Friday, October 16, 2015

Always a process


After Evelyn went to bed last night, I spent 30 minutes or so pulling out some cool-weather clothes and putting away the warm-weather ones.  While I was making a mess in my bedroom, I went ahead and went through bent or gross hangers and tossed them into the trash. I put shirts and pajama pants I don't wear into a bag for donations.  I made enough space in the closet to hide a chair that's been sitting in the middle of our living room for months.  And I went through papers on top of my dresser and tidied it into something that looks nice.  Baby shoes and diaper bags I don't know what to do with are still in the closet, but I have room for them.  Trash is in the dumpster.  Donation items are in the trunk of my car, along with a birthday present for a friend so that I can be ready the next time I see her.  Her birthday was in August, and I don't know when we'll get to meet up, but it's good to feel prepared. 

I also changed the shower curtain liner, and that's just life-changing.

I've been letting things pile up for a few weeks.  We hit a bit of a busy life period, and things were a bit stressful, and it feels easiest to just let a few things slide.  Evelyn brings home a minimum of  3 pieces of paper from school every day, but it's usually more.  Some of those notes need to be held as reminders until a certain event has passed, but we can't find them when they're lost in the shuffle with the receipts and bank statements and whatever else it was that was on top of my dresser--instead of on the fridge, in the trash, or saved in a folder or box designated for that.  Cody's been keeping the apartment clean, but clutter doesn't bother him so he tends to keep it around.  I, on the other hand, start to feel pretty smothered when I see it.  Stress feeds the clutter and clutter feeds the stress. 

Several years ago, I realized I was letting a pretty toxic person take over my life and I didn't really know what to do about it.  Ending things was messy and difficult and it's still not super resolved.  But we don't have contact and that's a huge source of peace in my life.  But every now and then, I have dreams where we're hanging out.  I don't want to listen to the story they're telling, or I'm laughing politely at a joke I don't find funny, or we're making plans and then I realize "Dang it, I let this happen."  Like I just backslid into a friendship (like a lot of break-ups, our friendship was kind of like that because I resolve to distance myself and then I'd buckle and let this person invite themselves along to events with other loved ones and dominate everything with unpleasantness) without realizing it.  In the dream, I'm irritated but usually not too upset--until I realize I've let this person into a life that now has Evelyn.  I wake up in a panic.  I usually have the dream when I'm starting to lose a little much control over the small details of everyday life until they start to be big stressors.

I had the dream earlier in the week.  So I started a library book about boosting personal productivity--I've already re-checked it out once--and made a structured to-do list for myself at work (I'm not following it very well, but at least I'm not nagged by the sense that I'm forgetting what I should be doing) for all the tasks I'll try to get to Monday.  I cleaned my room.  I took out the trash.  I found my gratitude journal, even though I didn't write in it but I do like to have it around. 

I can't say I slept the sleep of the physically active and perfectly at peace kind of person I want to be.  But I woke up a lot more ready for the day than I have in a while.

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