This Labor Day Weekend, I Only Have Two Goals:

Declutter and stockpile.

Take stock of what I have so I know what I need to buy to balance it out, so I can get it off my mind.

Because I can’t get it off my mind.

All month, all week, all day. Take stock, take stock. Stock pile. Make a list. Count it up. Count it twice. See what you need, et it from Amazon, Walmart, Target. Ebay, even

It really got to me. 2020. The lockdown. It wasn’t the masks; it was the empty shelves at Walmart. Shelves empty of toilet tissue, then paper towels. That’s when I knew it was serious. I never cared if they ran out of toilet tissue. I was worried they would run out of food. The absolute absence of paper products meant that people – Walmart shoppers – were starting to think about the coronavirus. Some of these people were taking it seriously enough to wipe out the toilet tissue and paper towel sections.

Then hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray. It was only a matter of time before they came for the food.

And I didn’t think I had enough food.

Which hasn’t happened in my adult life not since I was a kid. We never went hungry. Never. But, there were times – more than five – that all my mother had to set on the table was boiled potatoes and greens beans seasoned with salt and pepper. Potatoes and green beans. That happened.

Empty shelves. Empty refrigerator and freezer.

All of a sudden,  I am in my fifties, surveying my stocked kitchen cabinets, wondering if I have enough, not for the pandemic or the lockdown. Do I have enough if Walmart and Costco don’t have what I want or need?

Basmati rice: two twenty-pound bags. Then instant rice. It was there. I could eat the instant rice first and save the basmati for later. Instant gravy. Gotta spice up that rice and instant potatoes with something. Soup from the dollar store. Campbell’s tomato soup and chicken noodle soup. Add a can of water, more soup; stretch it out and get more that way. Beans. I couldn’t buy enough beans. Can’t eat them, now.

Cooler for the rice, desiccant to keep the moisture off.

Declutter, take stock, and stockpile. Give into it L.et it take over me or live to regret it.

I am sitting here obsessing over how much stuff I have exactly so I can what? Buy more stuff until I feel like I have enough stuff so that I can obsess so that I can what feel better? Or in the hopes that I will stop obsessing once I feel I have enough stuff, so that I can begin to feel better

And calm down and start to get over it or past the shock of those empty shelves at Walmart? Or past the shock of 2020? I thought I was over it.

No, I knew I wasn’t over it. 42 rolls of paper towel. 128 rolls of toilet tissue. 15 bottles of shampoo (I buy them at the dollar store, can barely resist them).

When I am done, maybe I can see where I am, and what I need to get to be fully prepared.

I go to Walmart, I buy toilet tissue and paper towel, just to have them. I check the paper towel and toilet tissue aisle, just to gauge the health of the store, the economy and the American public.

P.S.  So, I decluttered this weekend. I mean I really decluttered this weekend. Put on some work clothes (really just old exercise clothes) and some headphones and jumped into it – with more energy than I have had for that task in years.

And I haven’t been sleeping well. Turned on my electric kettle last night, to make some tea, sat down in my mesh desk chair while it heated up, because I was too tired to stand in the kitchen – and woke up this morning a little after 2:30 AM, still in my desk chair, slumped over and cramped.

But I had the energy to throw out all kinds of stuff and rearrange, and count and stack and organize and look forward to next weekend, when I hope to do I again.

I don’t know what happened to me. But I got it done this weekend and I feel good.

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