life this and that writing

Ode to Stuff, or: You Have to Unstick Your Life

“You have to unstick your life before you can write.”

This piece of wisdom was passed on to me by one of my writer friends early in November, when I was whining about how I had a hard time diving into NaNoWriMo because there was so much other things I needed to do first. “Unstick your life” – that phrase has, ahem, stuck with me ever since.

And I realised that one of the major sticking points in my life is theΒ stuff. You know, the stuff all over my house, in cupboards and drawers and closets, on coat hooks and shelves, piled in corners and in the garage. The stuff that I was going to deal with right after I finished grad school. Yeah. Haha, never happened.

But I recently turned 50, and one day it dawned on me that that milestone was a really good time to unstick my life – in other words, to tackle the stuff. So far, I’ve progressed as far as the second bathroom, and as per usual, it’s all taking a lot longer than I figured. But it’s moving along, so that’s all good.

So here, for your delectation, is a brief and concise Ode to Stuff. In haiku, no less.

Ode to Stuff

Magazines, hairbrush.

Choices that have to be made.

Do you stay or go?

Life, the Universe, and an Unsticking Endeavour. We’ll see where it goes.

10 replies on “Ode to Stuff, or: You Have to Unstick Your Life”

Delightful! Great Haiku. And very true. I just dealt with “stuff” all day…cleaned out a closet and several drawers. I can’t believe the crap…yes, crap…that I hold on to!! It’s like a vortex that collects “stuff”. So, feeling your pain but adding also that it’s not going anywhere. It will be there for you when the mood strikes. Lol. The mood struck me today and you wouldn’t believe how much I got done! Feels great. Good luck with your pile of “stuff.” πŸ˜‰

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Yes, what you’re saying about “being in the mood” – I very much have to be there, too. Can’t otherwise. The pain of hanging on to the stuff has to become greater than the pain of clearing it out. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this kind of purge, not by a long shot; but somehow, like you say, stuff accumulates again…

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Ain’t that the truth! As I just said to Linda, I definitely have to be in the right mood, which is usually “thoroughly fed up with being bogged down by stuff”. I hope I can get this done while the mood holds… πŸ™‚

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Yes, creative energy is a fragile commodity, isn’t it! For me it’s definitely the canary in the mine – the first thing to go when I go downhill. But it’s also the indicator of my mental health – when my creative energy comes back, I know I’m doing well again.


[…] Project Unstick advanced to the coat closet yesterday. And in amongst the random mess of mittens, scarves, sun hats, broken umbrellas, and dozens of mismatched stretchy gloves that were crammed into the shelf above the coat rack, I found a pair of slippers I knitted a few years ago. Unfortunately, something got into the stuff and chewed holes into the slippers, so they’re kind of useless now. […]


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