward.

Turns out I do have a project that needs some moving forward. It’s a big one. Its size has kept me from making progress on it for six years.

Here it is: I need to bust through the stuff that followed me home when we shut down the house I grew up in.

Mom lived in that house in Dallas Texas for 50 years. In that entire time she only threw away eight or nine things.

After her memorial service in Dallas in October 2006, Hollyns, my sister who lives in Alaska, stayed at the house for five weeks, stepping into the breach.

She installed a jumbo dumpster in the front yard and filled it twice. She also made six piles, one for her and one for each of her five siblings. Items she didn’t throw in the dumpster, recycle or save for the garage sale she tossed into one of the piles. Then she shipped us each our pile, along with any items we’d said we wanted from the house.

When my stuff arrived in my town, I crammed it into a unit at A+ Mini’s Self Storage.

Five years went by.

Last year, to take a stab, I filled 23 boxes with half of the stuff from the storage unit and deposited them in the extra bedroom at my house.


A year later I have an unusable bedroom with 23 boxes still stacked high. And I still pay storage-unit rent.

I didn’t want to go through this stuff. It’s emotion-laden clutter – the worst kind.

It whispers to me that I’m not going to get another mom … if I throw her stuff away, what if I accidentally throw her out too? She’s definitely in there – I’m just not sure where.

But I’ve decided to go find her.

My goals are

  • to hang onto Mom
  • to keep my house from ending up looking like hers
  • to empty my storage unit
  • to get our extra bedroom back

To set off, I’m asking your help. Each week I’ll post my progress on getting to the other side. Knowing you’re out there will keep me going.

The magnet that Christie gave me says I can begin anywhere. So I’m reaching into a box and pulling out an item.

Any item.

Maybe she’s there.

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