Having come through the winter of way too many (extra) things to do, and knowing now that we are going to live here for a long, long time, it seems apropos to spend the weekend getting our long-neglected house in order. I promised the Little One that we would begin with her room. I find it hilarious that she jumps up and down with excitement when I tell her that we can clean her room together. I really should videotape it for posterity, because I am certain that when she is a teenager she will not believe me when I tell her that she used to get excited about cleaning her room with me.
With the addition of all of her new things from last Christmas, her recent birthday, and Easter, there is a TON of new sh*t in that room. I've culled as much as I can, but this practice has become dangerous now that she's old enough to have a very accurate mental inventory of each and every item. I'm constantly surprised by her ability to suddenly remember (and want to find) the most insignificant (to me anyway) piece of plastic crap that was a kid's meal toy like, oh, two years ago!
We try not to spoil her, and to talk about being grateful for what we have rather than focusing on what we want, but the grandparents really go to town for each and every holiday and we certainly do our share of buying. We love to delight her. But the stuff, it's beginning to take over our house.
As for our own grownup collections of stuff, I've been working steadily over the past two years to identify items we don't really use, need, or love, and have given away many boxes and bags full of things. And if we don't end up having another baby I'll have much more to donate (and we'll have a lot more space in our garage). This summer I'll finally tackle the closet in our home office/guest room when I get to move all of my books and papers into my "real" office at work (squee!!!). I've been waiting for this opportunity for years now, so I'm incredibly excited. When you take a faculty position at a university the idea is that you'll be there for your entire career (as long as you make tenure at the end of the 6th year), so you get to settle in more than anyone would in an office in a corporation these days. I'm ridiculously excited about it.
So we'll finally get things as settled as possible here (though we hope to move into a different neighborhood closer to the university in the next year or two, so we're not in our permanent home just yet). It feels really good. And I'm amazed by how much space I have within my mind now, with all of that uncertainly finally gone. We wondered and worried for three years, and at last we can just live our lives without all of that anxiety. Which of course makes me worry! I'm so used to the anxiety that it's hard to just relax into the security. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something to happen to mess it all up again and throw us back into the constant stress. But really, truly, it's all good, and we're so grateful.