The Queen of My Self

By Susan Snapp 

I decided to clean up my home. I hadn’t been able to do “heavy” cleaning since March 2007 because of injuries so you can imagine how dirty it is/was.

I started it all by deciding to install an in-wall medicine cabinet in my bathroom. I already had one, which I was going to use in my house (that I don’t have the money to finish building) and thought I might as well enjoy it now. I picked up my reciprocating saw and set to cut a hole in the wall over the sink. It’s still not finished, mainly because I don’t quite know what I’m doing. The “knowledge” is in my head but there seem to be interruptions between brain and hand. It’s in, but the wall on the left side of it is kind of….. well, not perfect, ya’ know? I’m still working on the doors to it. In amongst my dusty stained glass supplies, I found a piece of glass that looks FABULOUS in the one smaller door, so that was good. I have to sand them so they won’t hit each other when they close.

Repainting the walls with the same color paint surprised me as the original paint had become so dingy and faded that the new paint almost looked like the wrong color!! It also surprised me that it made the rest of the house look dingy and faded as well as dusty and dirty. That medicine cabinet project started the ongoing “refreshment” of my home – end to end.

I’m the type of person who can’t just stay on one task until it’s done. I just can’t do it. I get frustrated and so move on to something else that can be done. My bathroom, my bedroom, the living room and the “other” bathroom are in the midst of being cleaned, repainted and generally fixed up. I now have a purple bedroom! It looks great! (When I Am Old I Shall Sleep In A Purple Bedroom!) I always have been a the-walls-have-to-be-off-white type of woman; anything goes with it except white-white. Now, however, after having seen the inside of a new younger friend’s house with the beautiful colors on the walls of her home, I thought I’d defy that “law” and paint colors on my walls. My living room is now a dusty rose color, with “Natural Linen” on the ceiling. Well, part of the ceiling anyway. That still needs to be finished.

I’m also purging my belongings; a good 30% of my clothing has gone into the Salvation Army box. It feels good to “unload” stuff. I picked up each individual article and made one of three decisions; 1) I wear it and like it so will keep it; 2) I don’t wear it, but it’s in good shape and I like it so will give it to a person I know; 3) I never wear it, it’s not that good, so into the SA box. Don’t get me wrong here; my closet is still packed with stuff.

On Monday, my sister, my brother-in-law and my daughter, Ashley, are coming out to help me move some of the furniture, etc., out to the building that was going to be my house. AKA the garage. The buffet of the dining room set which was my grandmother’s, the table of that same set, the table of “my” dining room set which had been waiting to be placed in the dining room of the house, two brass single bed frames, several book shelves, a bedroom dresser and boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff; camping gear, fishing gear, two extra sets of dishes, my stained glass supplies and instruments, tents and gazebos, candle making supplies.

The beginning of what I see as a general purging of belongings, spiritual aspects, bodily aspects and maybe emotional ones, too, that just no longer serve me.

Come to think of it, some of them never did.
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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to



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