wings and things

On realising why I woke up miserable yesterday morning when I should have been happy ….

on April 2, 2015

Yesterday evening I suddenly realised why the morning had been so blah, and the reason for this is going to sound absolutely ridiculous. But here goes:

The day before yesterday, Dina, from, came over for the final big job here – Ming’s extremely cluttered (but otherwise beautiful) shed that Anthony and I had renovated for him several years ago so that Ming could have his own space and some independence. Here are the before-and-after shots:
Untitled Untitled 2

After Ming’s shed was done (Dina never stops until it is done!) and we all had coffee and a chat, Dina hugged us and left but, even though I knew we would see her again after the holidays, I felt bereft! Maybe that is what happens when a problem is resolved? You find yourself in an enormous cavern of space (and for me this was both literal and figurative) in which you feel strangely lost.

Thankfully I woke up this morning in a much more appropriate mood, extremely happy with what we have accomplished, and full of incentive to maintain the new order of things. The garage sale is something I need to advertise pronto and I am really looking forward to this as it’s a wonderful opportunity to cull everything from old blazers from my university days, to old bicycles, to Ming’s lego, to bric-a-brac, to books etc. And now that I’ve met the Dardanup Heritage Park people, I have a good idea of what they might want so I will donate some items and sell others. One of the things that appealed to me about their museum’s philosophy was the way in which they enjoy displaying objects in a way that tells a story of the past in a personal way.

Here are some of the items that will go to the museum:

IMG_4482 IMG_4484 IMG_4487 IMG_4488 IMG_4490 IMG_4472 IMG_4504 IMG_4493 IMG_4495 IMG_4508 IMG_4491

Anyway, back to the strange sense of misery I felt yesterday morning: it is probably due to the exhaustion of being so driven to declutter; the extraordinary success of doing so which still seems miraculous to me (I could never, ever have done all of this without Dina); and the incredible journey back in time to an era preceding Anthony and even preceding his mother, affectionately known as ‘Gar’. Strangely, the moments of nostalgia I’ve experienced during the last several weeks of this adventure have mostly been due to memories of Gar and her stories about her own past shared with me over coffee and timtams or else a gin and tonic. She was a pivotal figure in my young life, this 83-year-old woman who commanded the whole household and dairy enterprise with a slight wave of her formidable walking stick, and encouraged my teenage heart in its infatuation with her son, Anthony. On her deathbed she said (after a couple of days of not saying anything and I know this because I was there), “Look after Anthony.” And I have, just as he has looked after me.

When I began this post, I thought I had a simple answer for yesterday morning’s misery but now, having written it out like this, I can see clearly why the whole adventure with Dina has been so cathartic and yet so bittersweet but, ultimately, absolutely beautiful.

I had to go back in time in order to go forward in time. So many memories, and artefacts of other people’s memories, have touched and intrigued me and now, with Dina having finished the big jobs, I have time and space to reflect, pause, re-imagine! Hindsight thoughts are particularly interesting.

Oh shut up, Julie, and go to bed!

44 responses to “On realising why I woke up miserable yesterday morning when I should have been happy ….

  1. niasunset says:

    Bravo… this is not an easy job, but you finished at the end. And seems it is nice. I loved the photographs, dear Julie, Thanks and Love, nia

  2. Terry says:

    What a beautiful story. I was able to place myself in your shoes at parts of your story. I love the old picture you have. Of course I love antiques period, but photos are my first love. I am glad you were able to get all accomplished and now you can start filling up empty space again!

  3. Terry says:

    I loved your story and I was able to place myself in part of what you said. I love the photo. It is divine!

  4. You had a lot to retrieve many memories…. I like to look at old photos and letters …takes me back…Diane

  5. Judy says:

    You are very in touch with your feelings and so much of what you’ve written makes sense. I had one thought, too, while reading this. With the loss of my mother to dementia and my divorce – I have often felt a sense of isolation. That is one reason I love writing and sharing.
    Perhaps your interactions with Dina represent a true connection of deep understanding and that is something missing in your life. She has really shared so much with you. She has seen your weakness, strength, joy and sadness. I can only imagine that you will miss those interactions.
    Always thinking of you and proud to see how you’ve taken charge to make big changes in your life.

  6. Beautiful Julie. *HUGS* ❀
    Diana xo

  7. susanpoozan says:

    What you write is always interesting to read whether it is a situation I can empathise with or not.

  8. Like the before and after photos of the Ming’s shed now if only he keeps it clean but he is a young man and that may be wishful thinking, some bloody awesome things you are donating to the museum

  9. tootlepedal says:

    You have surmounted a great challenge so no wonder you have some less exciting days to look forward to. You are like a great actor coming off stage at the end of a run.

  10. What a nice travel adventure in your heart.

  11. Tamara says:

    Thanks Julie you are very brave to write this as it an experience of decluttering and letting go (especially, as it is over three generations of farm and war bits). It must have been interesting to go through items and feel the emotions attached. I have now employed Dina to help me… I meet with her yesterday – From one hoarder to another thank you πŸ™‚ xx

  12. arlene says:

    You did a good job of everything. Congrats Julie!

  13. ksbeth says:

    wonderfully honest. jules. i think it’s always hard when leaving some of the past behind and moving forward, but it’s what leads to new growth. )

  14. You wrote so beautifully of your feelings, I think that you are so awesome in sharing your emotional journey Jules. πŸ™‚ The way you write, I feel our friendship grow stronger even though we are on two vastly distant continents, I am so lucky to have you as a friend. Hugs Jules πŸ˜€

  15. Rhonda says:

    I can honestly say, you continue to amaze. I know this process has been a roller coaster of emotion, and the result deserves its own holiday – I am imagining a kind of peace in your day to day now…hoping you are feeling what I am imagining. What you have done is make room for you to spread your wings too…on the page…doing what you so masterfully do…write. I could read your words and travel with you all the live long day! Congrats Jules….well done xoxo

  16. My Heartsong says:

    “I had to go back in time in order to go forward in time.” That is so true and part of the journey of de-cluttering. Thanks for that, I have been doing mine too. I took a box of clothes to a re-cycle store and decided to take a look inside-and found a pair of jeans that I wanted-perfect fit!

  17. You certainly had a lot of interesting clutter, Julie. Glad Dina was up to the task. πŸ™‚

  18. how many of us could come away from this type of archeological dig with our sanity still intact? i am completely in awe of the journey you have made, a bit like alice in wonderland, and have come through without a tea party with the mad hatter!

  19. I can understand a certain amount of melancholy after finishing a job like that. All the memories dredged up, new questions to ponder. I wonder if in some small ways you feel less of Anthony’s presence in the house? That could certainly dull your enthusiasm.

  20. jensine says:

    OOOHHH I would so like a good rummage … well done

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