First, let me apologize for not being present the past few of months. I’ve been very busy – but in a good way!

My husband and I decided to pack up and move to Arizona! Both of us have spent most of our lives in Ohio but we have decided to sell our house (and a lot of our belongings) and buy a house in the beautiful state of Arizona.

The biggest reason for this change is because of the weather. If you have chronic pain, then you know what I’m talking about. The weather in Ohio is so unpredictable! There have been many days where I have my furnace on in the morning and my air conditioner on in the afternoon. Even the meteorologists have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait a minute and it will change.”

These wide variations in weather, the swings in barometric pressure, cold and frigid winters, rainy springs, and the humid summers wreak havoc on pain. At this point in my life, I just can’t tolerate the variations any longer.


Thankfully, I discovered that when I’m in Arizona, I feel like a new woman. It’s like the Fountain of Youth for me. I can wake up in the morning and stand up straight, reach my step goal of 6,000 steps per day (hope to be increasing this), and I feel revived. I don’t know if it’s because of the low humidity or just the heat – but whatever it is, it makes me feel great!

After several work-related trips to Arizona over the past 10 months, it finally hit me: every time I go to Arizona, I feel so much better. My husband and I put this hypothesis to the test – we went to Scottsdale for a week in late December and it was wonderful. I was able to go swimming and sightseeing in the same day. It’s been years since I’ve been able to be so active.

Having less pain leads to better mental health too. My feelings of hopelessness and insecurity are shoved to the background while I proudly put on my socks without my husband’s help. Funny how little things can mean so much.


Moving 2,000 miles across the country also forced me to do some decluttering. At first, the thought of going through our stuff in the basement and stashed away in closets was a little overwhelming. But I soon discovered the freeing feeling of decluttering.

The goal was to tackle one area a day. Depending on how I was feeling determined how much decluttering got done every day. The area could be small – the junk drawer in the kitchen. Or bigger – one of my bookcases.

I found that determining what to toss and what to keep was enlightening. I didn’t find a forgotten Rembrandt stashed away in the attic…but I did find how blessed and lucky I am to have had such a great life, great experiences, and great memories.

Yes, chronic pain can dictate my day – but chronic pain can’t take away the fun I’ve had in the past, the friends I’ve made along the way, and the loving family that, no matter what, will always love me.

The simple act of decluttering has allowed me to feel more confident and competent. When you take the time get rid of “stuff” you’re using your decision-making and problem-solving skills.

How do you know what to toss and what to keep? Easy! Hold the item in your hand. Does it bring you joy? If it does – keep it. If it doesn’t – toss it! It really is that simple. Just go with your what your gut is telling you.

What do you do with the stuff you’re getting rid of? You can donate it to a place like Goodwill or another thrift store. You can sell it. Or you can just throw it away.

Decluttering my home helped me declutter my mind. Decluttering my mind has helped me to become a better person, a more patient person, and now I have the ability to focus on me and my pain-free purpose!

Are you ready to start your journey to declutter?

Until next time ~ Dr. JB Kirby

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