Day 2: Junk in the trunk

I have two junk drawers. It’s very very sad. One was supposed to contain pens and paper for taking messages because it’s right under the house phone. The other was supposed to contain pot holders and dish towels. Should be pretty simple to get rid of everything in the drawers except for those two things, right?

I have both open right now and feel like I’m looking at one of those ISpy books, like the I Spy game but with hidden objects in a huge photograph. Only these are my junk drawers and I will examine the contents in detail in a bit.

I would like to say that when I woke up this morning I felt pretty good. Abs were sore for the first time in a month but sore in a good way, as in “Whoa, I have abs?” I did Zumba again and there were, I’m not kidding, sixty men and women in line to take her class! I can’t jump like I used to and when I try, I pay for it so I just have to remember my limits and not let my ego get the best of me.

I have not done my big cleaning job but I think it will be the bathrooms. No, wait. I just showered. It will be brushing the dogs. Does it count as “big” if one of the dogs is sixty-five pounds? I’m gonna say yes. And done. Phew!

On to the junk in the trunk…

Hmmm… old ID pictures of the kids. Various markers, permanent and crayola. Nail clippers (okay, why do we either have zero or five of those darn things?). Coupons for Carl’s Jr, buy one get one free. Stapler. Hammer. Homemade flashcards of preprimer words in a Dollar Tree photo album. Needle for ball pump. Forty paper clips in a gallon size freezer bag. Doggy bags, not of take home food, the other kind. And so on.

I know what you’re thinking. How…? What are…? Why would…? I know! Me too!

Do I trash it all? Do I find homes for random crap?

I walked away from all of this stuff. Left the drawers wide open. Wondering what I should do. Maybe I’ll wait for a sign. “Dear John” was on and I’ve read too many Nicholas Sparks novels to know that I need to be in the right frame of mind to watch those sob fests. Channing Tatum is totally drool worthy but if he’s not playing soccer or dancing in a recital, I just can’t get into the movie. Don’t even get me started when my husband took me to see “The Eagle”!

What else is on? Ooh, best of Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live. There is absolutely NO SIGN in Pete Schwetti and his Schwetti meatballs.

“No one can resist my Schwetti balls.”

Alright, I’m gonna go over to those junk drawers, hold my breath, and trash everything. Wait, why did I just check my Twitter account? OMG, I LOVE Drop Dead Diva. I still have two more episodes on the DVR that I haven’t seen–


Okay, the first drawer has pens and pencils, spare keys, and camera stuff. The second still has tools (hammer, wrench, pliers) but only because we need them frequently and more importantly, I can’t reach the storage boxes over the dryer. The second drawer has pot holders as well.


Also when I was sitting at the kids’ gymnastics studio, I sat there dreading writing this post because I hadn’t yet completed a cleaning chore (brushed dogs, check) or cleaned out the two junk drawers (check) and then I heard that one of the gymnastics teachers found a teaching position.

I was so excited that I asked her all about it. She’s excited, nervous, and had a lot of questions for me. Then I realized I had stuff sitting in my garage that sat unused for two years. Even books and teaching aids I hadn’t used since I taught in Norfolk, Virginia five years ago.

Five years. That’s a long time to store stuff, albeit useful stuff. That’s five years that a child or children or classrooms of children could have used. I realize that sounds very egocentric, as if stuff that I created or collected myself could help children, but it could. And it did in my years in the classroom as a teacher, tutor, substitute teacher, and teacher supervisor.

So my decision to let go of my stuff (not all, just most) was two-fold. These games, puzzles, books, and teacher aids need to be used not stored. And also I need to let go.

Let go of the notion that I’ll be back in the classroom WITH MY OWN CLASS any time soon. Let go of material things because everything I’ve learned and seen has become part of me and is not linked to the things itself.

Letting go is not surrendering. Surrendering implies defeat. I have not lost hope of ever finding a job. I will not “lose” any of the things I plan to give away. A new teacher will have a head start in the next chapter of her life.

And so will I.

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