A Cluttered Life: Searching for God, Serenity, and My Missing Keys

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Seal Press, Aug 23, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
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A Cluttered Life chronicles Pesi Dinnerstein’s touching, quirky, and often comic search for order and simplicity amid an onslaught of relentless interruptions. When a chance encounter with an old acquaintance opens her eyes to the extent to which disorder has crept into every corner of her existence, she begins a quest to free herself from the excess baggage she carries and finds—to her great surprise—that the meaning she's spent years searching for is right there in her own piles of clutter.

Dinnerstein’s battle with chaos is an odyssey of self-discovery that leads her from the obvious mess spilling out of closets and the backseat of her car to the more subtle forms of disorder in her life and, finally, to the most hidden expressions deep within herself. In the end—with the help of devoted friends, a twelve-step recovery program, and a bit of Kabbalistic wisdom—her struggle with the things of this world is transformed from a distraction into its own journey of healing and personal growth. At turns insightful, unsettling, and wildly funny, A Cluttered Life is the story of how one woman found her true self—and spiritual fulfillment—through trying to make sense of her own muddled world.

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1 The Journey of a Thousand Miles
2 The First Step
3 A Leap Forward
4 Full Steam Ahead
5 A Step Back
6 Another First Step
7 A Detour
8 Ancient Stepping Stones
9 Starting Over
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About the author (2011)

Pesi Dinnerstein (a.k.a. Paulette Plonchak) has written selections for the best-selling series Small Miracles, by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal, and has contributed to several textbooks and an anthology of short stories.

Dinnerstein recently retired as a full-time faculty member of the City University of New York, where she taught language skills for close to thirty years. She has been an aspiring author and self-acknowledged clutterer for many years, and has spent the better part of her life trying to get organized and out from under. Despite heroic efforts, she has not yet succeeded; but she continues to push onward, and hopes that her journey will inspire others to keep trying as well.

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