Double whammy on clutter, and NAIA wrestling

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.

Me: Waaaaaaaa!

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.

Yikes! This is before.

Yikes! This is “before.”


And after. . . see how empty it is? I tossed two containers of baby Tylenol with an expiration date of 2010.

And after. . . see how empty it is? I tossed two containers of baby Tylenol with an expiration date of 2010! Impressive, eh?

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.

Ollie likes to stay close to me, even when I'm doing 20-minutes challenges!

Ollie likes to stay close to me, even when I’m doing 20-minutes challenges!

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!

I asked myself: what do I really NEED in here? Something to write with, a pair of scissors, a few rubber bands, some scratch paper.

I asked myself: what do I really NEED in here? Something to write with, a pair of scissors, a few rubber bands, some scratch paper.

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.

Is there even room on that bed for the dog? Just--barely---!

Is there even room on that bed for the dog? Just–barely—!

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!

I’m sharing this post with my friends over at The Prairie Homestead. Jill has the best Blog Hop around. Join me over there!



15 thoughts on “Double whammy on clutter, and NAIA wrestling

  1. Renee

    I have been wondering what to do for Lent….and you’ve just given me the answer. So, I am behind…I WILL catch up…..…may even go for 2 – 20 minute sets a day…morning and afternoon….. what a great Lenten Idea……thanks…I give up things I thought I had to keep…

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thank you and I hope it works wonders in your home! Frankly I’ve been amazed at how much we can get done in 20 minutes. I’d really love to tear into the house and go room to room, and declutter the whole thing, but I just don’t have that kind of time right now. So the 20 minutes does give me hope that I’m making progress, after all, even if it is in baby steps.

  2. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    Since I just moved, I’m devoting 1 hour a day to unpacking and decluttering. And, if all goes well today, I will have a functional kitchen (something someone who loves to cook has been without for a week or so)…
    Good luck on your decluttering. (I have made generous deposits to the recycle truck that arrives weekly!)

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      OH. MOVING. Honestly, I’ve gotten rid of more stuff during our moves than any other time. I just don’t CARE after awhile, and I get tired of filling boxes and toting things around. Eventually I just start to toss, like a robot, anything and everything we can live without. Maybe we should move.

  3. Lesly Federici

    I found you from Nate’s blog and thought I would hop over here to “meet” you/ I had to laugh as I read this as I am going through the same de-cluttering. Every couple of weeks I tackle an area, pack it up and good-will comes and picks it up. So I can appreciate what you’re doing! And I appreciate you writing about it. I really think all the “stuff” I have around me is keeping me from better things in some ways … it’s a lesson in “letting-go”

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I so appreciate your stopping by and leaving me a comment! I feel the urge to spring clean and toss, toss, toss, at the end of each winter. Maybe it’s the longer days, or maybe it’s the winter’s worth of clutter, whatever: I just have to get everything neat and tidy before I start spending all that time OUTSIDE!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      THanks Kristen, I think I’ll get there if I can just stick with it! Once the weather has warmed up, it’ll be a little more challenging, because then I’ll want to be outside!

  4. Chef William

    So that is why you weren’t home when we passed through Nebraska, I just thought that you knew we were coming so you were hiding.
    One of my grandsons is into wrestling but he is in the third grade and does not want to wear the tight wrestling pants.
    It might take me all of 40 days to de-clutter my 6 months of mail. I do like the idea but my wife feels that any drawer on my desk is a junk drawer so it must be my project only.
    To reduce lent to 40 days you only go from Ash Wednesday to Passover. if you go to Easter Sunday it actually becomes 46 days so you might need to add a little more de-cluttering to the schedule, or maybe not………

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh I’m so disappointed that you passed through Nebraska without stopping by to see us! Maybe next time, eh?

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I haven’t been very active with the blogging groups lately, so you probably haven’t seen my blog pop up. I’ve been too busy! I’ll have to pop over and visit your blog–chapter 53 of Azure? Already? My goodness, I’m afraid I’ve missed a few chapters!

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