life

Lessons learned from binge watching Hoarders 

I’m not a big TV fan and rarely watch anything consistently, but when it’s cold out and I’m  just tired of housework I will admit to the occasional binge-a-thon.  

While I enjoy the occasional binge, I am not feeling AT ALL good about my recent decision to watch seven episodes of Hoarders in a row.  As my friend Molly might remark, it was “poor life decision number 684”.  

But, being the ever faithful student of life that I am, I tried to find some lessons in my recent bad decision and, of course, share them with you.  Please don’t make the same mistake I did…but, if you do, make up a list like this one so you can sleep better at night.

Oh! Before we get to my list, let me assure you that I am NOT a hoarder! Now, I know, most hoarders would never admit to being hoarders.  They have all kinds of other names for their behavior, such as “pack rat” or “collector”.  Some hoarders think they “just need to tidy up a little”.  Hoarders never believe they are hoarders.  That being said, you still need to trust me when I say I’m not a hoarder. 

Lessons learned from binge watching Hoarders:

  • If your refrigerator stops working, eventually the food inside will go bad.  Don’t try to convince yourself or others that it is still edible.
  • If you are walking on your things to navigate through your house, they are probably not treasured belongings but trash.
  • You cannot domesticate rodents.  Rodents have no control over their bodily functions and they breed…a lot.  Don’t feed them, pet them or use anything they have crawled on.
  • It’s probably okay to eat things that have recently expired (like in the last few days), but it is definitely not okay to consume food dated more than a decade ago.  Ew!
  • The sun will NOT disinfect your belongings no matter how long you leave them out.
  • If people have to wear masks to tour your house, you most likely shouldn’t be living there yourself.
  • If you can’t flush your toilet but you are still using it, you have problem.  However, if you are “solving” your problem in any other way than having the plumbing fixed properly, your problem is seriously serious.  Please don’t make me be more specific than that!
  • If you accept help from professional hoarding experts, but think you are going to be in charge of the situation you are wrong.  Once the guys in the blue shirts show up, you pretty much have lost control of the situation.
  • In the end, it’s a good idea to remember it’s just stuff!  Stuff should never be more important than living beings and that includes you.  
  • Finally, don’t expect any of your friends or family members to admit they knew about your hoarding problem.  Even if they did know about it, they aren’t going to admit it on national television.  Accept it for what it is.

Phew! I feel better now.  But, just in case, I’m going to go clean something.

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life

Learning to LOVE Valentine’s Day

 It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  The beginning of the year seems to encourage me to cocoon more than usual.  

It’s not that I’m hibernating, because I tend to do a lot of inward thinking.  And then, before I know it, I’m popping up like Puxatawny Phil on Groundhog Day!  Only usually I don’t appear until after Valentine’s Day.  

My post-Valentine’s-Day appearance has usually been because, for a long time, I loved to hate the LOVE Day.  

Now…wait a minute.  Before you jump to any conclusions let me say I am not some spurned sweetheart.  

It’s a little more complicated than that.  

It’s just that Valentine’s Day can be such an enormous letdown for so many people.  

In my younger days, I saw the faces of a sea of broken hearted ladies every time a coworker received roses at the office.  I remember the twinge of sadness in people when lovers would recall their romantic dinners or weekend getaways.  And, even if I had a partner, it broke my heart.

As I got older, my perspective on V Day changed, of course, to recognizing the amazing waste of money the holiday came to represent.  Flowers, jewelry, chocolates and ginormous, sappy cards sold to make up for something we should be doing every day: expressing our love toward one another.  

Why had we allowed ourselves to fall into this routine of mindless day-to-day life, devoid of love and devotion, only to break the bank one day a year to “show your love”?  To me, this process is akin to an absent parent showering their children with things instead of spending time with them.  

It wasn’t until I lost someone I deeply loved that I realized EVERY day is an opportunity to express your love.  And that realization has forever changed my viewpoint on the dreaded Valentine’s Day.  

Days spent without expressing ourselves are lost moments that can never be retrieved.  

I suppose some would call my perspective childish or flighty.  It’s okay if they do.  I’ll love them anyway.  I’ll love those deserving my love and those who aren’t.  I’ll love a stranger and my best friend.  I’ll send only love out in the Universe, regardless of the fact I might not always get the same back.  I can express my love by offering a smile, a helping hand, a kind word, a listening ear or a forgiving heart. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture all the time.  And, sometimes, loving means saying “no” or setting a limit, too.  

Consider my suggestion yourself and tell me, please, if it changes the way you view LOVE Day.  

I know it changed my heart.  

Much love to you all and Happy Valentine’s Day!