It was such a fun experience to travel down to Topeka, Kansas as a family to cheer for Bethie’s boyfriend Saia and his teammates in the NAIA national college wrestling tournament. Saia did great, and ended up with a 5th place finish and All-American honors. I couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s a class act, a gracious, easygoing young man who is kind to my daughter and usually puts away his wrestling opponents by pinning them in the first period, and then helping them up afterwards. I confess that I knew nothing about wrestling when we started attending Saia’s wrestling matches earlier this year. But after all, as my daughter Amalia noted, “it’s much easier to understand than football” (and I concur) and we understand wrestling and the point system better now than when we started, anyway. That’s something, right?
There were six wrestling matches going on at any one time, so there was always, always something exciting to watch. Even so, when my sister Anne and her family traveled down to Topeka to join us in the stands on Saturday, that made the “dead time” between Saia’s matches much more fun. Although it is pretty easy to get interested in the other wrestlers and follow them, too.
What do you and yours do with your time when you sit for hours in the stands? I mean, besides watching the wrestling matches? There always is a bit of “dead time.” Do you read a book, or study the program, or check your messages? My girls sang show tunes and we all took lots of pictures of each other, and my sister and I hatched a marvelous business idea, to design better wrestling singlets. It was at the point, I think, when Anne was mentioning how appropriate, in some cases, a flounce or two would be, when the quiet elderly couple clad completely in blue in front of us quietly rose, gathered up their belongings, and moved across the aisle. I hoped that they were just moving to a place where they could stretch their legs a bit better, but I didn’t ask. We were a bit crowded in our section. I didn’t know if it was Anne’s and my mad design ideas, or the girls’ show tunes that did them in. We weren’t obnoxious, mind you, like the people all dressed in orange who stood up and shook noisemakers every time a wrestler on their team was competing. Oh, my, no.
But back to wrestling. We took a personal interest in the young man who had all the family members with the matching t-shirts cheering for him, including a family with five adorable little girls with hand-knitted hats to match the wrestler’s headgear. This particular young man would come into the stands and kiss every one of those little girls after every match. Of course we wanted him to win in his division. Such a sweet boy.
After such a busy couple of weeks at home, it was actually quite nice to sit in the stands and talk, or take pictures, or read a book, or work on my knitting project, when we weren’t cheering for Saia and taking pictures. And, in my efforts to get as much movement into a sitting-heavy (no pun intended!) (more on this later) day, I got up frequently and walked laps around the huge epicenter. Since the seats there were actually designed for people with very short legs, or possibly infants (those of us with long legs noticed this right away) it was important to get the blood flowing as much as possible, lest the legs drop right off our bodies, right there in the stands.
How inconvenient that would have been.
Paramedic: What seems to have happened here, Ma’am?
Me: I’m not entirely sure! One moment I guess I dozed off, and when I woke up, my legs had fallen clean off! See, there they are! (Pointing)
Paramedic: (shaking head, and gathering up legs) You should have gotten up and stretched more often, ma’am. This happens all the time. Best not to ignore that numbness and tingling in your legs. Your circulation was cut off by these tiny seats, and now your legs are gone. It happens.
Me: But . . . but (sputtering) but . . . how will I plant my garden without legs?
Paramedic: You should have thought about that before you sat so long in one position in a baby-seat, Ma’am.
Elderly couple clad entirely in blue: (rising, gathering up belongings, quietly moving to a different section)
In any case, one thing I did not do for the past two days, was to do my 20 minutes of de-cluttering! Full disclosure: the hotel room where we stayed was spotless, so even though I’m in full de-cluttering mode with my Lent Challenge, there was not one thing to clean up. Alas.
However, I’ve had a bit of time since we got home, so I’m playing catch-up in the de-cluttering challenge. Need a refresher? I started last week, on a mission to de-clutter for 20 minutes a day, in specific areas of my home. The Lent season is traditionally 40 days long (although I started one day in) so my goal is to de-clutter 40 areas of my home. After Lent is over, I hope that I’ve released enough clutter and junk and whatnot to feel a sense of relief, to breathe a bit freer, to be less stressed and distracted in my own home. Ultimately? I want to free myself from the extra strain and work and confusion that clutter creates. Are you with me, Gentle Reader?
As I wrote in my initial post about this challenge, I’d love to have some company if you feel so inclined: just leave me a message if you are inspired to do a 20 minute de-cluttering challenge with me, or two, or twenty, or forty! But no pressure. We all have our own challenges that we’re dealing with, I know.
Day One: I cleaned off my desk.
Day Two: I cleaned out my medicine cupboard.
Since I missed a day, and since I’m a little compulsive about lists, I’m issuing two challenges today for myself. If you want to pay catch-up and do both of them, that would be awesome. If you want to pick your own spot to de-clutter, that would be great, too. Just don’t forget to leave a comment about it so I can say Tra-laaaa! with you, okay? Or possibly Yee-haw! Or maybe just Woooooot!
Here we go:
Day 3 Challenge: Spend 20 minutes (and just 20, don’t obsess, it doesn’t have to be perfect!) de-cluttering a junk drawer. Dump it all out, only put back what you really want in there, and put away (or toss, oh my, that makes me feel giddy to even think about it) the rest. Don’t have a junk drawer? What?? Doesn’t everybody have a junk drawer?
Here’s my “before” picture of my junk drawer (please don’t faint, Mom!). Yikes.
And here’s after 20 minutes. When I first pulled this drawer open, I thought “No way I’ll get this done in 20 minutes!” but I dumped it all into a box, and started sorting–quickly! About ten minutes in, I called Amalia and little Mack. “Hey, is there anything in this box that you want?” I asked, casually. “I’m tossing all the rest in (glance at timer) ten minutes, so if you want any of it, grab it and put it away, okay?” Brilliant move! Worked-like-a-charm, and together we made the 20 minutes!
Okay, are you ready for your next challenge? (I’m asking myself this too!)
Day 4 Challenge: Spend 20 minutes helping your child clean up his or her room. If you don’t have a child (or if your child is tidy) then pick your own challenge for this day, okay? If you do have a child to help, here’s my (unsolicited) advice: keep it light and fun. Refrain from lecturing or comments about how awful the mess may be, even if it may all be true. Just enjoy the time together and when you’re finished (with the 20 minutes) have ice cream together, or some sort of treat, to celebrate. (More on tidy children later.) You want to show your kiddo(s) that it can be fun to straighten things up. It’s not Disneyland, but still.
Here’s my “before” picture, and this is little Mack’s bed after he cleaned his room.
Me: (sighing) Uh, honey, what about the bed?? Your floor looks better, but . . .
Mack: Where else can I put all my STUFF?
(Phew!) Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me! Back with you tomorrow, Gentle Reader!