My House, My Diary

It has suddenly become clear, after years of worry and shame, what has happened to my house. My house with all its nooks and crannies stuffed full of….well, stuff, is my diary.

Yes, you read correctly, my house is in fact my diary. Catalogued by importance and age, piles of little insignificant things litter every walkway through the narrow rooms. Insignificant to others and me, until I touch them and feel them and then, they are a page in my book. I look and feel and read and I am, in that moment, back in the place and time where I obtained this item, this scrap of newspaper, this pile of confetti.

The colours, smells, feelings, memories, all tied up in my things. Wanting to shed yet being hampered every step of the way by emotion which has been tied in to all of it.

Out of sight is out of mind, yes thank heavens, it is. The obstacle I face though is that when too many memories are tucked away out of sight, they need to be cleaned out sometimes.

And then it happens, with even the greatest resolve, I remember!

As soon as I touch the pile of stuff I want to clean up, I start to remember everything that comes with it. When I look at that dried up tube of paint, I remember the day I used it to add a special colour to the kids bedroom wall “Oh, it had a partner, where is it now?”

I have their first hand prints, or is it the second one, or fourth? Who knows, I messed up when I went to date the drawing. Something happened and three weeks later I didn’t remember. But what if the date comes to me and it was the first one?

And all of the sudden, the shedding turns into sorting and cataloguing and “keeping for later” and there I sit, tied up in the past, crippling my next move of actually removing it from the house, from my memory, from my diary.

“Cleaning” my house and taking out the “clutter” is comparable to somebody sitting on their bed and methodically reading their diaries from many years ago and tearing out one page after another. Sure it was a great day but who needs to read about it in the future? Well, maybe you do when you are old and worn and memories are all you have left.

Do not get me wrong, I can get rid of stuff. In fact, I have cleaned up successfully many times in the past. I do not keep food items or wrappers that are stained I also don’t keep piles of newspapers and old glass bottles. I have no rats and mice feeding on old pizza boxes and bags of kitchen waste that has never gone out. My diary is not what you see on Oprah.

 I keep little quotes torn out of papers or magazines with the intention of using them one day, if only I could put them together in a book….oh well, it’ll keep. I keep craft materials and fabrics, I love to make and sew. I love the feeling of materials.

I have toys that are so tied in to my being, I can’t bear to see my own children “ruining” them. How awful, the worst death for a toy is not being played with, yet here I am, horrified by the thought. Yet I am also repulsed by that same thought, how can I deny my children the joy from a toy that had brought me so much too? “But they don’t appreciate it as much as I did”, I cannot control the emotion which courses through me when I want to part with it.

I am now in the process of moving. Having to pack is almost unbearable. I want to shed so many things yet here I am, hiding online bearing my soul to you. This is my first step into seeing myself from the outside, having the strength to admit this, is giving me the strength and resolve to “get on with it”.  I can only pray my children will not turn into diary keepers too.

With Love & Support,

Tarja Kelly

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5 Responses to “My House, My Diary”


  1. 1 Lisa Foster 20/09/2010 at 10:33 am

    Tarja, we have all been there. It’s so hard to remember every detail but so glorious when things have been recorded and we can be there again in our minds, but then should we live in the past? No, but it is sweet when a smell, a sound, a feeling is triggering an exact moment in time. People say it is liberating to be totally in the present moment and not have so much stuff. It’s hard to know where to find a balance. Good luck with your move – we will be here every step of the way

    • 2 tarjakelly 20/09/2010 at 10:53 am

      Thank you so much Lisa, Yes I want to feel liberated and I am on the tennuous precipe of balance. Thank you for your unwavering support, I really appreciate you for it ❤

  2. 3 Renee 20/09/2010 at 12:39 pm

    These sound like the words of a hoarder Tarja! :o)

    • 4 tarjakelly 20/09/2010 at 1:49 pm

      😀 call it what you may, it is still equally painful for any of us to deal with and work through. Like I wrote, it is akin to pulling pages out of a book that you are scared you’ll never remember again.

  3. 5 Barb Smalley 04/11/2010 at 9:31 pm

    Tarja, u know I luv ya, luv ur blog, and I am sending HUGE virtual HUGS to you. What a good Mum u r!


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