After deciding I was having a crisis of executive functioning, I went on a declutter spree. The “crisis of executive functioning” part means I’m beginning to feel as if at any moment I may spontaneously forget every important thing I need to get done, and the kitchen clutter wasn’t helping matters. I can’t remember to do the things I can’t see.

“Decluttering” will be defined as “wading through piles of paper crap my children and the mailman deposit in my house and which I put onto the kitchen counter to sort later,” and we’ll define “later” as “never.”

With all that defined, you can envision me one morning with a cardboard box at my feet, rooting through every piece of paper on that counter and tossing it, a slice at a time, into the box of recyclables. Many of these “To be done later” tasks actually did not need to be done at all, or were accomplished without a piece of paper. So now that they’re done composting, they can go away to be reincarnated as another useless reminder notice.

I felt great about my progress until I came across a sympathy card.

I don’t stockpile cards, preferring to drive myself crazy by purchasing them on an as-needed basis. Therefore we can assume I purchased a sympathy card because someone was in need of sympathy “at this terrible time.” Except my intended recipient of sympathy never received it because it’s here on my counter.

Worse? I have no idea whom it was for.

So…I’m sorry. Whoever you are. I’m sorry I was unsympathetic and I hope you aren’t holding it against me that your broken heart got piled next to the third reminder notice that I needed to send a carton of juice boxes to my first grader’s classroom on Thursday.

And after that I stopped excavating my counter. It’s stupid, but I hate to uncover a broken heart, especially when I don’t remember whose it was.


  1. Amanda

    Laughing because this is my life you’re having. And sympathetic because I’ve had similar sympathy-card moments. Ugh.

    Hang in. The Holidays Approacheth!

  2. Cricket

    Hugs. I know that crisis / over-cluttered feeling well, and the “Done” feeling you get when only part of a job is done — which leaves the rest of the job permanently undone.

  3. Cricket

    More thinking: You probably thought, “Hey, I haven’t gone to the Post Offal with a sympathy card yet,” then got another one and completed the process start-to-finish with that one. You’re that type of person.

  4. loriendil

    Am going to start the decluttering tomorrow. Now I’m afraid. Very afraid…

  5. dana

    My husband and I leased a home in Florida for a year. I remember saying, as he drove us home to Indiana: Whatever we’ve lived without for one year, is history.

    Talk about de-cluttering! 8 truckloads went to the Salvation Army, with the rest going to whoever was willing to carry it out of the house.

    One year later, I haven’t missed ONE THING I threw out. Obviously, it was unnecessary, and the house can breathe.