Sunday, January 16, 2011


Earlier I had resolved to get rid of unneeded junk in my room. In my mind I had pictured myself going through my room with a pot of fire and burning all evidence of my pack-rattedness. When it came to actually beginning, I decided that standing by the wood-stove in the kitchen was close enough.
Now that I am actually in here, I feel it would be weak to do nothing, so I take down my decorative post cards--they were starting to annoy me--and put them in a box that Abbie gave me for Christmas. I notice for the first time a preponderance of post cards from South Dakota, from our cross-country trip in 2009. I never knew I went on such a shopping spree there. Four of them won't fit in the box. Well, at least I did something that slightly resembles cleaning. I will sleep with a clean conscience tonight.
As soon as I think that I feel incredibly guilty and suddenly notice how messy my room really is. Two pairs of pants, a small blanket, a towel, my bathrobe and an empty plastic bag have been compensating for my lack of carpet for some time now. I know that if I pick them up I will be stepping onto a very slippery slope...but it has to be done sooner or later.
My problem is not just that I am messy, but that when I do clean I fool myself into thinking that I am a clean-freak. So I pull everything out, ignoring past experiences and sure that this time I will be disciplined enough to finish the job. Right around when I finish tearing my belongings out of the communities they have begun to build, and right around when I am about to start putting these inhabitants of my little kingdom where they are supposed to be, it occurs to me that I am outnumbered. I feel so overwhelmed that I escape right away, shuddering and my heart racing because I just survived a near-death experience.
Then I live in denial for weeks, occasionally moving various items to obscure places, until I decide to clean again. It's a vicious cycle.

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