I do not share the oft-coveted traits of my more left-brain oriented friends. I am not giddy, like my friend Andrea, when I am traveling from one tidy bathroom to begin on the next one. I am not excited, like my friend Pat, when I am on the front side of a weekend-long organizational project. I do not feel anything akin to excitement, like my friend Melinda, when I am "stacking and neatening" to prepare for a task like bill paying. I am nothing like my friend Lucy, who cheerfully explains each day what cleaning task is up for the day (she has them categorized by the day - "do a small amount each day and it's done at the end of the week" - what?) I do not understand those feelings. I think those people, though I love them dearly, are taking some sort of medication to which I do not have access.
However (ughhhh, there just had to be a "however") I DO feel refreshed and airy when the bathrooms are clean, like I've lost twenty pounds when a monumental organizational project is completed, and energized when I turn my head and see neatened stacks that I have created! So why is it so hard? I know what to do; I even know how to do it. I know that I feel better when things are neat and I feel better for my children. I almost feel like June Cleaver when I have done but one tiny, minute bit of cleaning or de-cluttering or can reach calmly into a cabinet and quickly fetch the exact school supply my project-completing child needs!
Exhibit 1 (well, there's only one exhibit) shows three things I have accomplished in the last few days. They may not be big to you, o wise ones, but shut up with the laughing. To me, this is one leap for mankind! These outcomes must be celebrated, I need cheering and it must not stop! (That's another facet of my particular disability; I need continual stroking for each job well-done and must be continually told how wonderful they are and how very like a professional organizer I am.)
(Please read this part using the voice of the man who announces on the Joseph A. Banks commercials.)
There will be other summits reached, my friends. 2012 has only just begun. I will take countless photographs, and their editing is but a breeze. I will smile as my children drag out half of the scraps of whatever they can find in the garage and assemble them into a sculpture that must be taken off in pieces in a truck to rest among like objects at the recycling facility. We will paint - oh we will - and we will sing while we paint. I will lie my head on my pillow each night and stave off sleep as I conjure up messy processes which will further my dependence on the arts. Music will play, and that music will create in us the will to make something with our hands or in the mud in the backyard or in the driveway, and there will be pieces of those 'somethings' on the dining room table, holes in the backyard, marks and debris all over the driveway and spray paint lines of every color on all of the surfaces of the front porch. Those things will happen, my friends; of that you may be rest assured. (End announcer voice here.)
But that is not all. That is the easy part for this 'process over product' forty six year old; that part comes naturally. Those things will not help me reach the summit. Those things make me able to breathe and laugh and sing loudly and feel inspired. They are easy. I must press on to the summit - my summit, friends. I must reach the mountain tops of daily life; the places only my friends have been - the neat places (lonely as they may be), the organized drawers, the closets that can be opened with company standing on, and the tools and implements of this foreign land must be ordered, labeled and strategically placed for their immediate recovery in time of need. I must carry on. This is my marathon, my apex, my opus. It must be done.
To aid in this mission of imminent importance, I must rest on the work of souls who have gone before; those individuals who are on the other side. They may not be willing to paint without it looking perfect or sing without care or apply mod podge to any surface that is not walking on it's own free will, but they have tasted the sweet victory of order and they must be heard.
In this early 2012, I have consulted the masters. I have "pinned" every organizational, cleaning and categorizing trick on Pinterest, and their glossy pictures make me happy. I look at them often. I have perused the vast world-wide web to find the best of the best and have subscribed to their feeds, their knowledge filling my inbox daily. I hear regularly from Clean Mama and My Simpler Life, and I have bookmarked the page with information about the 'de-cluttering class' beginning on January 23. I have downloaded the "De-clutter 2012" calendar, and it is beautiful. One day soon I will get some ink for the printer, after which I can catch up on the nine days' projects I've missed. I just know it. The lady from My Simpler Life seems immensely kind, and she emails me daily to ask, "Have you printed your copy of 'De-clutter 2012'?" (Apparently there are others like me who are late bloomers in this category.)
And so it goes. But I WILL get there.
Before I start, I need to work on some photographs.
Please send donations, along with your good wishes, to me via Paypal or in person. $39 will ensure my place in the 'de-cluttering class' and grant me access to the online support group indefinitely.