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I’m not talking about architecture and domination.
I’m talking about order and good habits.
I’ve always viewed myself as being both unstructured and undisciplined. Kind of a free-flowing ‘gal’. (Ugh, I hate that word ‘gal’.) On my way to work this morning, I decided I needed to do a little self-examination to see if this is indeed true – am I more like a flapping flamingo than a steady eagle?
Let’s take a peek…
I am a confirmed pig. Of course, I mean pig in the nicest possible way. I’ve always been quite fond of pigs, and have, in fact, been experiencing a mild yearning for a teacup piglet.
But back to the point. I’ve never been what you could call ‘tidy’. Our house growing up was tidy enough, but cluttered, as my Dad was a saver – one of those people who kept almost everything, because you never knew when it would come in handy. He stopped short of being a hoarder, but not by much. I think that was a common characteristic of depression-era children. I inherited the trait. E-Bro, on the other hand, inherited my Mom’s less-is-more attitude. (This woman gave away her wedding dress, for gods sake.) The clutter in our childhood home made him nuts. MY room was always a disaster area.
My Mom eventually stopped hounding me about it, and just kept my door closed. I’ll admit to some slight embarrassment when our house was burglarized when we were on vacation one year, and it was difficult to tell that they had ransacked my room.
During college, I lived one summer with a friend who defined himself as a “surface dweller”. Everything he needed was on the surface, not hidden away in a drawer somewhere. I was wonderfully comfortable with this approach.
Once I moved out on my own, things didn’t change. My little studios would just morph from clean to ground zero over the course of a month. One day, about once a month, I would walk in my door and see that it was a disaster. Then I would clean it up. And become oblivious again, until the next time.
Pat was never the neatest guy, but he had a lot of anal-retentive in him, and so my slob-esque qualities were a source of constant friction between us.
I just have a “what’s next” attitude towards being tidy, which translates to ‘drop the towel and it is gone from my consciousness.’ I don’t like this attitude. I’ve resolved to change it many times. I always feel better when my house is clean and tidy and I have less stuff. But somehow, my resolutions never stick. Why? WHY??
Since moving out of Pat’s house, I am definitely better at getting rid of things, but still I can feel the clutter starting to rebuild. I am NOT powerless to change it. But somehow it’s not at the forefront of my consciousness. Mr. GF expressed an attitude the other day that I yearned for. He said he liked taking care of his things. That’s exactly what I fuss at Kelsea about, as she seems to display my attitude of ‘a dropped towel immediately passes into another dimension,’ although fortunately, not my attitude towards saving things.
I want her to take care of her things. So why don’t I take care of my own? Setting that example is the best way to get her to follow it. And I WANT to be like that. There’s a sense of peace that comes from lack of clutter and from order, and a positive sense of caretaking that comes from taking care of your things. As if the things themselves appreciate it.
A larger issue is that this undisciplined attitude spills over into taking care of myself. I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t eat right. I set good exercise goals, but then let them go. And that’s not what I want to do. I want my 27-year old body back! Perhaps that’s unrealistic, but hey, I’m not asking for my 21-year old body back, and I’d settle for my 30-year old body. But it’s not going to happen by thinking real hard, now is it?
I feel decidedly better when I take care of myself. There have been lots of excuses for slacking off – depression, losses, the divorce, the lumps, too much work. There’s ALWAYS some excuse. Which means that there should be NO excuse – other than projectile vomiting, because no one really wants that in the weight room. What is it in me that keeps me from pursuing what I want? Is it inherent laziness? I’ve always worked, and have never considered myself to be lazy, but perhaps I am wrong. Is it fear of success? Meh. Don’t think so. Is it the need for immediate gratification? Possibly – I may have been turned towards that attitude by our society’s constant emphasis on immediacy.
Having a partner in these kind of things helps. I have always done better with a workout partner. I always wanted Pat to help me with housecleaning (didn’t happen). And now that I am on my own, it gets harder to do it all alone with each passing year. Kathy and I have talked about walking together when she gets back after the first of the year. But here’s the problem with that…
I just found out that my job officially ends on February 28th. Lack of time will no longer be an excuse. It will be time to stretch my flamingo wings, to see if I can grow pinker and stronger and more orderly, in order to make my life move forward, in order to not just stand in a marsh on one leg, head tucked beneath my wing.
It will be nothing if not interesting.
As I said yesterday, things are just out of control everywhere. My life feels like it is chasing its tail, trying to swallow itself.
I am thinking, thinking, thinking about my own business, and so very much want to start putting energy into it. A good friend was suggesting that I set aside one hour a day to work on the business (and that I not hold that one-hour session between 11:00 pm and midnight.) Probably a good idea. Funny how I don’t consider myself sleep-deprived, even though I only get about 6 hours a night. Isn’t that enough? Honestly, it seems like it’s unrealistic for anyone to get more than that. I haven’t for years. But my doctor disagrees and says I need more to stay healthy.
I must admit to myself that my own procrastination is part of what’s making me feel crazy. But I can’t seem to pull it together. I keep switching notebooks. I make lists and lose them. Have I lost my mind as well as my marriage? Or am I just fighting off that sense of profound tiredness that I only allow to surface in the islands?
It could be that, after a year and with winter coming, it is time to rearrange the house again, to somehow make it more conducive to working at home. Right now, I work at home from the couch. I can’t imagine that’s good for the couch, my brain, or my ass. But it’s so cozy, and the house can be so cold – I know, excuses, excuses. I’ll figure something out. I always do.
If you are keeping track, today is Cliché Day and National Sandwich Day. I’m sure there’s some way to combine the two into something witty, but apparently not by me at this time.