Dig complete

I carried on digging all weekend, and today I’m finally done… for this year anyway!

The hoard of stuff in the study and dressing room has all gone. Some of it went out / into recycling, some of it found a tidier home elsewhere in the house, and some of it got boxed up and put in the garage ready to be sorted out at a later date. I’m so much happier now I have those two upstairs rooms back (as well as more space in the bedroom, as I de-hoarded in there as well). I’ve given the now-tidy upstairs a good hoover and put some Christmas decorations up, but the whole place could also do with a good deep clean in the near future. Still, I’m really happy that this particular part of the project is done!

I also got an outdoor run done this morning for the first time in a few days. I’d been sticking to the treadmill over the weekend because I really didn’t feel like going out in the cold, but this morning I wrapped up a bit warmer and braved the roads again. I felt a lot better for some fresh air! We also had a good walk around the supermarket this afternoon and got some Christmas shopping done.

Other than a slight bit of tidying in the living room, I’ll be taking a long-deserved break from the house project tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting on with my new Adventuron game instead!

Tidy study
It was also nice to get my upstairs tree decorated. This one looks really nice from the street!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tinie Tempah and Labrinth – ‘Pass Out’
Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin – ‘I Like It’

All dug through!

Another treadmill mile (treadmile?) this morning, and then another day of de-hoarding. I’ve very nearly sorted through all the stuff upstairs now – I just need to sort out my magazine collection (I have eight Ikea Kallax boxes I can fill and that’s the limit – I’m going to need to cull some of them) and my dressing table, and then I can start moving the storage boxes into the garage. There are a few areas downstairs I need to sort through as well, but they can wait.

Hopefully by the time I update again on Monday I will have everything finished!

Hard Rock Café collection
I was quite surprised that my Hard Rock Café collection fitted neatly into one box, given that I’ve been collecting since 1998.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Vertigo (Do The Demolition)’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’

I keep digging!

After a mile and a bit inside on the treadmill this morning, and a bit of day job work, I returned to the de-hoarding project for the rest of the day. It’s a tough job as there are boxes I’ve literally not looked inside for twenty-five years, and thousands of things that need organising, even with the amount of stuff I’m getting rid of.

I feel like I’ll be able to get everything finished tomorrow, but then I also felt that yesterday, so we’ll have to see! I’m sure it’ll all be done by the end of the weekend though.

Christmas greenery
I never know where to put this awkward bit of Christmas greenery but it looks quite nice on the hearth this year.

Today’s earworm playlist:

will.i.am – ‘Bang Bang’
Katy Perry and Kanye West – ‘ET’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Timbaland and Katy Perry – ‘If We Ever Meet Again’
Alannah Myles – ‘Black Velvet’

Touching distance

Following my usual mile run in the morning, I did another full afternoon of de-hoarding. I’ll be doing the same tomorrow and can see light at the end of the tunnel now. I’m hoping that I can get the project finished tomorrow, but if not, it should be done by Friday at least. I’m really looking forward to the end result.

A bit too tired to do anything else, so I’ll just be reading tonight I think!

Boxes of stuff
Just a few of the boxes that will be going in the garage ready for the next stage.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Steps – ‘One For Sorrow’
Steve Winwood – ‘Valerie’
will.i.am – ‘Bang Bang’

There must be some cross-training going on here!

With NaNo done and a couple of days to go before I plan to start working on my Adventuron jam game in earnest, I’ve been working hard all day on de-hoarding my upstairs rooms. De-hoarding is a really difficult process for me because I’m so over-attached to stuff. Nevertheless, a lot of the stuff upstairs has been doing nothing but hanging around making me depressed, so it needs to go (or at least go into a box and sit in the garage for a year or two in order to convince me that I really don’t need it).

I’m really looking forward to having some floor space upstairs. A few more days of blitzing and hopefully it should all be done.

De-hoarding is a bit more physical than sitting on the sofa writing so I’m finding I’m quite tired in the evenings. It’s certainly a more strenuous form of secondary exercise than a yoga video!

Same again tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll feel like I’ve made a bit more progress.

Christmas star
I’ve used these star lights on the shelves downstairs for a few years now. I love sparkly lights at Christmas.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
Duran Duran – ‘The Edge Of America’

Gradually sorting the house out

The usual mile today…

…which is getting a bit samey on the vlog, so I’ve decided to move forward with something I was going to do at the start of January 2021: move my running vlog to weekly rather than daily. This will enable me to do a more interesting roundup rather than saying the same things every day! First ‘weekly’ vlog will appear on Sunday.

I’m still getting on with my house decluttering project. I’m not managing to get rid of an awful lot of stuff because due to dumps and charity shops not currently being open, I’ve got nowhere to take it. However, I am managing to organise the hoard into a more workable mass, will have a more usable house once I’m done, and will be able to work on the de-hoarding again in my own time after Christmas.

Looking forward to getting more of this done over the weekend! I’ll update again on Monday.

Star Wars Holiday Special
This evening’s pre-Christmas viewing: the original Star Wars Holiday Special. We watched the new Lego one too!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Traditional – ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’
Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’

Never enough projects!

Just a mile this morning…

…as I had a busy day ahead. Run went well though as I’m feeling a bit less fatigued!

I spent most of the afternoon writing and doing day job work, but I’m also trying to spend 30 minutes a day working on the house at the moment. Housework and de-hoarding have taken a real back seat this year (mainly because we haven’t had many visitors, who are usually my main motivation for trying to get the house to look nice!), and I’ve tried various strategies, but none of them have really stuck. One of the ones that didn’t work for me did have a maxim that has stayed in my mind, however: why is it that only visitors deserve to see your house at its best? Keeping on top of the house is really hard for me because there are so many other things that take priority. But I’d like to be more comfortable in my home (especially as I spend 99% of my time in it these days!), and so I’m starting again with yet another online method, despite the many other projects I’m juggling at the present time.

I’ve had a few days off videogaming as there are too many other things going on at the moment. I’m going to carve out some time for it tomorrow evening, though, as it’s absolutely the most relaxing thing I can do for myself.

Christmas loungewear
One more pair of Christmas trousers from the weekend! These are loungewear rather than leggings and they are the comfiest.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Judy Garland – ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’
Panjabi MC – ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’
Ludwig Göransson – ‘The Mandalorian [Main Theme]’
Duran Duran – ‘Friends Of Mine’

Sailing through

Just a mile this morning…

…as it was a rest day on my plan. After three days in a row of slightly longer runs it really did feel like a rest day too! Longer runs again over the next two days.

I’m excited about the weekend as I’m going to be wearing and taking pictures of all the old clothes I’m selling. Geth is helping me with the photography process so I think we’ll both need to try and avoid the ‘ohhh… this one looks nice, maybe I/you should keep it’ justifications. All these clothes have been sitting ignored in the garage for two years for a reason!

I’ll post running vlogs over the weekend as usual, and will be back with a full update on Monday.

Chocolate apple
Should have waited till early November maybe… but I couldn’t resist these chocolate apples when I saw them in the supermarket. I’ll see if I can get some more the week of Bonfire Night 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Mark Knopfler – ‘Local Hero’
Carl Orff – ‘Gassenhauer’
Queen – ‘One Vision’
The Carpenters – ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’
Middle Of The Road – ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’
They Might Be Giants – ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople)’

Back to a bit of house sorting

Three miles today…

…which was a nice distance for midweek. I’m enjoying having a proper running structure again. It stayed dry this morning as well!

I’m doing a bit of household-stuff-sorting again. I’ve decided to try and sell most of my old clothes that I don’t wear anymore online, in order to try and make a bit of cash for more leggings and clear some space in the house for more leggings. The first lot to be sold are the clothes that are still in good condition but don’t fit me anymore since I lost weight, and that have been sitting around in the garage for the last two years. I’ll be spending part of the weekend photographing them and putting up the listings. I also have quite a lot of clothes in my drawers and wardrobes that will probably go the same way, because I’m just not wearing them anymore – this pandemic-stricken year has been all about finding the most comfortable and cheerful clothes possible, and so stuff that’s a bit more fussy in terms of fastenings has fallen by the wayside. I’ll keep the quality timeless items as I know I’ll want smarter clothes again one day, but I really do need to start decluttering again as I’d quite like there to be a time when I’m no longer depressed by the untidy mounds of stuff in my house.

Any clothes that I can’t sell, I’ll donate. They all need to be out of the house in the next few months.

A last-minute bit of day job work came in today, so I’ll be finishing that tomorrow, and hopefully starting to get the Hallowe’en decorations up 🙂

London Marathon medal
One thing I’ll never sell is the London Marathon medal that arrived earlier this week!

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Running Channel – ‘Run With Me’
Journey – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’

Filling the space

I did another 10k this morning…

…and managed a similar pace to Saturday, which I was very pleased about! I feel as though my daily training since the start of the year has sped me up in what seems to be a permanent way. I’ll just keep plugging away and see what happens.

I have most definitely filled up the routine extra time afforded by the lockdown now, to the extent that I’m not sure how I’m going to go back to regular life when this is all over. I’ve written before about how it’s going to be a slow process out of lockdown for me – I won’t just be jumping back into a routine of multiple classes and groups and meetups per week, because I think I would find that overwhelming. But the thing is that I’m not sure I ever want to go back to that busy routine. All of the individual things were meant to be fun, but taken together, they made life a bit stressful. As such, I think there are things to which I won’t be returning – things I’m going to have to learn to let go of. I don’t know which things yet. The only thing I know I will definitely be going back to post-lockdown is parkrun – it’s free of charge, it’s helpful for my running improvement, and I love it to death.

In short, my big takeaway from this year is that there’s no point spending time and money on things that cause me stress, just because I feel that it’s something I SHOULD do. As such, I’ve stopped buying all the magazines I’m not getting round to reading, including breaking my decade-plus streak of buying Doctor Who Magazine (that was a wrench… but I’ve just not had time for Who fandom for a good two or three years. I haven’t even watched the most recent series yet, which would have been unthinkable when I was in my twenties). I no longer attend every vintage fair in Newcastle just because it’s on (this is something I discussed in my personal style post the other day). I stopped going to Pilates and dance classes last year – I enjoy those things, but they’re just not a priority for me any more.

Learning to let go is something I’ve always found difficult, and something I discussed a lot in my counselling sessions earlier this year. I am a consummate hoarder, not just of physical possessions but also of memories and identities and personal connections.

(If somebody de-friends me on Facebook, I hold a grudge like you would not believe – because why would we want to lose each other from our collection of contacts? Collections are to be grown, not ‘culled’! We may not have anything in common now, but we did once, and why would you want to move on from that? Why would you want to let go?)

My identity as a Doctor Who fan is one of those things I’m struggling to let go of, hence why I am trying not to think about having broken my magazine-buying streak. My identity as a goth is another. I became goth in my teens, made all my university friends and met my future husband in the goth and rock society, spent my twenties in various states of consciousness at goth clubs and gigs and festivals, and then… I last went to a scene event in August 2018. I only still wear my old goth band t-shirts and hoodies because they’re comfortable. It’s been years since I last listened to the music – I prefer ’80s pop and soundtracks and synthwave now. I got sober, and so I don’t really like spending time in pubs and clubs anymore, and I think it’ll be some time before I can brave a festival again.

‘You do still wear a lot of black, though,’ my counsellor said when I mentioned this to her. I suppose I do – some habits are hard to break, and it’s a practical colour. It’s just… I just don’t feel drawn to that particular aesthetic anymore, and while I’ve still got a lot of friends in the scene, I don’t see myself wanting to go back to the events, and I don’t think I can really call myself ‘goth’ these days, and I’m not sure I want to.

Accepting that fact requires a big shift in thinking, though. Just like accepting that these days I’m a casual Doctor Who viewer at best, and accepting that there are some old acquaintances I’m never going to see or speak to again (and that I probably won’t miss them), and accepting that I really need to chuck out those manky old Ikea cushions I’ve been hanging onto since 2002.

I’ve never yet been capable of making that big shift in thinking. But it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that it’s a necessary process.

I’m videogaming again tonight. In recent months I’ve occasionally felt a bit sheepish about mentioning that every day – like it’s a bit sad to be spending all my time videogaming, even if lockdown does provide me with the perfect excuse. But it’s what makes me happy at the moment, and that’s all that matters.

Newcastle Town Moor
I ran on the Town Moor today for the first time since the final pre-lockdown parkrun. It felt strange, even though I’ve often done solo runs there before. While I was enjoying parkrun touristing in the months before coronavirus happened, I think that I will be back at my home parkrun on the Moor when it’s time for the great parkrun return.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Where It All Began’
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Stay Out’