Monday, October 13, 2008

Between Spotless and Chaotic

It's been a quiet weekend. Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the soon-to-be-frozen north. Dearest one and youngest son have been at a men's retreat all weekend. I will join them for Mass this evening and then we'll all come home. Last night the energizer bunny started barking at imaginary things after we'd gone to bed and that freaked me out. I am scared of the dark and don't like being alone at night. Thankfully I soon went to sleep without too much trouble.

I've been cleaning and reading and being quiet this weekend. Okay, being quiet is easy when there's no one to talk to, but I did go all day Saturday without turning on the TV or radio and I limited my Internet time as well. Yesterday I did pretty much the same with the exception of watching one of my favourite TV shows last night. I found that going 12 hours without much Internet activity will not kill me and that nothing much has changed online in those intervening hours anyway.

Today there is more housework to do. Getting some order in my surroundings always feels better than the chaos that it sometimes disintegrates into. Housework has never been my thing and I've had to work hard at finding some balance. There were years and years where it was either spotless or chaotic, with no happy medium to be found. Oldest son was transferring files from one computer to another for me this weekend when we came across lists of household chores and schedules to make sure they got done. I groaned at the sight. It was rigidity at its best. Other people may be able to keep lists like that and still function normally. I can't. Give me a list and all common sense goes out the window as I try and check every sucker off it. These days when I make a list it has to be short, reasonable and I have to hold it with an open hand, if I hope to keep my sanity intact.

The worst of the spotless moments was how in control of everything I felt plus the energy I spent trying to maintain that facade. The worst of the chaotic times was how out of control I felt and how much I didn't care to do a darn thing about it. These days I try to find a happy medium. I know that when I am headed for spotless I am feeling out of control and am trying to control something tangible to make myself feel better. I know when I'm surrounded by chaos there are things I'm avoiding looking at on the inside of me.

I've observed people's houses for years, trying to learn from their level of spotlessness or chaos and assess how I feel in their surroundings. I envy people who tidy up after themselves without giving it a thought. Things like making my bed and doing up the dishes after supper I have to consciously choose to do, otherwise it doesn't occur to me. I've learned that given the choice between spotless and chaotic I lean more towards feeling comfortable in chaos. Then there are those homes which are simply tidy, not spotless, comfortable, not chaotic. That is comfort at its best.

I like comfort. I like comfort zones, too. In the past year I've gone out of my comfort zone many times, reminding myself that sometimes going beyond my comfort zone will enable growth that can't happen any other way. This week I'll be doing it again. I wonder if anyone gets beyond being scared of new opportunities?

I've been searching the classifieds weekly for over 6 months now looking for a part time job. I've been glad that looking for one is even a possibility because for the past 5 years it wasn't. I like working with people. My favourite job of all time has been working as a cashier. I decided a while ago that looking for a job where I'd be on my feet all day probably wasn't going to be the best as far as my spoon supply went. I let go of that as a job possibility and have been trusting the right job would appear at the right time. This past Friday as I opened up the classifieds I told myself if the right job was there, I'd apply for it. And there was my dream job advertised. They're looking for a full time person but the nature of the work is something that would lend itself to part time work, too. This afternoon I'll put together a resume and cover letter and take it from there. In the meantime there are clothes to wash and floors to be vacuumed. How's that for a short list? Have a great, sanity intact, Monday.


Owen said...

Good luck with that job. We'll be cheering from the sidelines.

Anonymous said...

Hope, if it wasn't for the age difference, I'd swear we were twins seperated at birth, some days. I have to make a conscious effort to do those daily chores as well. And if I hesitate too long, well... it might not happen at all that day. And I swing drastically from an all or nothing attitude about it. I'd never really quite thought about the spotless times as a control thing until you mentioned it; makes nothing but sense.

Today, the north wind chills us to the bone. Sure could use a little sunshine. I'm putting plastic on the windows, a sign of winter as sure as the geese flying south that flew over me today. Come baaaaack, birds!! What's your hurry?

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the chaos of a cluttered house. Your analogy makes perfect sense. My glaring character defect lately is procrastination. Not to mention down right laziness. Is it odd that when I picked my new linoleum I matched it to the color of my dog? My floor almost always looks spotless! LOL