As I spend my days, two at least, cleaning out my home office, my hands are shaking. I have all this stuff. Stuff I don't know what to do with. Oh, I could spend money, rather borrow money, to buy some shelves to show off my life's collections, or toss, toss, toss, or sell on criag's list, donate to goodwill, or just sit here until as my mom would say until the cows come home.

I know I need to focus, to set a goal for the 2010 year, to plan for my finite future. Maybe it is the reality that at 61 years of age, my fate is smack dab in front of me. I don't want to just roll over, or set myself in a rocking chair. I want to sail around the world. To do so will take precise planning. I need money and expertise. Yipe, that's it, money and expertise.

The expertise I can garner from books, workshops, and chats with those who have gone before me. The money I can get from, selling things on Craig's list, getting out of debt, and earning more than my current salary. It's just hard to relinguish things that have been a part of my life. Take for example, the more than 60 video fitness tapes. I don't even own a video player anymore. So, why keep them. If I hold on to them for twenty more years will their value increase? I don't know, right now they are clutter. Like, the material to make some clothes with that I have had for more than twenty years. Every year at this time I refold the fabric and imagine the jacket or pillow case I can make with the tiger print cotton threads I bought in South Africa.

Oh, I don't know I am so surrounded by papers. Bills, advertisements, unsolicited credit cards, wedding invitations, graduation announcements, christmas cards I wrote and never mailed two years ago are piled up around my computer. My computer, what a joke! There is thelap top I am typing on,the lap top whose battery is dead, and a PC with a nice 20 inch screen that just sits here. The photo printer and the regular color printer, neither of which have been used in 3 or more years are neatly tucked into the cubbies of the beautiful desk I bought for my work at home job I never followed through on. Golly, I'm drowning in all my stuff. Guess I better quit writing about it, and get back to getting rid of it. Make a plan.That's what I need to do. Make a plan and sell all this on Craig's list.

Then, I'll use the money to pay off the bills that have lingered since buying a Timex Ironman watch for each of my six girl crew, my flight home for Thanksgiving, bottom paint for SPRAY, and admittedly things I bought that I don't even remember what they are. I am a mess, my office is a mess. My life is a mess. Gotta' get off this computer, gotta' quit writing junk and get to work. Once this mess is cleaned out I can focus on that solo circumnavigation. It all starts with a clean slate, oops, I mean a clean desk, a clean stack of shelves, and a closet organized with only items pertaining to my next great adventure. Yipe, with only four more days until this year ends, I need to get busy and get out with the old, so I can start with the new. Sorry, for babbling, , , , I'm outta here, til I start anew.

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Comment by Don Richter on January 4, 2010 at 11:47am
I got rid of my stuff by picking everything up and seeing how my heart felt holding it. Furniture won't fit on the boat, gone. Clothes, I really like this but when is the last time I wore it? Not within 6 months... gone. It took several 'purges' as Terri states, but the last of it I had in a storage unit went off in a weekend 'garage sale'. The last of it went to a guy with a beat up pickup truck for the twenty bucks he said he had. Farewell I said to myself as I got in the car and drove away MUCH 'lighter'.
Comment by LOLA on December 29, 2009 at 10:36pm
Well I must confess, where do you think I'm getting the prizes for the Photo Contests on
Comment by Pete on December 26, 2009 at 11:24am
Go, Marlene, Go! I'll be following your efforts with more than a passing interest. With any kind of luck (and focus, and persistence), I'll be sailing not far behind you in just a few years. (First, though, getting rid of 50-plus years of stuff that I've accumulated.) Happy New Year!
Comment by Suky Cannon on December 24, 2009 at 6:57pm
Oh, I have been there too Marlene and I know it can be overwelming. I had help, my girlfriends came and were my cheerleaders, otherwise, I was too slow, deliberating over each item. I couldn't deal with Craigslist so I had yard/tag sale. It was just about this time of year, a year ago. I called a couple of the 2nd hand dealers in town and they came first, then I advertised, and sold as much as I could. The rest was donated for tax deduction. Once I got started, I became ruthless. I started making a pile and a list of essentials, and even kept whittling that down.
One foot in front of the other. Start in one corner, and work you way out. Get large trash bags.
Make piles. Keep, Sell, Donate & Trash. Color code or number. Put on your favorite music and let it rip. You will get thru it, you will get thru.. keep you vision of sailing firmly in the front of your mind and heart.
It's worth it. You will never again believe why you had all this 'stuff'.
Comment by Terri on December 23, 2009 at 9:05pm
Yes, we do accumulate stuff over the years. I've found everytime I've made a major move I do the "purge" thing...feels good after, can't remember the stuff that's gone. Could I ever get it down to...what ever will fit on a boat..nope. no way. I'll always need a lil "home base" for me...and whatever stuff that remains that I'm attached to. Sailing books, nautical paintings, photo albums..antiques, shoes, clothes...on & things i've had for years and love. Sounds like you have the start of a plan of attack. Just do one shelf at a time, one closet..don't look at the big picture...sometimes too daunting. Good luck!

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