A while back, i wrote a letter i would never send to Ms. S, my Monday client.
Everything in that letter still applies. The other day, she was sitting on her couch, trying to decide where to put the 25+ pairs of gloves she has. When i asked her if she wanted to get rid of some of them, she said, she couldn't make such a decision.
"What am I going to do with all this crap?" she asked me.
Move into an apartment or condo, i told her. Bring with you only exactly what you want and need and can still reasonably use, and let the rest be donated or trashed.
"You sound like my son!" she said. Then, "I can't make so many decisions any more. I should have done just that after the divorce, gotten a small apartment, only kept what I really needed. Now I'm stuck with all this stuff, and I can't make decisions any more."
This is exactly what i feared, what i expressed in that letter i'd never actually send. She has come to the place where she doesn't want to and cannot physically deal with all of it. The idea of making a decision to move, only taking what she actually uses, letting one of those companies that does estate sales come in and get out what's usable and sell it for her, simply overwhelms her.
She is stuck in a sea of stuff she can't deal with because she has let it go on so long she is paralyzed.
It breaks my heart.
Yesterday i did as much as i could, as i do every Monday. The cat has clean litter, the dog yard was picked up, all the sinks and tub and toilets were cleaned, some laundry was done. The areas i can get to with a vacuum were cleared of pet hair and dust and anything else, and the window that broke was taped up so cold air won't blow in.
Somehow i even managed to cram more food into the already overstuffed cabinets, and pulled the boxes that are already opened up to the front of the cabinets so she will use them first.
It's not enough. She needs more help than she will let me give her. The day is coming when she won't be able to stay in that house. It may be this year, it may be next. It doesn't matter. When it arrives, she will have to watch someone else make all of the decisions she couldn't bring herself to make.
When it happens, i will cry with her, and hurt for her, and wish i could have done more, but there are some things no one can do for you. Unhoarding is one of them.
Day of Remembrance for Princess Olga -- Slavic Pagan Calendar
Hakozakigu Tamaseseri -- Fukuoka, Japan (ceremony of the red ball which brings good luck to the team which catches it)
Humiliation Day -- drawing attention to the fact that it's okay to be humble, but not to humiliate others
Icing Morning -- Fairy Calendar
J.R.R. Tolkien Day -- birth anniversary
Memento Mori / "Remember You Die" Day -- Wellcat Holidays suggests putting these words where you can see them often, to remind you to cherish what you have today
^*National Chocolate Covered Filled Cherry Day
National Write to Congress Day -- US (the new session begins today or, if the 3rd is on a weekend, the following Monday; write your Congress-persons and Senators and tell them what you think)
Revolution Day -- Burkina Faso
Shigoto-hajime -- Japan (first work day of the New Year; work begun well today will prosper)
St. Genevieve's Day (Patron of females in the military; Paris, France; against plague, disasters, fevers)
Tamaseseri Festival -- Hakozaki Shrine, Fukuoka, Japan (men in fundoshi - loincloths - compete for the ball; if the winning team is from a seaside town, it will be an auspicious year for fishermen, if the land team wins, there will be a good harvest)
Tenth Day of Christmas
Alaska becomes the 49th US State, 1959
Establishment of Wind Cave National Park, SD, US, 1903
Eli Manning, 1981
Danica McKellar, 1975
Joan Chen, 1960
Mel Gibson, 1956
Victoria Principal, 1950
John Paul Jones, 1946
Stephen Stills, 1945
Van Dyke Parks, 1943
Dabney Coleman, 1932
Robert Loggia, 1930
George Martin, 1926
Jan Walsh Anglund, 1926
Maxine Andrews, 1918
John Sturges, 1911
Victor Borge, 1909
Ray Milland, 1905
Zasu Pitts, 1898
Marion Davies, 1897
Clement Richard Attlee, 1883
J.R.R. Tolkien, 1892
Father Joseph Damien, 1840
Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1793
William Tucker, 1624 (first African American child born in North America)
"The Arsenio Hall Show"(TV), 1989
"Queen for a Day"(TV), 1956
"Look Up and Live"(TV), 1954
"Symphonic Dances"(Rachmaninoff, Op. 45), 1941
"An Ideal Husband"(Play), 1895
Today in History:
Joan of Arc is handed over to the bishop for trial, 1431
Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine, 1496
Martin Luther is formally excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, 1521
The first theater in Amsterdam, the Schouwburg, opens, 1638
Benning Wentworth issues the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the establishment of Vermont as a separate state, 1749
Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico, 1823
Joseph Jenkins Roberts is sworn in as the first president of the independent African Republic of Liberia, 1848
The Meiji Restoration returns authority to Japan's emperors, 1868
Oleomargarine is patented by Henry Bradley, Binghamton, NY, 1871
The wax drinking straw is patented, by Marvin C Stone in Washington DC, 1888
The refracting telescope at the Lick Observatory, then the largest in the world, is put into use, 1888
The first known use of the word automobile was seen in an editorial in The New York Times, 1899
British explorer Howard Carter discovers the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt, 1924
Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy, dissolves the Italian parliament, 1925
Minnie D. Craig becomes the first female elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first female to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States, 1933
Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, become the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress, 1953
Edmund Hillary reaches South Pole overland, 1958
The West Indies Federation is formed, 1958
Apple Computer is incorporated, 1977
Margaret Thatcher becomes the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th Century, 1988
In Moscow, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), 1993
More than seven million people from the former Apartheid Homelands, receives South African citizenship, 1994
The People's Republic of China announces it will spend fight erosion and pollution in the Yangtze and Yellow river valleys, 1977
The Mars Polar Lander is launched, 1999
Australian researchers discover the 1912 plane that was the first taken to Antarctica, 2010
Good night from the old continent
2 hours ago