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Patty Leon: Trash out, self-care in
Patty Leon new

We sure as heck accumulate a lot of stuff during our lifetime. My brother and I have a lot of stuff we needed to sort through — him in cleaning out his formerly rented home and getting it ready for the next tenant, me still sorting out stuff in the basement and back shed that once belonged to dad. 

I asked my brother to have a dumpster delivered to his rental home, which is right behind my house, so we could both get rid of stuff without having to make hundreds of trips to the local dump center. We got the dumpster last Thursday and this past weekend started hauling things over.


And while I did manage to toss out a bunch of stuff from the shed and basement, I still have tons of other items to go through. Thankfully, my brother helped me sort through all of dad’s old tools. As a carpenter, he had a lot of things — like three circular saws, several hand saws, jig saws, hammers of every size imaginable, drills and NAILS, SCREWS, BOLTS and other knick-knacks by the thousands. We made a pile of “keep these” and another pile to box up and take to the local flea market. There is a guy there who buys and sells all of this stuff. Hopefully he will buy up the whole box.

We tackled my brother’s house, where the former tenant left a ton of children’s toys on the front wood patio deck. Tons of toys left neglected, ruined by rain and Mother Nature. What a shame, as some of these items could’ve been donated to others in need. There was trash, leaves and all kind of stuff thrown across the entire patio, but we got it cleaned up. I dumped the 30-yearold TV that was in mom’s room. She never watched TV in her room, and the TV was starting to fail, anyway. I tossed out old luggage that was sitting in the basement, not touched or used in more than 20 years. Why was it still down there?

We worked all day Saturday and most of Sunday. I could barely lift my arms Sunday afternoon. I was sore. Everything hurt. The entire ordeal left me drained.

It was a good reminder that we can’t take this stuff with us when we are gone. If you have stuff you haven’t seen or used in three years or more, dump it out without a second thought. We still have a little room in the corner of the dumpster. I plan to go through some of my own things and dump what is no longer useful in my life. Mom is sorting out some of her stuff now, too. She said it would be less of a burden on my brother and me when her time comes. So, she wants to toss out stuff now.

My brother and I already have plans to get a second dumpster once we call for this one to be picked up. De-cluttering is a long process, but it feels great afterwards.

This whole process also reminded me that I need to set aside time for some self-care. I’ve been so focused on taking care of mom, taking care of dad’s affairs after he passed, taking care of the house, taking care of the bills and taking care of work and nearly everything else, I forgot to take care of myself. I’ve gained weight, developed high blood pressure, pretty much have no desire to change out of my PJs in the mornings, stopped being my usual adventurous and exploring self and feel tired all the time.

Everything seems like a task now. What the heck happened to the outgoing, nature-loving photographer, roller-derby skater, paranormal investigator and all-around weirdo I used to be? Oh sure, I am older now, but jeez, I’m not dead yet, and I need to stop acting as if I were.

I’m willing to bet there are many people stuck in a slump these days. We’re entering year three of the pandemic, which brought about a lot of isolation. We’ve seen our country be split in two by political pandering, self-serving government officials. We’ve been hit with inflation, and we are watching and holding our breath as the war in Ukraine unfolds. In other words, we’ve been dealing with a lot of TRASH in our lives lately. Make sure you make some time to take out the trash and let in some time for some self-care in your life.

Everyone is worthy of it!

Patty Leon is the senior editor of the Coastal Courier.

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