Week 32/2023: The big clean out

Week of 7 August 2023

Clearing out family memories 

If last week was frantic, and overwhelming, this week was a roller coaster that had a lot of steep descents. Everything had to be out of Mum’s place by Thursday so the cleaners could come in on Friday to have the place ready for handover on Saturday.

I thought I could juggle clearing out the flat and doing things for Slabs, and keep working as well.

I could not.

After a frantic trip in to work on Monday because I’d managed to lock myself out of my computer and had to take it in to get reset, I decided to take my manager’s advice and take a few days off to deal with everything else.

It turned out to be a good move.

Back to the physio

I went back to my physiotherapist on Tuesday and told her what had been happening. She was the first physio I saw when my shoulder was sore. With all the stuff going on with my back and whatever’s been causing the pain in my leg, I’d almost forgotten about my shoulder. I’ve had two therapists say it’s most likely frozen shoulder, which is something that will eventually come right.

“Eventually” being the key word here.

Treatment on the most painful areas of my back and leg helped, and I’m fairly certain that not being at work these last couple of weeks and, therefore, not sitting down a lot, has relieved a lot of the pain too.

We’re designed to move, not sit, and I’ve been doing a lot of moving this week.

I’ve felt a lot better.

The big clear out

After my physio appointment, there were three days of intense effort to get everything out of the flat. I am super grateful to Lil Sis’s workmate’s husband for helping us out.

It was stressful. You know how they put moving house very high up on the stress list? Well, this was that level stress, without the benefit of moving into a nice new home at the end.

We got it done because we had to. And, even though it was intense, I’m glad we had to do it. We’d been able to put off making decisions on many of the things that had to go, as the last person who had been living there needed a furnished place, so there was no rush. But that’s no longer the case and some decisions had to be made.

There were things we didn’t want to let go because they were items we grew up with, but we have our own places with our own things and we don’t have room for them.

I felt awful watching the charity shop people taking away some of my childhood memories. It was the same awful feeling I’d had when people came around a couple of weeks earlier to sift through the smaller items we were giving away.

Three wooden chairs with arch-shaped back with sheepskin seat covers
The family dining chairs

I’m sure there’s been entire dissertations written on this, and suggestions on how to deal with it, but the only thing I can really come up with myself is that these are just objects and not having the objects doesn’t take away the memories I have.

Anyway, we got it done and the cleaners came on Friday.

I ended up with the bulk of my mother’s family history research and mementos, which I need to sort, catalogue and ask her what she wants to do with.

My inner archivist is secretly excited by this but I’m also very tired and I just want to leave it for now.

It’s funny that my mother, for all her qualifications in librarianship and museum studies, hasn’t actually done anything with her own family relics.

For the moment they’re in archive boxes until I get can get the energy to look at them. I think some of them will be useful prompts for her when I get back to writing her life story project that I started a couple of years ago.

There is also a stack of old photos that no one knows anything about . . .

Summary of the week

What am I most grateful for this week?

I’m grateful for the help we got in cleaning out the flat, to work for being accommodating, and that it’s now all done.

What did I learn this week?

The bursitis that everyone thought was causing my shoulder problems may have been a red herring.

What did I notice this week?

I didn’t notice the kerb that I ran the new car wheel into. Some people shouldn’t have a licence.

What was the best thing about this week?

Apart from the enormous relief that came with finishing the flat clean out, the best thing had to be the rehearsal for the play my acting class has been working on.

A woman with blonde hair wearing a medieval-style white top with a frilled collar and a red overlay
At the costume library

It’s coming together really well and I had an opportunity to sort out a costume on Saturday, which was loads of fun. Theatrical costume libraries are just the best!

What am I reading this week?

  • The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler
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