I’ve reached that point of the winter when I am absolutely desperate for some fresh air in the house. We have not been pounded to death by snow like the East coast, but it is cold enough to sear your lungs if you’re outside for more than five or ten minutes. Cabin fever has set in (helped along considerably by my own hermit tendencies) and I think I’m doing all right, but how the actual hell would I know? I’ve been staring at the inside of my skull for how many days?
The good news is, I’ve managed to keep fairly busy between working quite a bit from home and tending to the needs of our animals. I sometimes complain about how needy they are, but I’m really very grateful to be of service to them–they help keep me out of my head, and that is the best therapy there is for someone like me.
Being somewhat housebound has inspired (HUGE eye-roll here) me to do some deep organizational projects around the place. Forget any mental images you might entertain of pretty boxes and baskets and color-coded files. I’m talking shredding here, people. Lots and lots of shredding. These are papers that have been languishing in boxes in my “office” (HAHAHAHAHAHA) for longer than I am able or willing to admit. But every day I’m knocking a little bit more out, doing a little early purging for spring… should it ever get its sweet ass back here. If it ever gets above fifty degrees outside again, my hope is that I will be ready to just throw the windows open and let this place take a nice, deep breath.
Basically, I’m doing a lot of what I like to call “invisible work.” It is like a deep cleaning of cabinets and drawers that no one else will ever see, but I will know is there. Getting through this process is how I feel about getting through these seemingly interminable winters: you do the hard work, feel great for a little bit, then take a look around and all you can see is how much more work there is to get done. You have plenty to show for it, but it doesn’t actually SHOW. The feeling of lightness I achieve by purging all of this crap won’t actually show up on anyone else’s radar, and that can be incredibly discouraging when I need just the teeniest, tiniest “attagirl.” I’m guessing you can relate, yes?
INVISIBLE WORK, YOU GUYS. If you do it and things go smoothly/as they should, no one notices. If you don’t do it and everything goes to hell (you can’t find anything you need, there’s crap everywhere and you can’t clean properly), EVERYBODY notices. It is damn hard sometimes.
And here’s what I’m doing about it: I have this wee corner in my living room that is spare and lovely and calm. Even when the rest of the place feels knee-deep in dog hair and grit from outside, this place is calm and pretty and CLEAR. I look to this corner when I’m doing bottomless paperwork or shredding, or the damn dishes AGAIN (wth? Didn’t I just do these?), or society expects me not just to wash and dry my clothes, but fold them and put them away (again, wth, society?). I can look at that spot and have VISUAL PROOF that all of these tiny, annoying, but necessary chores are actually in service of something greater: the well-being of myself and my funky little family.
I cannot recommend this little trick enough. What does your wee corner look like?