Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Messy Inside

Today was one of those days where the hours rushed by all day at work, slowed to a halt at 5pm, and then sped up all over again at 5:56pm (I am supposed to leave work at 6pm).  If I don't leave work by 6:05pm, I don't usually make it to Curves in time to work out (last workout is at 6:30pm), so I'm usually in a rush to get out of there by 6. 

Anyway, today was one of those days where I knew I had a slim chance at making it out by 6, and realized as I ran to my car at 6:12 (repeating "maybe I'll still make it" to myself as I ran) that I had left my gym bag at home today.  Le sigh.  One of those days.

When things like this happen, when I feel suddenly out of control, plans suddenly all messed up, I get frustrated.  I am a planner.  I like for my plans to happen, well, according to plan.  This is something I am trying to be better at this year, this whole flexibility thing.  Not stressing out because things go awry, being more spontaneous, etc etc etc.  Things I'm not good at. 

When faced with situations wherein I feel all control has been lost, I usually feel the need to complete a task.  Most often, this task is cleaning.  It's like my brain says, "Well, that plan went to hell. You better at least clean up around here."  So, tonight, when I came home, I took the microwave and toaster oven out of the kitchen and scrubbed the counter tops.  Then, I went downstairs and cut some flowers to replace the daffodils that had seen better days.  I also fixed the jiggly toilet seat (don't ask, just one more thing that was broken around here), started a load of laundry, dusted the dining room table and bookshelf, and mopped the kitchen floor.  I only spent about an hour and fifteen minutes doing this stuff, but I feel better.

Crazy Aunt Purl wrote this today: "When my space is messy I feel messy inside."  I know exactly how she feels (seriously, it's like she wrote it from the inside of my brain).  I can tolerate a certain level of clutter, but it's a pretty low level...and it gets lower if my brain is tired or irritated.   A clean apartment lifts my mood; it calms me down just to look at things all neat and tidy, especially if it's because of my elbow grease.  It says, "Hey look! I did some work, and now things look nice!"  Just feels good.

Now I have pretty flowers to look at, and laundry getting done, and a slightly cleaner apartment.  I will probably also file the papers that are sitting on the coffee table, just for kicks.  At least I'm turning my night into something productive - and cleaning burns calories, right?


  1. I completely completely completely agree on all levels. If I'm really happy and things are going really well in life, I won't notice the tumbleweeds of dog hair or socks in weird places. But if I'm not ok, a stray glass on the coffee table will make me foam at the mouth. At least if the house is clean I feel like I have some control somewhere in my life. And yeah, it TOTALLY burns calories.

  2. I totally agree with A Serious Girl and you, Kim! I'll have a bad day at work and come home and be like O HELL NO there is not dust bunnies under the TV stand and dog hair behind the couch and food stains in the sink and.... suddenly, my house is sparkly clean and my mind is calm and yes, I've burned a few calories!

    Can I mention that I am SO jealous you were able to go downstairs and cut fresh flowers? We just got another dumping of snow last night here in CO. I am so over the snow!!!

  3. I'm so glad y'all are with me on this one. And Josey, Awesome Reed (of the grocery bag post) lives in Boulder, and she sent me a picture of the snow situation...and said it had been 70 degrees out the day before! What crazy weather! Definitely no snow here...though today we had, um, clouds?

  4. I can totally relate to this post. I always feel more level-headed if my surroundings are clean. Or at least picked up. Love the last line! I was thinking as I read, "Hey, she's getting her workout after all."

  5. Aw, thanks Suzanne. I was tired after doing all that cleaning...that MUST mean I burned calories, right?

  6.  It's really stressful when your home is so messy. I really make it to the point that before I leave the house everything is in proper place and my husband really checking up our septic system to avoid any blockage that can result to an offensive odors.