Clutter

There are clothes everywhere in my room. On the floor, on my bed, on the hamper (as opposed to in it) and on the dryer. There’s probably an even mixture at this point of clean and dirty clothes. Also scattered around are dog toys, bits of paper, odds and ends, DVDs, and books! Oh the books with no home to call their own!

For a week now I’ve been wading through the mess every day to get dressed, go to bed, to basically function. At first it didn’t bother me. In fact I rather enjoyed it in some ways. There was a freeing quality to leaving it so messy. As if my life had just exploded all over the place. I told myself I didn’t have the time, that I was always rushing in and out of the house so it didn’t matter. It made me feel like I finally have a life in this new town and that filled me with a strange pleasure.

Yet the mess remains and while I keep it at bay in other rooms of my apartment, my own bedroom remains in a state of clutter suffering. I want to clean it. I really do I swear but every time I try I find something else to do. This morning as I sat in bed mentally preparing myself to get up and make a mad dash for the gym I thought about the clutter. A friend of mine just the other day had commented on how clutter affects her mood, her thinking, her home life in general.

I had agreed with her and claimed that I tried to keep my home clean but I neglected to mention the monster I was sitting in the middle of as I texted her. It’s true though about the clutter. For the first few months I lived in Seattle I used my room as a refuge from the day. My clean and tidy room occasionally would get dirty but I’d whip it back into shape quickly. My bed and my dresser and my neat closet were where I hid from all my initial insecurities and worries.

As time wore on and my confidence came back and my drive kicked in I found myself moving outside my little cave of security. If I’m honest with myself I’d say I’m only in my room in the morning and at night when I go to bed. Clutter in your bedroom, a dirty kitchen, a messy den, these are all physical things that stare us in the face and effect our mood at times. But what about clutter of the mind?

When do we start facing those dust demons down? I’m a firm believer that my home is a reflection of how I feel. When I neglect to clean and I’m content with that- I know I’m being lazy. When I neglect to clean and it drives me insane- I know I’m feeling blocked.

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I started writing the above section before the weekend. Over the weekend I contemplated my mental clutter. What’s been holding me back lately, what’s been snaking around in my subconscious, what’s been irritating me for no good reason. I thought on all of it and I squared away some facts for myself. On Monday morning I woke up feeling…..I guess you could say rebooted.

For two hours I wrestled with my house. The kitchen was beaten down with some ease. The floors were mopped with little struggle. The bathroom had me breaking a sweat but my room put up the biggest fight. It bared its teeth and snapped at me with all the anger of a neglected and mistrustful canine. Still, we slowly found our way to a clean middle ground.

Illustration: Daniel Bejar

Illustration: Daniel Bejar

As I scrubbed and mopped and folded I reflected on my life so far. I pondered the people I loved and my relationships with them all. I asked myself how I felt I was doing and went over my thoughts from the weekend. There’s so much more in ourselves than we care to admit. Often we go about our days picking small fights when we are angry or putting off chores when we are tired. While we may take a few moments here and there to think about our TO DO lists or worry about our family, how often do we take the time to really listen to ourselves?

How often do you take the time to think on the things you really want, to ask ourselves if the path we are walking is still enough, to be brave enough to admit if someone in our lives is holding us back? Don’t let your mind or your inner quiet self get cluttered or be neglected. Don’t let the weight get so heavy that it affects everything around you.

Break a little sweat with yourself! Ask the hard questions and don’t be afraid to bring up subjects you can’t speak of out loud. Some of us bury certain things very deeply and while having a few items you keep to yourself for a while is ok- it’s not ok to never admit them to yourself, even in your own head. So make a list and give yourself permission to be open.

Life has a funny way of dumping that clutter in small sneaky spurts. It feels like a good time for some spring cleaning though! Don’t you think?

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2 thoughts on “Clutter

  1. Very good reflection and even better prompt for us all to add inner reflection to our lives. Unfortunately also a good reminder that my house is a mess! 🙂

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