December 6, 2021
The email came November 11, an announcement that The Woolfer, a newsletter for women over 40 that I had been receiving for a long time, was merging its entire platform with Revel, a similar community of women.
Truth to tell, I hadn’t used The Woolfer very much, saw the newsletters drop in my Gmail, deleted them without reading them, didn’t even know there was a larger community. Another truth? I’d forgotten more than once what “Woolfer” meant. The name honors Virginia Woolf, the brilliant English icon of feminism and literature, who died in 1941 before she was 60. I must at some point have followed a link to an article one of my writer friends pointed me to, and signed up.
I ignored that email, and a few more, but for reasons I cannot now fathom, I clicked on one dated December 1 that invited me to join the new merged community, at no cost if you’re an early bird, to enjoy all its features and offerings, etc., etc., yada, yada.
So I did. And promptly forgot about it.
Then today, my friend Jenny Douglas, a writer, thinker, and literary salon host whose wee house in the woods in upstate New York I have retreated to, announced her new position as the Director of Host Experience & Operations at HelloRevel. That got my attention. I decided to find out what it was I had joined.
When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come.
Only an hour or so before Jenny’s announcement, I had made another serious (serious, I tell you) attempt to get control of my scattered, unproductive, even counterproductive, habits and routines that have been causing me sadness and loneliness and general unhappiness with myself. With the help of a neglected journal that promised me solutions to all these problems, I created a gamechanger goal for December: Redd the house and get cleaning help.
I am a cluttery, disorganized person. The pandemic made that worse, especially in August of 2020 when we lost the services of the woman who had done the heavy cleaning (floors, etc.). (It was her own doing. She forgot her place and one day, while dusting in Ron’s computer work area, she began spouting QAnon crap about, well, you know. Q Stuff. Calling Joe Biden a pedophile is not tolerated in this house. And she wants us all to know that she quit, she wasn’t fired.)
I made a list of tasks that only I could perform (and that would be necessary before seeking paid professional services). I labeled them “Sort, Stack, Sacrifice,” and created an order of eight areas of concern (including “#7 Lynn’s room: someday” and “#8 Dining room: hopeless.”)
Then, mirabile dictu, I took a look at Revel, joined the “Declutter & Chat” group, and participated this evening in a one hour (5 minutes chat, 25 minutes working on your own decluttering project, repeat) community event.
The result is that I can see the top of the cedar chest in our bedroom for the first time in . . . well, there was a bathing suit at the bottom level. I had energy, and focus. I sorted (sweaters, pants, t-shirts, scarves), stacked (into drawers and closets) And even sacrificed.
I bought the sweater below about two years ago, at a sweet shop in Marietta, Pennsylvania. I bought other things there, including a wedding gift that has yet to be delivered, since the bride and her family, also Q devotees, have stopped speaking to us. It looked beautiful folded on the table. It felt wonderfully soft. I wore it perhaps twice. It didn’t look right on me, was not the right style, just didn’t work.
It’s going in the Community Aid bin tomorrow. I hope it finds its way to a woman unused to Italian wool sweaters, who will love it and look good in it, even if she’s a Q devotee.