I was welcomed to the first day of spring this morning by a male American Robin singing his heart out. Earlier, I had heard a few robins in the neighbourhood tuning up, but this was the first one who seemed committed to continuous singing as soon as the sun came up. Two weekends ago, we had the dreaded change to Daylight Savings Time—my morning sunrise-admiration from the bus stop was abruptly interrupted, returning me to moon-watching for a couple more weeks. [I swear that my body always remains on Mountain Standard Time despite the fact that I drag myself out of bed an hour earlier and I am always relieved when we change back in the fall].
That said, I have been getting a head start on some spring activities, specifically spring cleaning. Recycling is a bit of a chore when you live in a condo in Calgary—house owners are supplied with their own private bins to be filled and set out for collection. Condo owners and apartment dwellers [or like me, owners of apartments converted into condos] must bundle our materials for recycling and transport them to community depots. It’s not like this is a great trial, but it is an inconvenience. My suite is small enough that any collection of materials soon starts to make its presence felt. Two weekends ago, I packed two weeks worth of regular recycling and 3 large bags of items to go to the bottle depot for refund. This has made a tremendous difference in my storage closet and the returns to the depot netted me $20. Like a reward for being a good citizen.
Last week I decided to deal with the enormous pile of paper that required shredding before it could be recycled. The shredder overheated about half way through the task, convincing me to take a break. When finally finished, I had compactly filled one clear trash bag—it will be recycled this week along with my regular load. The scary thing is that I am well on the way to creating another enormous stack of paper that requires the same treatment—I certainly have not mastered a paper-less lifestyle.
This week, I was inspired to weed clothes. It’s been getting crowded in my closet and, like most people, I wear my comfy favourites and work around items that I wear infrequently. Well, someone else could be using those items and it’s selfish of me to hoard them without using them. As an accompaniment to doing laundry this past weekend, I began sorting out the seldom-worn and unloved items. Two large bags have been filled as a result and I have started on a third. This had a side benefit—I have sorted out most of the clothing that I will take to Texas with me in late April. [I’m hoping to pack only a carry-on bag and to defeat the baggage charges on American Airlines—wish me luck].
When I return from Texas, CBC radio will be collecting books for their Calgary Reads book sale. It helps me to get serious about sorting when I have an externally-imposed deadline, so I have already marked a day on my calendar when I intend to take boxes of books to donate. Tonight begins the weeding process—always much more difficult for me than parting with clothing. I will do the first sweep this evening, boxing the obvious give-aways and I will make time for a second consideration before I leave on vacation. The goal is to reduce my book inventory until it fits on the shelving that I have available [which is currently overflowing]. I know I’ll be too busy when I get home to do anything but deliver boxes to the appropriate address, so the intellectual effort must happen now.
Finally I think it’s time for my old television set and VCR to rest in peace at an electronics recycling centre. I haven’t watched TV for five months and I rarely feel a twinge about that, so the heavy old TV can quit taking up space in my household [it’s been languishing in a corner of my bedroom and I’ll be happier when it isn’t staring at me every evening as I retire to bed]. The ice sheet in the condo parking lot has receded enough that I think I can get the old clunker staggered out to the car without slipping and breaking a hip. [The melting of our parking lot glacier is a sure sign of spring for me].
I can’t say that I’m a devotee of Feng Shui, but I never mind clearing out old stuff to make room for new chi. 2012 promises to be a year of big changes, so let the new opportunities flow!