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Face Your Fears

Sunday, January 19, 2014   by: Mac Headrick

 Today’s column is not about politics, or weather, not even sports. It is about a personal journey that I have undertaken recently. Please be aware this editorial may frighten those readers faced with the same daunting task that I have chosen to peruse at this time. Why do this thing now? Many times over the last week I have asked myself this same question. I suppose I could have ignored it, I have for years. The bottom line is at some point a man has to face his fears. Last week I decided it was now or never. So my journey began. 

I started to clean the basement. The inspiration was born from a very simple (so I thought) task. I started to put away the Christmas decorations. Of course this entailed moving things around. There was a box in the way that I hadn’t noticed it in the past. I opened it up and discovered a Christmas village. I had forgotten about it, a decoration from the past. For some reason the amount of stuff around me in the storage room bothered me. For years I had shuffled boxes, containers etc around to make room. 

The late George Carlin in one of his brilliant routines once did a bit on the industry of storage containers. People keep buying these things to store their stuff. I looked around the basement realizing there are storage containers everywhere. In a panic I realized the basement wasn’t Linda’s, or mine. It belongs to vast accumulation of stuff. I had experienced these feelings in the past. I would confront my fears by quickly running upstairs. In spite of two dogs, three cats and myself, Linda manages to maintain a sense of order on the main floor. 

This time instead of flight I started to look around. Now it should be noted when God created the world he/she wanted variety. The number one priority was order. This didn’t mean that a higher power doesn’t have a sense of humour. To make things interesting God also created human beings where order was replaced with disorganization. In Webster’s dictionary under the word “disorder” should be my picture. Fortunately to cope in life I have developed a talent that on occasion helps me deal with difficult situations. I never know when this ability will surface. When faced with a daunting task, especially if all hope is lost, a sense of calm will come over me. This time I looked around the basement. In less than a minute I had a plan. In my mind I created five areas: donations to charity; garbage; Katie (daughter) stuff; things to trade/sell and useful things to keep. 

I am still in the process of cleaning the garage from last spring. It seems to me anytime you start a project of decluttering things get worse before they get better. I am not ashamed to admit that on several occasions I have had to walk away and retreat upstairs. I should expand upon one of the areas, “Katie’s stuff”. In reality there is very little of my daughter’s possessions. I mention this because in conversations with other people the theme of immense volumes of their children’s stuff left behind is constant. Don’t tell Katie I’m going to try to give her some stuff. She won’t read this column till after the act is successfully (hopefully) done. 

Somewhere I read that large jobs of decluttering should be done in 15 – 20 minute time allotments. That is the approached I have taken with good success. Being retired allows me the luxury of an early morning; mid-afternoon and after supper schedule. This situation is unusual but I have actually taken the lead in this task. Of course this has left me with less time to cook and clean which I love. (This is my story and I’m sticking to it.) Linda has been a great help. When I reach an impasse I will call on her. There is truth in the statement that often all you need is a different set of eyes. 

Though organizing the basement is a job it is not without its positive and poignant moments. Why do I have a 1999 Bawating year book? I got it because I’d helped coach

the senior basketball team that year. Speaking of high school yearbooks… I still have mine from Sault Collegiate… the school on the hill. Why did I keep an old Stanley thermos, a relic from my garage sailing days? I found a sports hat and plaque from my induction into the Northern Football Hall of Fame in the year 2000. That was a nice event. There is a life lesson here. To anyone who plays sports... you can take some very modest athletic ability and if you tell people often enough how good you were, well some day they’ll actually believe it. 

I suppose the Christmas paper and cards I purchased many years ago were a good deal. I wonder why I needed two dozen different remotes for stuff I either do not own or haven’t used in decades. There are a few how to books on gardening. There are no cook books as anything to do with eating is not stored away. I also found empty boxes and storage containers. I do not know but I must have anticipated needing more containers to store things. 

Anyway, I am in the home stretch. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I am not working on this project this afternoon for religious reasons (NFL football playoffs). By this Tuesday phase one of the basement cleanup projects will be complete. I didn’t mention the other storage room did I? 

As I see it there will always be daunting tasks to face us on an ongoing basis…the trick is to get with it and “get er” done!!   

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Oldie Goldie 1/19/2014 1:03:08 PM Report

Mac: If and when you come to throwing things out my philosophy is---If you have not used it in the last year then you don't really need it.

It worked for me when I sold my house a few years ago.

Some things are hard to part with but if you ever hand over the task to a Son or Daughter or Grandchild they will clear it away for you and fast too.
Just Curious 1/19/2014 4:12:16 PM Report

Mac, regarding your remote control issue, I have a friend that also has an extremely packed basement but she knows exactly where everything is, right down to nails and nuts and bolts. She has one large drawer in a storage cupboard which contains the remote controls for every electrical appliance she has ever owned, I'm sure. I asked her once why she kept them when getting rid of the appliance and she said"well, they might work on something else". Didn't faze her that all new stuff comes with a remote...LOL.
scooter369 1/19/2014 4:26:45 PM Report

Thanks Mac I will get my wife to read this so she will know that I am not the only man who can't keep his space clean!!!
soowat 1/19/2014 4:31:27 PM Report

A relative often stated that there should be a law requiring one to move at least every five years. This was advocated by a person in his 70's who died in the same house in which he was born.Now there was a man who knew clutter

The other thought that comes to mind is now that you are retired you can't make the excuse that you don't have time because you have to go to work
right wing 1/21/2014 9:47:41 AM Report

Oldie Goldie

Sold your house?
So I assume you live in an apartment complex or something similar.
right wing 1/22/2014 4:11:23 PM Report

Geez...gotta be the first time ever that Oldie did not reply back to me in a nano second.
Hmmmmmmm, I wonder why.
mac headrick 1/22/2014 6:17:32 PM Report

right wing the NDP will sweep to a majority in the next federal election.

P.S. I actually do not believe this but felt bad you had been ignored - therefore in the spirit of taking care of my readers I posted the above. Take care.
right wing 1/22/2014 8:18:00 PM Report

Well thank you Mac...and we are all entitled to our dreams.

I was actually baiting Oldie for a reason and I am not expecting a response on my question and I believe he knows why...
We shall see.
right wing 1/23/2014 9:56:53 AM Report

Oldie....come on, answer the question....

You sold your house as you stated and you now live in a complex don't you.....
Oldie Goldie 1/25/2014 5:57:02 PM Report

Right Wing---Yes I sold my house 5 years ago because I was not physically capable of doing all the chores that needed to be done.

As for where I live now---That is none of your business. The same as I would never ask where you live because that is your business and not mine.
Retreaded 1/26/2014 8:54:56 AM Report

YOU told him oldie. I would also ask him,,,Why would you want to know something so personal when I have never even met you ??? lol
soowat 1/26/2014 10:02:54 AM Report


At first "flush" it seems that R.W. needs to find plumbing jobs somewhere so he can "solder on." and keep the drips from being too annoying. BTW don't argue with him over price as he's liable to "Plug" you.

I'm going for treatment now
right wing 1/27/2014 8:06:45 AM Report

Oldie Goldie

I did not ask for your personal address.
Just if you were living in an apartment type of complex.
You were on here doing a pile of bitching about how you would not be able to access your mail due to Canada Post not having door to door delivery.
Then I believe you slipped up on here by stating that you had sold your house.
Nothing wrong with opposing the home delivery decision but it would appear you were supporting it with false claims.
Oldie Goldie 1/27/2014 9:07:35 AM Report

Right Wing--I get my mail delivered to my door by a Canada Post Mail Person as of now.

You, Sir, with all due respect, are much too nosy about other people and not just me.
Oldie Goldie 1/27/2014 9:08:59 AM Report

Right Wing--I get my mail delivered to my door by a Canada Post Mail Person as of now.

You, Sir, with all due respect, are much too nosy about other people and not just me.
right wing 1/27/2014 7:45:28 PM Report

Hahahaha....I don't think so.
You let the cat out of the bag so to speak.
If you like I will go into the archives and retrieve your posts that insuated that you lived in a house and that not having Canada Post hand deliver your mail would be such a hardship.
Then you post that you sold your house.
You should change your moniker to Pinocchio Nose.....
right wing 1/27/2014 7:46:46 PM Report

...and Oldie, just because you post it twice will not make it true.
I'm just much to that is hilarious, nice try...but you got caught.
Oldie Goldie 1/27/2014 11:51:12 PM Report

Right Wing---You may be able to read but it is also clear that you are incapable of understanding what you read.

I clearly said that a Canada Post Mail Person delivers my Mail to my door.

I never said that it was to my house.

If they are not going to deliver mail door to door anymore it is clear that I will have to get my mail from a Community Box.

What part of what I said don't you understand.

You only understand what fits your persona and I don't fit that part.

I can't dumb it down to your level, obviously.
Oldie Goldie 1/28/2014 9:01:03 AM Report

Your insinuations are wrong--R.W. You are always dealing with insinuations---Go ahead--Look up the Archives and show me where I said that I lived in a home !
right wing 1/29/2014 9:18:46 AM Report


Will do ya big fibber.....
Oldie Goldie 1/29/2014 12:17:08 PM Report

Good Luck---You only said that I insinuated that I lived in a house.

As I said, twice now, My mail is delivered directly to my door where I live. You can't seem to comprehend what I said because you can't believe what I say---You can only assume that I am Lying.
Oldie Goldie 1/29/2014 12:23:53 PM Report

Good Luck---You only said that I insinuated that I lived in a house.

As I said, twice now, My mail is delivered directly to my door where I live. You can't seem to comprehend what I said because you can't believe what I say---You can only assume that I am Lying.
Oldie Goldie 1/30/2014 6:34:02 AM Report

R.W. Apparently you are having trouble finding any posting from me that said I lived in my own house.

You will find that I said many seniors would have difficulty getting to a Community Post Office Box, myself included.

Even though I now get my mail at my door
there is no guarantee that this will continue and I may have to go to a Community Box.

I also said that my wife would be unable to get to a Community Box because she uses a Walker.

You only thought that I said what suits your persona---typical R.W. Style.

Good luck finding what you think I posted.
right wing 1/30/2014 11:01:07 AM Report

Oldie Goldie

Yes I will give that you did not directly say that you lived in a "house" but your stating that you get personal door delivery and that you would have trouble getting to a multi-box certainly easily led one to believe that you did live in a house.
I don't want you to get your knickers in a knot but if you don't live in a house it sure makes one curious what type of set up other than a house has personal to the door delivery.
I know some of the older apartment complexes have door delivery but they will easily be modified (if they have not already) to lobby boxes.
Most if not all of the "gated" condo type communities already have multi-boxes and all of the seniors complexes have lobby boxes.
Not sure if all of the geared to income row housing has multi-boxes but I believe they do. short you can play whatever games you want about it but the bottom line is the door to door delivery is unnecessary and will be a thing of the past.
...and just so you know Goldie, I had nine relatives that worked in the post office, three of them are still doing a walk.
They have been talking about how the door to door would be stopped for oh I'd say about ten years now.
Oldie Goldie 1/30/2014 1:00:45 PM Report

R.W. It only led you to believe that I lived in a house because that is the way you wanted it to be so you could call me a fibber.

You have a bad habit of reading things the way that suits you and you do it with other posters comments too.

By the way--You do not know how mail is delivered to many places.

Some Mail people even check the door if mail is left for several days---perhaps they are sick or injured.

I, too, have 1 son who delivers Mail but he is 2 years from his Retirement.

He thinks that Canada Post is out to break the Postal Workers Union and they don't care who gets hurt.

I believe that he has a good take on Canada Post's real motives.

Hiring Contractors---Buying or renting spaces for the Boxes and getting them installed and built will cost a lot of time and money. Money they say they don't have.

The mail is a " Necessity " according to Harper who legislated the last Canada Post Lockout and hiring lower paid Contractors is a Union Breaking tactic.

Many Seniors are going to get hurt trying to get to their Community boxes and I don't think that Canada Post will bear the responsibility for that.

Canada Post will create a lot of trouble with their workers because inside workers will not be replaced and outside workers can bump for those jobs.

Canada Post said they lost money last year because of the Lockout---after 17 straight years of turning over a profit for the Canadian Government---How far in the hole will they go when the next Strike and/or lockout occurs and it will be soon.

Canada Post has grossly underfunded their negotiated Pension Plans---who will pick the deficit which has to be paid ? The Canadian Taxpayers that's who.

Canada Post has severely mismanaged their business and Postal Workers---who delivered the mail under all conditions---should not bear the responsibility for that mismanagement.

And the Customers should not be subjected to much higher Stamp prices and poorer Service with Community Boxes.

Now---R.W.---Lets see you tackle this posting !
right wing 1/31/2014 8:57:36 AM Report


Tackle....small word when dealing with you.
I forgot and trust me it shall not happen again.
You are right about all that takes place in your world reality.
Oldie Goldie 1/31/2014 1:30:13 PM Report

R.W.---If you think you are right with the last sentence in your last post then I must have stolen a page from your book.
You have always maintained that your opinion was always right.
mvnnth 1/31/2014 2:17:17 PM Report

Oldie Goldie
You gotta love it. This poster libels you and you would at least expect to receive an apology but then, instead, insults you. LOL
Oldie Goldie 1/31/2014 4:32:30 PM Report

mvnnth---That Poster is no surprise to me. The insults come when he can't think of an appropriate answer.

I proved him wrong so he can only throw insults back.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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