It’s been a mountain of hot minutes since I’ve checked in with you all. In fact, one of the very last posts I shared with you was called Swedish Death Cleaning Before You Die.
I waxed on about how I was going to try Swedish Death Cleaning in my own house. And to keep myself accountable, I was going to share the progress with you – every step of the way.
And I Did Not Share.
Sure, I began cleaning my house. I organized, cleaned, and took several car loads of stuff to the Goodwill.
I made space where there hadn’t been any before.
None of it seemed post-worthy.
It just didn’t.
Getting rid of several bags of clothes made my closet look neater, but there were no earth-shattering “before and after” photos to take.
I already keep a pretty organized closet and neat drawers. And yes, all the bags of clothing that went bye-bye did help make things “feel” better.
But overall, it kinda looked and felt the same.
Same With The Kitchen.
I did organize pots and pans and got rid of dishes and kitchen items I never use. And I reorganized the canned goods and food items so they are grouped together appropriately.
And that did help things “feel” lighter.
But in reality, when I walked through my door, I didn’t feel anything different.
Even With Swedish Death Cleaning, The Energy Felt Heavy
I don’t really know how to explain it any better than this.
My home inside felt like a dark cloud was stationed above it and no matter what I did or how much stuff I took away, a heaviness remained.
I redecorated and moved my living room around, and that helped shift some of the stagnant energy that was there.
After all, Feng Shui does work! And living in 849 square feet makes me painfully aware of the energy shifts when things are in their proper places.
But I decided I needed to really do some deep diving to figure out what was holding back this feeling of lightness that everyone who does Swedish Death Cleaning brags about.
Had I done it the wrong way?
Or Was Something Else to Blame?
For the past many months, I have lived with feelings of overwhelm and, sometimes, pending doom.
It’s not really a cool subject to discuss, but I’m a truth-teller, so there it is.
So, I Began Journaling.
And in my journal, I started writing out what was really bugging me.
Why was I feeling the way I was feeling?
Everything felt so out of control, and as a normally organized person, this was something I had a really hard time dealing with.
The Day Job
In my day job, I’m a licensed real estate broker who owns and operates a small home-based residential property management company.
I have a total of 70 doors, which, in the grand scheme of things, is a pretty manageable number of properties to manage.
I make a great living doing what I do, and I love my owners, tenants, and vendors.
Most of the time, it doesn’t even seem like a job!
Except for the fact that I’m “on call” 24/7/365.
I run my business out of the spare bedroom in my home. I’ve done this for years, and it works very well.
I’m based in California, which is not the easiest state to manage property in. The rules and laws are ever-changing, and each new decision makes my job a little more difficult.
Given the fact that I turn 65 this year, I planned on running this company for at least another two years until I turned 67 and could draw full SSI benefits or go even longer.
But I Stopped Having Fun.
I began to resent my business. I started hating the after-hour phone calls that could have easily waited until the next day before they were made.
I was pissed that every time I tried to book a vacation or quick getaway, something happened that forced me to cancel.
My life was also complicated by caretaking for my 92-year-old mother, who needs me.
To be fair, I have an amazing brother who does most of the caretaking for my Mom. And I fill in on the weekend. But he caught COVID, and I had to step up and take care of the business and Mom.
And then things went from bad to worse.
The holidays hit.
One of my properties (a duplex) got mold.
ON BOTH SIDES.
Then, we had a huge storm that caused major damage to several of my properties.
And now here I am being torn in a zillion directions. AGAIN.
I was spiraling towards burnout because the stress was overwhelming.
So, I Used Swedish Death Cleaning For My Business.
This was NOT an easy decision to make. After all, I started this firm in 2018, and it was usually a fairly easy business to manage.
But now, after dealing with all the stresses, I developed a couple of health challenges on top of everything else. And it was time to start thinking about myself, instead of everyone else.
So, I rethought my exit strategy and located an excellent management firm to take over my business. I worked a fantastic deal that was financially lucrative and was with people I trusted to take care of my people the way I want them to be cared for.
These two words have been running through my mind every single night for as long as I can remember.
The broken window call that I received at 4:55 pm that day would turn into an all-night worry fest about “what if someone breaks in that broken window and chops up my tenants and their family?”
Or the broken heater on the coldest night of the year – would it cause a fire because the tenant used a space heater too close to something flammable?
This mantra took on a humongous meaning that kept me awake at night, worrying about things I could not fully control.
But Now – What “IF?”
What if, now that this business has been (almost) completely turned over, I could start doing things I truly enjoy?
What if I could get back to my art business and rebuild it again? What if I could start teaching art classes more often?
What if I could start blogging regularly again?
What if I could replace my former income with the income from art sales and blogging income?
So, the bottom line is I failed at the Swedish Death Cleaning attempt.
But I did declutter something HUGE from my life, and I can confidently say the energy in my house (and in my Soul) is feeling lighter than it’s felt in ages!
And for the first time in a couple of years, I feel excited again.
Releasing this business is the first step toward the next chapter of my life.
And I suppose that the next step involves “retiring.”
And I hate that word. I really do. Because I don’t think I’ll ever fully retire. I always have to have something to keep me busy.
After all, I’m a serial entrepreneur and have been for my entire life. I can’t see that changing anytime soon.
And my health issues are hopefully things I can change and/or reverse by releasing the stresses from my life and making some big dietary changes.
Light At the End of the Tunnel
So, I have some plans. And those plans involve this blog as well as several others I am working on.
I’m enthralled with the digital publishing world, and I see a future in blogging and eventually selling all of my blogs.
I’m also excited to get back into the art world again and start adding some new collections of work to my sorely neglected Judy Jacobs Art site.
It’s A Gemini Thing.
I’m a type A, over-achieving businesswoman who has been running companies since my 20s. Being creative and striving for success keeps me going.
I don’t think I can stop, and to be honest, I really don’t want to.
Others around me are retiring, traveling, and “enjoying life.”
But I enjoy life by succeeding and trying new things. I don’t need to do these things in another country to feel alive!
So, for now, the Swedish Death Cleaning challenge is off the table.
But please stick around to see what’s next.
I’m just getting started (again), but I think this time it will be an epic success!