To dream the impossible dream… :)
“When did more than napkins fill this space?” I asked aloud as I tried to pry open an overstuffed drawer.
I looked at the kid next to me who simply needed a pencil to finish his homework. Pencils and hair ties – no matter how many we buy, they disappear. Where in the world do they go? I guess not in the drawer where I thought I had put them. But how would anyone know. We can barely open it.
At any time over the last year, I could have stopped what I was doing, emptied the drawer, thrown away junky peripherals and organized it. But we all know that wasn’t going to happen. Too many plates in the air. I can do it tomorrow.
Tomorrow. I guess tomorrow has come and gone a few times.
We’ve lived in our house for about a year and a half. Before we moved here, we lived at my folks house while we remodeled this house. So, we actually moved twice. Once into storage and once here. And each move involved major purging. I finally let go of toys or clothes I was “saving for my grand-kids” and plenty of my own “someday” things. As in, “I’ll be back in that outfit again, someday.” Things that might date back almost 20 years, five kids, and a gazillion fashion trends ago. Suffice it to say that even the resale shop didn’t want most of it.
“People really don’t wear these things anymore.,” the Clothes Horse Anonymous sales clerk told me.
“But they’re so nice,” I protested. She didn’t hold back any punches.
“Sorry, Honey. I don’t think these styles are ever coming back.”
Okay. So, we purged going out of our old home and moving back in. Because when you’ve lived for six months without all the treasured necessities, it’s easy to conclude that they aren’t a necessary as I thought.
As I struggled to close the no-pencil drawer, I wondered how we’ve come so far from the clean, clutter-free, organized drawers (and closets and bedrooms and, … ) that were ours such a short time ago.
I’ll tell you how.
It’s called out of sight out of mind.
And it goes a little something like this. We walk in the door from wherever and we put our stuff down on the counter. With seven bodies in our home, that can be lots of stuff. We take care of most of it. But the little junkie things that may or may not be worth keeping or attending to stay on the counter. Then we clean up, but don’t know quite what to do with the little knick-knacks that warrant being kept, but don’t really have a spot.
So, we slide them into the drawer. No worries. It’s only a few things and I can still grab the napkins that are so neatly stacked in my clean drawer. And that works for a while. I feel a teensy bit bad messing up my lovely napkin drawer, but each time I justify sliding peripherals into it by telling myself I’ll deal with it tomorrow when I have time.
Before I know it, I can’t even find a napkin because the drawer is home to so many other things. Next, I convince myself that napkins should never have been in the drawer to begin with. It was destined for junk-status to begin with.
Digging through the mess, most of which is stuff we need and use, I couldn’t help but think of how we have junk drawers in life. Like relationship issues that conveniently put aside until another day. Because in the moment, the issue might not be that big of a deal. We can deal with it tomorrow. It doesn’t matter. Just this once. Until the tomorrows build up and all the minors have morphed into majors and we can’t get to the bottom of the drawer due to well-intentioned avoidance.
It’s not just relationships. All I have to do is look at my email in-box to see very real things that need attention. Most of the reasons that warranted my deal with it tomorrow approach were reasonable. I just didn’t know exactly what to do, or the issue wasn’t on fire, so tomorrow’s fine.
Dealing with something tomorrow is absolutely fine. How many and how long I put things off is probably the bigger issue. I never minded a few things in that drawer. But as we conveniently shoved stuff inside, I didn’t realize how full it was getting and how hard it would be to find what I needed until we could barely pry it open. Keeping accounts short, keeping the clutter at a minimum, sure can alleviate stress. Especially as the holidays approach and we open life-drawers that may have been overstuffed for a while.
Because the truth is … I feel better – physically, emotionally, spiritually better – with the drawers less cluttery. The nicest part, no one is asking for complete clean AND it’s not a road you have to go alone.
“Why don’t we just clean it out?” Jack asked, still in need of a pencil. And I thought why not? clean it out – today. Sounds good. Of course he added, “Will you pay me?” I laughed, grateful all the same to have someone rummage through the “junk” with me.
Especially when a sister walks up with an offer to help. “We don’t need that…. Keep those… What in the world? For sure get rid that…”
Thanks for walking the road with me.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who has been so sweet in checking on me to be sure I’ve been okay since I’ve been Blogosphere MIA. All is good. Some things in life just take some extra time. Thanks for not giving up on me. XOXOXOXO