Embracing Nothing

Last Friday I woke up and looked at the house and thought, no. This isn’t going to work for me any more.

And I began what the husband is already calling the great purge of 2015. I pulled down all my books from the shelves in the bedroom, more than 20 file boxes worth. I kept out a handful of reference books that I expect to use in the near future. We’re posting pictures of the stuff in the shed onto Craigslist and have a strict policy that if it doesn’t sell in a reasonable amount of time, we’re just going to give it away.

I hit my closet next. I purged maybe a third of my clothes out, which is an interesting feat since I just did a purge two years ago on the closet.

I purged and organized my bathroom next.

Now I’m into the kids rooms which is an entirely different can of worms, since I don’t think it’s right to purge on their behalf. So I’m adding shelving (since I have a bunch of shelves from my room, now that the books are gone) and organizing.

Once I’m done with that, I’m basically done. I have my nightstand left to go and we have to move the bookcases and whatnot out to the shed as soon as there is room, and I want to do something about the kitchen, but the kitchen isn’t that big and most of that is pretty well organized already.

Hopefully by this time next week, I will be sitting in a room that just has the TV, sofa, chair and coffee table. That’s the goal.

Moving the bookcases and the extra desk out of my room also provides a space for potential future baby.

I see the dentist again tomorrow for the crowns on the right side. I don’t know if the impressions he took two weeks ago were the final ones. If they were, that’s the end of that side. If not, not. I’m going to try to get the other side scheduled for next week regardless.

Today is a little bit of a down day and there’s no good reason for it. But I’m doing all the right things. A benefit of all this therapy is that my grounding on coping techniques is solid. I’m eating real food with real nutrients. I’m drinking water. I took the dogs out on a walk in the actual sunlight instead of waiting for the sun to go down like the vampire I am.

It’s possible that I’m reacting to the horrible shooting in Charleston. I am constantly surprised at the level of hate and horror of which people are capable. I think what distresses me the most, though, were the people trying to spin it as not racially motivated. The shooter is doing his best to stop that theory in its tracks, but blinding yourself to the reality of our society isn’t going to help. Hatred does exist. And so does racism.

Although I admit, I was almost amused by a moment on the Fox and Friends segment about this. That woman seemed so appalled at the idea that you might need security to worship in peace. I suspect she has no Jewish friends, because that’s a regular part of our life. I’ve never even seen a synagogue where access to the educational buildings was not controlled by a minimum of an electronic keypad, where security cameras and guards are common, and if you wander over to your local synagogue on the high holidays, you’ll find that the place is crawling with police. On Yom Kippur–which was a Saturday this year–there were two policemen in front of the synagogue. Access to the building was limited to that entrance, the other doors were locked and there were synagogue members at each of those, as well, with radios tied to the police at the front. There were two policemen in the stairwells to the balcony, one on each side. Plus another inside the foyer of the synagogue itself. All day. They checked IDs and bags. This is how it is to be a Jew in America.

I think it’s noteworthy that the church in Charleston had security cameras up and running. They know it, too. I think if you’re a member of a vulnerable population, one that might reasonably expect to be targeted by bad people, you know it. And in that way, the fact that she was appalled and horrified at the idea of security guards in her church means that she’s probably not actually at risk herself.

We’re all praying for the people in South Carolina today, and the people all over the country that are vulnerable to attacks from racists. Attacks on your personal population always remind you of your own vulnerability, and I’m sure there are many African-American people who feel less safe today than they did yesterday. I still have faith, you know, despite everything. Like Anne Frank, I really do believe that people are genuinely good at heart, and I refuse to build my worldview around misery and death.

I encourage you all to reach out to someone outside your social circle today. Find someone who is different, a different race or religion or sexuality. The solution is in all of us, and our ability to understand and empathize with each other. Make a friend that will let you feel another experience.

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