by Susan McCarthy
Everyday practice: Enjoy your quirks. They make you who you are.
In October, I strained a tendon in my foot and was told to stay off my foot, so it could heal. No problem, I thought. My husband shook his head in doubt, insisting that I never sat still. Of course, I did. Oops, I never appreciated how many times I jumped up to do small tasks.
Pneumonia in November, slowed me down. In December, I went for a physical and pointed out it was time for my IUD to be removed. She sent me to the GYN office across the hall. The IUD had shifted, so I needed to go for an ultrasound, so they could locate it … and they found a mass. Next, an MRI, a blood test for cancer (negative), another ultrasound with a doctor who insisted she knew what the mass was and that it was bad, more blood work (all negative), and an appointment with a GYN-oncologist.
And, tomorrow, laparoscopic surgery to see what the mass is attached to so to determine what needs to be removed.
So, with my brain going in five thousand directions, I thought I’d tell you some lighter things about me.
One: I fold my underwear – Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy made me do it … after reading her suggestion, I gave it a try and really liked how much space it gave me in the drawer.
Two: When I take eggs from the carton I remove them from opposite ends and always keep the eggs visually and physically balanced. I’m not normally this obsessive; I have no clue why I do this.
Three: I’m a stress cleaner. When I was told I needed surgery, I went home, emptied and washed every cabinet in my kitchen. Cleaned my bedroom. And the living room.
Four: To keep my hands busy when I’m watching television (or, sometimes when I’m sitting at the bar with my husband), I crochet hats. The pattern isn’t elaborate, but I do like mixing colors to make them look more interesting. For years, I’ve donate over a hundred hats a year to charity.
Five: I’ve been a nature teacher for over 20 years. Once, when I told someone I was a teacher-naturalist, they mistook it for the word naturist … they thought I taught people to go around nude. After that, I started calling myself a nature teacher.
Six: In the animated movie, Up, the dogs wore special collars that translated their thoughts into human speech. Several times, while making serious speeches, the dogs would suddenly turn their head and say, “squirrel!” Mac thought this was hilarious, and said, “you get distracted like that all the time.” That year for Christmas he gave several squirrel-themed gifts. Squirrels cover the top of my dresser. I call it my shrine to squirrels.
Seven: I love reading young adult fiction. My favorite is fantasy, but if someone recommends a book, I’ll add it to my to-read list.
Eight: I’ve watched every episode of The Simpsons … some, multiple times. No, I can’t recite lines from the show, my brain just doesn’t work that way.
Nine: For my fiftieth birthday, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a Cricut, a die-cutting machine. I started making birthday and holiday cards … sixty or seventy cards a year. Want me to send you a card? Email me your name and address at Susan@ALessClutteredLife.com. No catch.
Ten: In high school, I rearranged the art department’s supply closet. I was the one who organized store shelves, assorted supply rooms, a library at work, an education supply room, and another art supply room.
Eleven: My parents were hoarders (as I’ve mentioned in some articles). Having lots of books and never getting rid of anything was normal for me. I was always trying to get organized and never understood why I kept failing. In my forties, I realized I needed to get rid of things that I didn’t use or didn’t like.
So, that’s some of my quirks, some quirkier than others.
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Susan, chief (and only) organized squirrel at A Less Cluttered Life, pursues learning, practicing, and sharing information about the everyday habits that can lead to living a better life.