Emotional Hygiene

another altar

I swear this is the last time – or I hope it’ll be the last time – I fixate on housework. But
I’m investigating self-discipline, looking for a more sharpened focus in the hopes of clearing my mess(es) for good(ish).

Looking around my living room, I spy an explosion of god-only-knows-what littering most surfaces: coffee table, day bed and day stand. I’m in the middle of this and that and this and that because so many worlds exist simultaneously, and most of them seem worthy of a few moments, at least, of my attention. A couple of flash drives. Mailer for a newish Asian food spot (in Garden City). Crochet patterns. A well-used cloth napkin. Lip gloss. Empty, used mailing tubes (but they’re so pretty!). A commemorative jigsaw puzzle from Shri Yoga. 

Then I hear “Well we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun…Everyone…Better recognize your brother’s everyone you meet.” – Instant Karma

Behold, a stuck place in the clutter struggle: I have so much love to give, that emanating from me is a blurry aura of placidity. I say yes but mean no, or is it the other way around? No matter. All that energy glowing from said crap scattered through my public rooms has a negative effect on productivity. A mailing envelope. A sparkle headband. A 1-subject spiral notebook.

What is worth keeping, and where can I make space? Releasing fear would be a start.

Listening next to Abandonitis by The Panhandle Mystery Band: “The doctor can’t cut it away.  You can’t operate on your own fate.” Or can you?

I like dabbling, but it promotes a chaotic home, slipping downward, aimed straight into neglect. When I forget to squint at my lack of cleanliness, it looks like a bumbling alcoholic dwells in my home. Sweet, but sad. At times Miss Havisham sad, but profoundly funnier. 

Therefore, I need a plan. Some parameters. What to keep? What to release?


Choose health. 

Love self.

Fear less. 

Enjoy the ride.

…While clearing the coffee table I discover two drawers in a side piece, that I never seriously cleaned out after inheriting from Grandma Anna. In the drawers I find loose, faded, photos of my grandparents’ trip to the Holy Land in the ‘60s and two little photo albums: one from my 35th birthday party (maybe) and the other from Marilyn’s wedding (I was the maiden of honor in blue),  a yarmulke, matches, a wooden elephant ornament, coasters, a spent pen, unused price tags, ivory inlay opera glasses…

After quickly tossing, recycling, and filing items as appropriate, I create a little shrine to honor my grandmother and our weird relationship. 

Coffee table, day bed, plus the two bonus drawers cleared, and I’m ready for bed. May I dig onto the dining room with a similar degree of gusto over the upcoming weekend. I dreamt about organizing in there. It’s a whirlwind created epitome of chaos, but in my dream there was hope of breaking through, so I’m going in…slowly…tomorrow.

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