Thursday, 7 August 2014

Thinking

I know that I already did a post this week about contemplation, thinking about the start of The Great War.  Somehow though I seem to be in contemplative mood this week.  I think that it is because it was my birthday.  I have received quite a few cards, including some from some of you lovely bloggers who I have made special friends with over the last year - thank you, you know who you are.  However, numbers of cards are down on previous years.  I'm not complaining or seeking sympathy, it is just a fact of life.  We seem to have lost so many family members and friends in the last few years especially, and while in normal day to day life, I don't forget those people, it isn't so obvious somehow that they are not there.  It is the occasions of life that makes their absence more obvious, such as not receiving a card from them on your birthday - or sending them one on theirs.

It has made me much sadder this year than in previous years, especially because I have not received cards from some people who are alive, but unable because of their health to see to send a card, or to remember that I am here to send one to me.  Somehow when people are gone you know that and you have to move on, but when they are still here, but yet at the same time not, that is harder to handle.

Sorry for being a bit of a downer, here, I hope that the next paragraph will be more upbeat, bear with me!

So, in the light of this how am I dealing with it.  Well, for one I am grateful for the new friends that I have made in life, especially those friends made over the last year that I received a card from for the very first time this year and that I have been or will be able to send a card to on their birthday.  That is pretty great right!

Sharing with others.  Although I did not have a chance to bake, before I went to Basildon yesterday I bought lots of bags of cookies from the supermarket and took them in with me and told everyone to help themselves to a cookie.  They did and they enjoyed themselves a lot - although some people got a bit sticky from the looks of things!  Never mind though.

I think that I have shared with you before that I am a very rare breed of person.  You have probably heard of hoarders.  You might even have heard of chuckers.  Well, I am a combination of the two, a gatherer chucker - we are rare you know!!  What does that mean.  Well, I keep things, gather things, birthday cards especially from years gone by.  For no good reason mostly other than I don't know what to do with things.  I don't hoard, I just don't know what to do with the more sentimental things of life.  Then, when I feel like I do right now, I have a massive clear out I take things to the charity shop - all good sellable things, other stuff is recycled, and any remaining rubbish goes in the bin.

Today I am clearing out.  Not so much in the style of What Would Jesus Do, but, What Would Martha Do.  As in, getting organised and tidying, in the style of another hero of mine, William Morris, keeping only that which I know to be beautiful or believe to be useful.  A large collection of jigsaw puzzles have been kept.  No, I am unlikely to do them, and not at the moment for sure, but they got me through some times in the past when I could not get out and about so much and they are great for keeping your mind occupied, so they stay.  However, another collection of old birthday cards that has accumulated has gone, as have other bits and pieces.  I seem to have a large collection of Christmas ribbons that are lovely, but not to my taste at all.  I cannot imagine ever using them, but I know that someone will, so they are for the charity shop.  Along with 6 Christmas charger plates that I bought when I needed something in a rush.  I regretted the purchase immediately and have felt guilty about it ever since.  Well no more, they are off to a new home.

Many many years ago, I read something in a book about when you are worried cleaning the silver is a good idea, because at the end of the day, you are still worried, but at least the silver is clean.  I don't have silver to clean - thank goodness, because it never would be cleaned! - so instead I clean house, organise and clear out.

It seems that this year my birthday has been bittersweet.  It was a lovely day, and heck, I am always glad to have achieved another year and have another one to look forward to, but it has been reflective too.  I guess that is what happens as we get older isn't it!

So, I really don't mean this to be gloomy or upsetting, but actually positive in that although I am feeling reflective, I am getting on and occupying myself and my mind by doing rather than just sitting and fretting.  That has to be positive?

Amy

29 comments:

  1. Happy, happy birthday, dear Amy! I do the same when I'm upset or bothered by something so. happy chucking, or whatever you decide to do to deal with things. It's a very positive way to manage how you feel.

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  2. Well, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. I know what you mean about getting and sending cards. I don't send as many overseas as our postage jumped something terrible earlier this year, so now being retired we send messages via email or facebook. I can even make a phone call or Skype cheaper than sending a card. As to people who have to deal with family who have dementia, that is so hard. I know, as we've dealt with it several times. Keep your chin up and take care.

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  3. Happy belated birthday Amy! I too love a good clear out!

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  4. Oh, have I missed your birthday whilst I've been away? Belated Happy Birthday wishes from another child of August who, like you, can feel slightly bittersweet on birthdays thinking of all those passing years and the people who are now only memories. Like you I'm a gatherer/chucker - I've saved many a bag or box of cards and letters and then eventually disposed of them. I hold on to things for ages especially those things given to me as gifts and then every so often havge a clear out and a visit to the chairty shop. Take carex.:)

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  5. Birthdays and other similar occasions are always likely to be times for reflection and remembering others. I know that I've had enough birthdays now that, even if I still have only half that number of years to live, I will have lived to a good age. Hope that makes sense. So I'm making the most of whatever number of years are left to me (don't worry - I haven't been diagnosed with a terminal illness or anything like that). I don't mean going out and living some kind of wild and wreckless life. Just appreciating what I have and making the most of it. Especially the family and friends that I have.

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  6. Amy, I also celebrated a birthday last Sunday. My older daughter is in Alaska with her family, and my son and family are in Illinois. My younger daughter and her fiance were going to meet us for brunch, but she had an allergy attack and couldn't meet us. So on our way home from our very quiet and lovely brunch, I told my husband that I was going home, baking a pie, and inviting two couples (who were not aware of my birthday) to dinner. We had a lovely time. And then there is Facebook. I actually have never received so many "Happy Birthday" greetings in my life. In a digital world, that is how it works. All in all, it was a great birthday!

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  7. Belated Happy Birthday Amy! :)

    it's always nice to receive birthday cards or even seasonal greeting cards :) but sometimes it's just difficult to keep up with everything - making them, writing them out, posting, usually the last minute in my case - it takes time and it costs. Sometimes I have to limit the number of the cards I send for Christmas and Easter (most of them go abroad) because it is getting more and more expensive every year :( Some cards dont arrive at all as it turned out in the past.
    i always appreciate a lovely collection of card for Xmas from my crafty friends and I always keep them though the drawer is getting really full now.

    I hate birthday cards with numbers! they always tell me I am a year older! ha ha x

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  8. Happy Birthday and a big hug to you! I'm sorry your birthday has been bittersweet. I felt much the same on my birthday this year. A good clean out of drawers and cupboards crammed with stuff is always a great cure for feeling a bit down.

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  9. I think I told you but Happy belated birthday dear Amy:))
    I think with the age we are more reflective!♡♥♡♥

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  10. It's very hard as the years go on and loved ones aren't with us any longer, and the health of some of those who are is deteriorating. It's things such a birthdays or Christmas which really brings it home to you. When you run out of things to chuck, you can come and go through my cupboards, I was only thinking this morning that everywhere could do with a proper bottoming with cupboards and drawers sorting out.

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  11. Thank you for this post , today I received some sad news and sat down on the computer feeling sorry for myself, but this post has made me get up and clear out one of the five cupboards filled with stuff. I feel so much better I cant change the bad news but I have done something useful. I have two charity bags ,three bags of rubbish. Thanks Amy.

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  12. I do the same, Amy. And even more now that I live away from family and friends. It's not the same thing, but I got miffed about something a couple of days ago and went straight away to clean and scrub the kids' bathroom. It hasn't looked that shiny since we moved in almost a year ago! Ha! I worked my emotions out on the tub! Big hugs, much love, and successful organizing to you! :)

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  13. This is not a gloomy post at all, Amy...
    On the contrary, it was fun to read, in that sense that I realized I'm not the only one who gets "reflective" periods, which usually come combined with a clearing and cleaning frenzy... So you are not alone (and nor am I, yay :-) ) !
    And, before I forget, a late but a big hug for your birthday :-) !

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  14. As you say a very reflective post, I can not offer you words of advice or wisdom Amy but I have got some silver that you can clean. Thinking of you.

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  15. Dear Amy,

    Every so often something happens that makes us sit up and take note, of where we are in life, what is happening now, and what is in the past.

    I think it is a positive thing to use your energy to bring about a change (such as clearing out things) in order to welcome the future. Sometimes hanging on to things stops us from moving forward. I should know, I'm a bit of a hoarder/collector myself. I found it hard to deal with when I dissolved my household 2 years ago to move from England to Belgium! However, in hindsight I know that it was absolutely necessary to sort out stuff (give away, recycle or throw out) so that I could make the next step.
    I'm sure you will feel better about today in a few days time (with the benefit of hindsight).

    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be/

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  16. So true about the idea of cleaning silver. I have always found that clearing something out, decluttering, helps clear out my worried or burdened mind. Happy birthday hugs from over here xxx

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  17. I'm not a gatherer, but I often have a clear out, I've done quite a lot of that recently with moving house. I still have the last couple of cards sent from my mom and dad and have kept them safe for many years. I still look at the cards I receive and miss the cards from them most of all, even after all this time.

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  18. I can relate to your feelings, Amy! You just feel a loss, and it is hard to express - like a little piece of you is gone, or stashed away in a trunk and you don't know what to do with it or why you feel that way, it just is. It is hard to adjust to these losses - the empty nest, friends and relatives who are gone or far away, even lost pets. They remain in your heart, just like they have always been, but sometimes you really feel the distance. I am like you, keeping sentimental keepsakes and bits of this and that. I think having a good clean out is very cathartic and I really do need to follow your example. I'm sure it made you feel so much better. Love the sticky cookie people :) Hugs xo Karen

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  19. I think birthdays and anniversaries are often time for reflection. Happy birthday Amy.

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  20. Life is full of bittersweet moments isn't it. I like to have a bit of a de-clutter from time to time. Never as much as I'd like though. But making space and getting organised always makes me feel more positive and in control. I'm adding it to my "to-do" list. CJ xx

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  21. Happy Birthday to you lovely Amy! Birthdays - whether our own or others' - can get the think tank going, and not always in a good way, messing up the emotions and causing a bit of havoc here and there as we remember and think of those with whom we are no longer in contact, for whatever reason. But birthdays are a reason to celebrate, and I celebrate the fact that you are on this lovely planet at this time and that I have had the honour to 'come to know you' through this wonderful platform of blogging, dear Amy. Thank you! Love, Joy xo

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  22. First of all ~ happy birthday! You were not a downer at all; just reflective. And the ironic thing is, so much of what you wrote is exactly how I've been feeling lately. My birthday is coming up on Sunday. And I've been cleaning stuff out, too. Just donated another 7 bags of stuff to a charity the other day.

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  23. I know how you are feeling friend and I am sending you a big big hug! Yes becoming more and more reflective seems to be what happens as we grow older. Birthdays bring out all kinds of emotions. We are all flowing along with this tide and just like the tide people flow in and people flow out of our lives. I think that you have an amazing attitude...to go off and share cookies with the other folks at work is such a great idea as is doing a clean sweep to keep yourself moving forward. I have been doing the same thing over here as I sift through some of my own emotions. I think the hubs thinks I've gone mad as I have been working on projects in every room!!! You keep that chin up! The world is a better place because you are in it!!! Happy weekend to you friend! Nicole xoxo

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  24. Happy Birthday Amy! I know where your coming from, and doing something positive helps! I have cleared out already this summer feels like it gives you a bit of a clean slate. I also walk a lot gives you space with your thoughts. Hope you have a happy weekend. :)

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  25. Happy belated birthday Amy. You are so right, birthdays can be bittersweet, I reflect on last years birthdays and those who are no longer with us. But I also celebrate making that next milestone. A time of mixed emotions. It is a time to draw a line under some things, a plan for others. A lovely reflective post xx

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  26. A happy belated birthday Amy, apologies for missing it all. I hope you had a wonderful day and that it was very special. It is good to be reflective and to use time to really appreciate what we have to realise that life does move and and situations change. It is sad and sometimes I also find it hard to deal with especially if it is people close to you, but with this comes internal change, age, wisdom, but most of all appreciation for the little things as we know life is short and unpredictable and everything can change within the blink of an eye. Can I just say thank you for all your support and love, you really are a very special person who have so much love to give and share, it is a gift, so continue using it, we all feel it!! I would appreciate it if you could send me your address please! xoxo

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  27. Birthdays can be like that, I find. Yes, a time to reflect but also a good motivator for change. Good luck with all the clearing out and very best wishes for the year ahead.

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  28. My dear friend, it is great to be contemplative every once in a while. You look at things, make a few changes and move on. Birthdays, Anniversary's and Holidays do that to me. You have had lots going on in and around your home, no wonder you are feeling a bit unsettled. Have a cup of tea, a good wander around a garden, look at the blue sky, or gray sky, sunshine or rain drops. Take a deep breath and you will be fine. I too am missing loved ones this year, it is the age we are losing people we love, not easy that is for sure.

    Sending you an extra big hug,
    Meredith

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  29. This is a sad post and a positive one at the same time. I often have contemplative moments, so please do not worry about sharing them, Amy. We have somebody who is here, but not here also, it is very very sad and I know how you must feel on birthdays etc. I think birthdays in particular make you contemplate life, things to be sad about but also the things we should be very happy about and thankful for. I am emotional on every birthday, mainly because I don't like to be "fussed" over, and when I am I just feel very sad about it - like I don't think deserve it. It's so weird! I am glad you are feeling positive though. Sending hugs your way!

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