Barbie shoes have long been a metaphor in our family for overwhelm . . .

They are the kind of annoying little thing that can multiply until they seem to be turning up everywhere.  They rarely stay on Barbie's feet, where they belong.

Their significance originated when Hannah was very young. Cleaning up her room was an overwhelming prospect for her, so I would have to break it down into manageable tasks.  We would often begin with, "Just pick up all the Barbie shoes.  Then come back and report."  

With three daughters, there never seemed to be a shortage of Barbie shoes (or barrettes, or figurines, or books, or whatever) laying around waiting to be stepped on. But for some reason, Barbie shoes are the thing that has remained code for, "Help!  I'm drowning in all this little stuff...someone please just take over and tell me what to do!"

Yes, this is a cry for help.  I am drowning in 30 years' worth of Barbie shoes.  There's something very comforting about family junk -- 30 years of tangible history -- and something terribly disquieting about watching it get carted out the door.  Even if it is to a new life with someone who really needs it.  Or to a daughter who has been eying it for years and hoping she could take it to her own home. Or to the landfill, where it should have gone 25 years ago.

Fact is, my brain isn't functioning terribly well right now.  I'm not much of a friend, mother, wife, blogger, or anything else.  Mostly I want to curl up in my chair and watch old television shows and eat candy.  And I've spent a good deal of time doing those things....until now.  With the packers coming next week, there is no more time for wallowing.  The Barbie shoes MUST be sorted, and sort them I will.  And am.

I've never missed a move yet.  But I'm a little out of practice.

All of our possessions that make the cut will be going into storage in Phoenix for an unspecified amount of time.  We'll be moving into a corporate apartment for the first month, then who-knows-where until we decide what we want to do next.  So much freedom!  All the things I've told my daughters are being repeated to me:  "The world is your oyster....You can do anything you want to do...Look at it as an adventure....We can do hard things...."  (But I like all that advice much more when I'm the one giving it.)

Small Works will return....sometime.  Once the dust settles.  Once at least the Barbie shoes have been put away, and maybe even a few other things.  Heaven knows there's plenty to be done, on both ends of the move.  Thanks for your friendship and your patience during my technical difficulties (read: failure to cope).  It gives me a great deal of comfort to know that, no matter where I go, my blog neighborhood goes with me.

See you soon!




Leenie said...

Catharsis: 1. the process of releasing strong emotions through a particular activity or experience.
2. elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression.
3. Purging or evacuation of the bowels.

Ummmm...I like Barbie Shoes much better.

I've often said that we should all be forced to sort and move our stuff and clean our houses every five or six years. Even if all we do with the stuff is load it on a truck and drive the truck around the block. Helps prioritize and cleans. Also makes life much easier for our survivors.

luanne said...

Good luck & be ruthless! Lest you find yourself 6 years hence with a craft room full of boxes upon boxes of neatly labeled, long untouched Barbie shoes. (Yes I do have boxes still packed from our move in July 2006. Eek!)

But on the brighter side, the sooner you arrive & settle into your interim home, the sooner we can have some good adventures! So keep me posted & let me know if I can help.

Amelia Poll said...

I'm dreading our move in two months. Mostly because we JUST moved a year ago, and we'll only be moving somewhere temporarily when we get to AZ, so we are going to be out of place until at least January. *sigh*

I wish I could come help you with your Barbie shoes, though. You can do it! :)

susan m hinckley said...

We will be out of place until at least January too! We can be out of place in the same place! Yay!

Crazy for Art said...

Good luck Susan!
When I sort stuff, I find it feels really good when it's all said and done. I'll bet you'll find inspiration afterwards as well. Can't wait until you are making art again!

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