A humbling experience makes me think – is clutter really a problem?

Woke up yesterday morning excited to be going on Sally Naden’s Radio Lancashire show. I didn’t really know much about it other than I would be on a panel with Sally and a couple of other guests to talk about decluttering and all things organised. I met another guest, Lisa on the way in and we were slightly worried about the 50 or so ladies and gents who seemed to be waiting around to see something. Soon worked out there was a live audience going to be watching us. No more illusions then about The Clutter Fairy , wands and tutus. I would be right there for all to see. Oh well, let’s see how it goes. Sally , who was such a a lovely presenter, introduced the first guest and that’s when I stopped thinking about myself and my radio nerves and listened intently to 31 year old Helen’s reason for being on the show. Helen has a daughter, Tess, who is 3 years old. A lovely baby, she developed as expected right up until the age of 1 and that’s when Helen and her husband started to notice that Tess wasn’t progressing in line with other children her age. Alarm bells started ringing and after many doctor and hospital appointments Tess was admitted for a brain operation.Despite undergoing such an intense operation and recuperation, there was no change and finally Tess was diagnosed with Alexander Disease. This is a degenerative disease which means that Tess will gradually lose any skills she has and is expected to die sometime between age five and ten.

As a Mum, to listen to such a tragic story about someone else’s child is always hard, but Helen then went onto explain how the family have dealt with the situation, how they live each day to the full, never take anything for granted, never say they are too busy to have a cuddle and enjoy every precious moment that they have with Tess. Helen talked about how other people find it difficult to talk to her about their problems because they feel that they are insignificant compared to hers. What struck me, Sally, Lisa and the audience was not the tragedy of the situation but the positivity, energy and love that would be around this little girl for every day of her life.

To talk about clutter after that somehow seemed trite but that is the nature of the show so we went on to discuss, fundraising, first aid, politics, Over the Rainbow, Digital media and clutter. After I left Blackburn , I couldn’t stop thinking about something a friend who was dying once said to me which has stuck with me all my life. They said that problems come in all different shapes and sizes, from terminal cancer or a dying child to an annoying boss or a toddler tantrum. Every problem deserves a sympathetic ear. I talk to people every day whose clutter problems are affecting them in differing degrees. To have a clutter problem in your life can be overwhelming and to overcome it requires time, determination and a positive approach but the important thing is that it CAN be overcome. It doesn’t need to be a problem for the rest of your life

Tess’s problem can’t be solved unfortunately but her Mum’s attitude is truly humbling. If you want to find out more about Tess go to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=108432782525757

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