Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moving on....


The inside of our house is getting a much needed coat of paint. I wish we didn't have to do it, as the smell is awful and all I can think of is the amount of toxins that we are breathing in. The windows are wide open day and night and thankfully the team who are working here are lightening fast.

Another downfall with the whole process is that the painters have emptied out my cupboards. This doesn't bode well, as each space is (was) jammed pack full of dusty old files, papers and books. How is it possible to accumulate so much *stuff*? 

So there I was, staring at the pile that was getting bigger and bigger and I thought to myself... right, let's do this thing, this is a great opportunity to declutter!

The first bunch of papers revealed a photo that was taken on my 40th Birthday (I am nearly 50!). Following close behind were a few primary school reports for my first born. I disposed of some old receipts relating to purchases from long ago. Then I picked up a lone piece of paper. It was actually an old fax, all dirty and worn. The print had faded in some places and a few of the words were unreadable.

I read the final line.... then looked at the date. December 2000. My second son (Nick), only 18 months of age. Ouch, that hurt.


Moving on, I came across Nick's work files. Years and years of written records, check lists, tick boxes, reams of paper telling his story and academic progress (or lack thereof). Why oh why have I been keeping all of this? Is it a betrayal of sorts to dump the lot? Would Nick feel that I am throwing away memories, a large part of his life that was? The dilemma of what to do sits within me.......

I find stacks of notes relating to conferences past, workshops attended and bucket loads of various odds and sods of information that I have gathered over the years. Newspaper articles all brown and crinkly. Beautiful children gracing the covers of Time Magazine and the like. Catalogs for books, AAC devices, PECS and advertisements for a million zillion toys that I *think* will make the difference! Do I need all of this crap? Seriously, who is going to want to look at it? Do I need the continuous reminder of all that hard work that Nick has put in? I am no longer in a dilemma. It's time to dump the lot.

I grab some black bags and start going through the stacks, bit by bit, pausing every now and then to look at what I have in my hands. At times I find an old forgotten assessment or report ~ those I put aside in order to file away under important papers! It is a time consuming job and I quickly tire of rifling through sad memories. It is all too much and I don't have any more energy for sentimentality. I don't bother going through what is left, I just pick it all up and stuff it into the bags. Be gone.

I have just thrown out over twelve years worth of autism information. ABA files, TEACCH, PECS, newspaper articles, conference papers, magazines, worksheets, O.T. info, anything and everything.... except for assessments and reports.#movingon

All that I have left is the photo above. I feel rather indifferent about the whole exercise; and I am fairly sure that I won't need to repeat the experience in 12 years time.

Oh, hang on a minute... I still have a room full of toys!

Moving on....


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Di writes about autism and day to day stuff over at the Bright Side of life.

16 comments:

  1. Sounds courageous Di! Like you're focusing on the "Bright Side of Life". It can feel really wonderful to move on and focus on the present.

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    1. @zisforzen ~ it was hard to throw it out... although much better for us all in the long run. Can't move forward if I am dwelling in the past! :)

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  2. This reminds me of the massive amounts articles, books and papers I collected in the "early years" after R's diagnosis. Yes, it's good to purge - it brings about a certain peace. Thank you Di.

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    1. @rhemashope ~ glad to hear that I am not the only one who collected so much information. Crazy days! Yes, it does bring about a certain peace. Thank you for your comment.

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