Wednesday, November 10, 2004

To trip the light fantastic

Which I now have room to do in here because the office is clean!

Actually what has really happened is the mess has all been sized down and sorted enough to be stashed somewhere without creating even more loathsome messes. But this is the first time the office has ever even looked clean since we got married. Now that there is a clear space, I can work with a much clearer mind on one little project at a time until order at last prevails in reality as well as in appearance.

That is my theory of cleaning: start with making things look clean, then you'll feel energized to clean the stuff that doesn't show in manageable stages. My mother's theory was the opposite: empty out all the hiding places, then you can be sure you'll deal with everything at once. Sometimes this provided balance, sometimes it worked at cross purposes, with me coming along and hiding everything she had just laboriously drug out.

About a year ago I felt like I was at the bottom of an insurmountable pile and wondered if I had turned into a total slob. Then I found a very comforting chart in an organizational book. It illustrated how life went along roughly parallel to one's ability to keep things organized until some crisis event caused life and organization to diverge, resulting in a giant mess. It listed several examples of events that might trigger this problem: moving, marriage, new job, home business, new baby, sickness, injury, etc. I hadn't just had one of them--I'd had them all! No wonder I was having problems. With a little breather space (I think we've made it four months without a new crisis) things are going much better and I am gradually digging my way out.

No comments: