I’m thinking about trash today.

Okay, not trash, specifically, but excess, and the need to throw things away. I’ve been on a real tear lately, for whatever reason, trying to clean out my closets at home, and the fridge, and my office here at school. I don’t know why this is. Maybe because I’ve been so busy that when I have a chance to exercise control (even if it is just over the million or so T-shirts I seem to own) I jump at it, immediately. Whatever the reason, whenever I have a few minutes lately, I find it almost impossible to just sit still and breathe (which I really need to do) and instead am already on my feet, going to organize a drawer or fold clothes or pick through my inbox. Why is that?

Maybe it’s just this time of the year, one month left. Who knows. What I do know is that I have amassed WAY too much clutter and stuff in every aspect of my life. Here in my office, I have no less than 15 books that various publishers have given me, everything from The Art of the Short Story to six or seven fiction anthologies. And don’t even get me started on my top drawer which, in a quick glance, I see contains:

—some Twizzlers
—random school supplies
—a picture of my cousin Siobhan wearing a shirt that says SATAN (it’s a joke. I think.)
—two expired dollar-off coupons from the campus coffee shop (damn!)
—a bag of little plastic babies (don’t ask)
—a lint roller
—three How to Deal lipglosses
and endless other stupid things. God, I’m unprofessional.

And that’s just here at school. At home, yesterday, I organized my closet, moving summer clothes out, winter stuff in, and then tried, again to tackle the stack of books that’s been sitting there, growing ever taller, for months now. I get a lot of books from the local paper, as I do reviews occasionally, and I give most of them to the library. First, though, I have to go through them, and agonize, thinking maybe I should keep this one, as I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, or this one, because maybe it would get better if I just read further on, etc. As a result, it takes me FOREVER to give anything away. Stuff comes in the house so easily, but out….a harder thing. Much harder.

But I am determined. And I was thinking about this today, on my way in, when I behind this little pickup truck weighed down with stuff. Some pipe pieces, plastic containers, and several big garbage bags. They weren’t held on very well, as became evident when one rolled off, landing right in front of my car. I stopped, then beeped the horn to get the driver’s attention. They didn’ t stop. So I kept going, following them, and beeped again. At the next stopsign, they turned around. Because it’s one thing to have stuff, and lots of it. Another to get rid of it. But to just drop it off somewhere, and let someone else deal with it…that’s the worst thing of all. Even worse than having a bagful of plastic babies in your desk drawer. Really.

have a good day everyone!