For the longest time, my office upstairs has been the unofficial catch-all for things that don’t have a set spot in the house. To get things out of sight and out of mind, if something needs put away, it just gets stuck in the pile. Today, since I had the day off, a friend came over and helped me sort through the mountains of stuff.
It’s amazing the things you find when you haven’t gone through all your junk in a while. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt meets “Where’s Waldo.” In my experience, you find nothing you actually need, but end up hitting some pleasant surprises along the way. I definitely did.
Exhibit A above was found in my daughter’s pile of craft supplies. She loves to paint, and she’s pretty good at it. She uses acrylic paints, canvas, scrapbook supplies, and anything else she can get her hands on. I usually give her free reign on all the creative stuff because I think it’s important that she has a way to express herself, and that she have interests outside of video games and TikTok. We usually buy craft supplies here and there, wherever they’re on sale, and she has a pretty good stash of brushes, sponges, and whatever else she needs. So imagine my surprise when I see that she used my Clinique Concealer brush (retails for $22.50) to paint a masterpiece. My friend just laughs and shakes her head and says, “Only your child….” She better be glad it wasn’t my favorite.
Next up is a well-loved, worn out copy of Pride and Prejudice. I have always loved this book, as far back as middle school. This particular copy was in my Christmas stocking one year. My mom got it for me because she knows I’m a nerd. I’ve had this since I was maybe 15 years old. She and I shared a deep love for Gilmore Girls. Since she married pretty young (she was 18 and my dad was 20) and I was born two short years later, she said we were almost a Lorelai and Rory type pair. A young mom growing up with her middle-aged child. On the show, Rory carried books with her everywhere, even to dances or on dates. She’d shove the books in her purse, however many would fit. This copy of Pride and Prejudice is about 6 inches tall, so she knew it would fit in my purse. It was one of those happy discoveries I didn’t realize I was missing until I saw it and a little puzzle piece in my heart clicked back into place.
And here, I have saved the best for last. My sister is a lot younger than me. I was 11 years old when she was born. This pretty much ensured that I had an honest, uncensored view of what it was like to raise a small child. By the time my sister was 5, I was old enough to date, and my brother shortly after that. Any time my sister would scream, have a tantrum, commandeer the TV, or do something else unforgivable, my mom used it as a teaching moment. She’d look up at me or my brother, whoever was close by, and say, “Just remember– one moment of passion is all it takes.” I would usually roll my eyes and turn red, but she was right. There’s no better birth control than a preschooler screaming her head off because she didn’t get to dress up on your prom night. (Yes, that really happened). As I got older, the joke stuck around. I’m pretty sure my mom put this tag on my gift at the lingerie shower I had before I got married. It brought a much-needed smile to my face today in the middle of chaos. A little reminder that she was real, and funny, and wise, and she loved me.
Now, the office is freshly organized, and I think I’m going to brave a fresh coat of paint tomorrow so I can sit at my desk and feel like a grown up when I write. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I highly recommend going through your stuff. Maybe you’ll find some priceless treasures too.