We've had anything but this past week or two. It has been frighteningly spring-like: warm, sunny- at times almost balmy. And yes, it does scare me a bit. Doesn't Mother Earth: Nor Cal Division know that it is still only January?
I've been experiencing the stormy weather, even though it's been clear skies above. I don't know what it is- sure, maybe I'm anemic- but I've been so sluggish and unmotivated its hard to believe it is JUST the anemia. Me going on a cleaning spree lately has been clearing a path from the front door to my bed.
I am overwhelmed. Every day we have piles of junk mail. Every day the girls bring home piles of paperwork, flyers, artwork and school papers. Things come in packages, wrapped in bubblewrap, paper, tape, bags of air(a la Amazon.com)- a box inside a box inside a box wrapped tightly with plastic to a piece of cardboard. Every day I vacuum and empty the vacuum cleaner, piles and piles of dust and lint and bits and pieces of god-only-knows-what.
The girls have a closet full of clothes and wear only a few outfits but don't want to give anything up because they might wear it, you know, someday. I have a closet full of clothes from my previous life which involves skirt suits and pantyhose and high heels. My closet floor is stacked hich with shoe boxes of shoes: silver platform sandals, gold spiky-heeled, peep-toed sandals, Stuart Weisman 4-inch platform pumps, velvety suede brown wedges with a bow perched over the smallest peep-of-a-peep-toe, practical Taryn Rose slingbacks perfect for trade shows, my Miz Mooz flying shoes quaint with a round toe and a mary jane strap, delicate satin pumps with a satin bow from a corporate Christmas party, wooden platform peep-toed wedge sandals, the easy-last-second choice plain black round toed pumps with a flash of gold on the inside of the heel and a cut-away instep... and my clothes- sweaters in blues and browns, black and pink, high waisted plaid skirt, a long flowing black peasant skirt, a throwback 40's skirt and top out of fine guauge washable wool knit, BCBG halter tops, cashmere sleeveless hoodies, an assortment of comfy mini dresses and tunics, wide leg jeans, skinny jeans, my Sevens, my workhorse Michael Kors skirts, airy skirts from Max Studio out of blue and white brocade and a silk flower pattern in reds and greens, a backless Georgiou dress in an amethyst purple I couldn't resist... so many clothes picked for client dinners, wine tastings, team meetings and all seem so useless in my new life as stay-at-home-mom and part-time college student.
Dvds accumulated from I-don't-know-where or "this movie club sounds like a good deal" or even worse "what? we haven't returned Alice in Wonderland to Blockbuster that we checked out in 2003??"
My beautiful kitchen with built in ice maker, wine cellar, double ovens, induction cooktop, industrial hood, the ginormous refrigerator, the refrigerator in the garage, the chest freezer, the kitchenaid mixed, the ice grinder, the espresso machine, the toaster oven, the rice cooker cum bread maker, the regular rice cooker, the cuisinart foiod processor.
Oh, and lets not forget my thousands of books which have overflowed their six foot shelves and are now double stacked on top to our eight foot bedroom ceiling- looming over us. Cozy, but still looming.
Part of me wants to step into a magazine, into one of those houses where everything is white and bare and billowing and soft. Simple, clean. Austere. No mess. I think I get why some people are compulsive cleaners- if things around you can just be tidy enough, if everything can just be perfectly clean and neat, if everything can be in its place-- then all those things inside that one doesn't know what to do with might magically fall into place. A place for everything and everything in its place- even love, even fear, even anger and sadness.
If you look at my house right now- the family room is clean- maybe not organized as in: I went through all the art supplies and dvds and got rid of the things we don't need or use- but it is dusted and vacuumed and the table in there has space for the kids to do homework and artwork and they can find their scissors and pencils. The living room is clean bordering on bare- two couches, two arm chairs, a side table with a lamp on it and bookshelves which have yet to be filled. Of course, this is also the home of the Wii, so not much else happens in here. Finally, the kitchen and dining room are clean, as in scrubbed from top to bottom. In the past 24 hours I've made crepes, a very complicated Pastitsio with the help of the girls, a loaf of bread and proofed my sourdough sponge. Yes, I've been... cooking. This is how I self-soothe, this is how I connect with the girls, this is where Dean and I have most of our discussions. The girls room is relatively clean- I stuck the vacuum cleaner extension under the bed and closed my eyes and whatever happened next is between the vacuum and God. But their clothes are picked up, mostly, shoes in their "shoe baskets", coats, sweaters and backpacks hung on their respective racks, their books put away, and since my rather odd children aren't into toys- there aren't so many toys to be put away but what we do have is and their room has had a good vacuuming/dusting fairly regularly.
Our bedroom looks like a bad scene from a disaster movie. The garage looks more like a storage facility than a place where one might drive one's cars and park them. The heap in the center has gotten high enough that I'm afraid to let the kids go out there for fear they might be buried alive. What's out there? A myriad of cookbooks, building supplies, photography equipment, leftover cabinets from the foray to Ohio last-last year, books, did I mention more books? Art supplies, boxes of horse supplies, old ice skates, more building supplies, an air compressor, nail guns, circular saws, chop saws... Yes, the garage is a dangerous place. Sometimes whhen I look out there I wish we hadn't remodelled just for the sake of the fact I wouldn't have to go through all that crap. Egads.
I'm rambling now, I know. You don't really want to know what is in my garage. It's those hidden cluttered spaces I hate, though. I don't like the hall closet or the front closet or the garage. I like my bedroom but that's just because it's tolerable and I like any place I get to sleep. Why are the dark corners the hardest to face and clean out? What is up with that? I know that my living space is a metaphor for my life somehow- I'm functional but if you open the closet doors or the garage, I could be lost in there for weeks. And in the meantime, just knowing they are there is... unsettling. Is it an excuse? I don't know.
I feel like I have so much baggage, so much holding me down. And yet- can I move along clothes and shoes that maybe I'll need again in the near future? Because, honestly, I don't know what the future holds beyond maybe the next couple of months. It's difficult not to feel weighted down by stuff and the influx of information.... constant things to be taken care of on top of the daily functions of running the family and the chore of keeping myself alive and going.
I feel a big purge coming- not sure when or even how- but something's gotta give, and soon. It's maybe as much about my internal landscape as my external environment.
Anyone need a nail gun?