There is no domestic carnage like that wrought by a stir-crazy stay-at-home Mom who has decided to “fix X for once and for all.”
I should know that undertaking any plan that could be described as a “final solution” is a bad idea, and yet, I keep doing it. Worse, I keep beginning new such projects in cascading fashion, leaving an erratic, tornadic trail of devastation in my wake. (Newscaster voice: “Residents tonight are asking themselves, why did she dump out both sock drawers, but leave the underwear drawer untouched? And worse–will she be back?”)
I am fully aware of my tendencies, and yet I tend them anyway. I tend SO HARD. I can be making fun of myself in my head for doing something ridiculous and I still do it! Because I want to! Yesterday, I found my little paws sorting my jewelry, none of which I ever wear, into things to sell, give away, or keep never wearing. Why? Because in the fist few pages of the new issue of Real Simple, the cover of which is this:
I saw an anecdote about a woman who was happy she’d done just this–sort, sell, give away. Now, did I read any more of this magazine? Have I read any of the other magazines I subscribed to a few weeks ago when I was in a weird mood and missing work and thought I would do a neat “investigation” of Mom Culture that included reading such magazines and writing about them? Have I mounted the pretty gold magazine holder rack I found a few months ago and leaned against the garage wall sort of obstructing the door so that the inconvenience would remind me to hang it every time I did laundry, aka several times a day?
No. No to everything. No to all.
And how did the jewelry thing go?
So yeah. Failing to finish what I start is a pretty strong trait. Amateurs might need denial to keep performing their sub-optimal behaviors, but us old pros. We can look that flaw right in the face and say, “YUP! That’s me. You nailed it. Nailed… I shouldlearn woodworking!”
It’s important to note that I do not like disorder. It brings me a lot of discomfort, actually. I’m a homebody, and my environment both influences and reflects my state of mind. So I can become calmer and saner by cleaning up, but I can also be deranged a bit by being sunk into a chaotic environment. Chicken and egg are symbiotic. Which means that when I go around tossing my three rooms like a warden at Shawshank, I am both making things worse for my brain and, probably, reflecting a level of disorder already happening upstairs, so to speak.
The madness if not without method. The alternative to chaotic upheaval is an acceptance of the million papercuttish Wrong Things that my eye registers day after day as I wander my three rooms. The magazine rack for example, is a papercut–a little mental wince each time I see it. It’s the home equivalent of a coworker who regularly sighs when you do something, but when you ask what’s wrong, she says, “Nothing….” Imagine your house saying that.
(The flip side of this is that the answer to “what’s wrong?” in this case really is “nothing.” No one else cares if the bathroom remain painted a fleshy pink, dimpled like cellulite and glossy like a cafeteria wall–no one but me. In fact, no one cares that I have repainted the bathroom a deep, luminous blue only as high as I can reach. Blue for a good while and then beige again. This matters to no one. Nothing I do to the house matters. That fact good for my angst over unfinished projects but bad for my general sense of purpose.)
Oh hey, I have to stop now. Maybe I can finish this later. Ha! So thematic!