I am a compulsive list maker. I think I have written about this before. But, it has come up again in my thoughts.
I have lists of all kinds of things. I have books of lists I have made over the years. I don’t just make lists of things to do. I make lists of things I like, things I want to learn, books or movies or songs I want. I make lists of favorites such as colors, flowers, animals. Places I want to go, meals I want to cook, stories I want to write. Lists of values, strengths, weaknesses. All kinds of things.
Why? I often ask myself that question. I don’t know if I am trying to remember things or trying to figure out things. I used to get frustrated because I didn’t have a single favorite color. I didn’t have a single favorite flower. I always thought that was a flaw in my mental processes. That it meant I was unable to decide or to commit to something so simple.
Finally, I resigned myself to being uncommitted and discovered my favorite color is aquamarine and my favorite flower is the orchid. One of the wall colors of our bedroom is aquamarine. The empress of flowers has so many faces; it is easy to love her. Enough variety and color to satisfy my ever changing mood.
I make lists of outfits and define elements of styles. Clothes, home décor, gardening. Anything is subject to being listed. Pinterest boards are magical picture lists. I go through phases of collecting, rearranging and discarding pins and boards. My dream come true site!
I have common lists of things to do each day and tasks or special projects I am working toward. The items on those lists are marked through when completed or when I have talked myself out of it. Sometimes an item will get transferred to a long term list.
I suppose I have benefited from the lists. I have accomplished many things through the years. I keep my home and its business in pretty good shape considering my life circumstances. I have worked through some problems and figured out some issues. Some resolved, some simply defined.
I hope to be able to understand what drives me each day to do the things I do. I don’t want to get to the end and not have at least tried to know myself well enough to behave well toward others. What does having a favorites’ list have to do with that? Nothing really. It is simply an offshoot of hours of day dreaming and digging into my thoughts. Always wondering and pondering and wrestling with the mental and emotional world inside.
Always trying to be better at being Me each day. One list at a time.
Now don’t get yourself worked up about animal cruelty. It is only an expression. Granny Sally and Mother used to call a certain kind of house cleaning washing the cat out with dash. There was a washing detergent called Dash. I don’t know if it is still made or not.
To wash the cat out with dash means to really deep clean the house. Not spring cleaning exactly, but still very thorough. It seems I used to be able to do it in half a day. The entire house would be dusted, vacuumed, mopped. The bathrooms scoured, the kitchen shiny, the washing done up.
Today(Saturday), I got some cleaning done. The house looks good. The floors and kitchen are done. The wash is clean. But, I have more to do.
Even when the children were small, it didn’t seem to take so long. Of course, I was home full time and twenty-something years old. Many things got taken care of as I went along. I could get busy and get the shine on pretty quickly.
Also, I had a room separate from the rest of the house that held projects and stored sewing and crafting supplies and equipment. I had a small shed to house a lot of boxes of stuff as well.
In this house, I have eight closets, generous pantry shelves, large bathroom cabinets. I also have an attic that holds quite a bit. I fret over them having things in them that may not need to be there. What if I have too many Christmas decorations? What if I have too many purses in storage? What if I have too many never to be used arts and crafts supplies and tools? As I look around my home, I wonder do I have too many decorative items? Too much furniture? I don’t even want to think about my overflowing bookcase. Books are precious to me. I love books. Nook can’t replace the tactile experience of paper and ink books.
I am trying to break the thought process that leads to the fretting. Whose business is it anyway? As long as he doesn’t mind, and I like the way it is, who else matters? What hovers in the dark memory of my past that makes my mind go off on that path? I think I know what it is. When I was young, not yet a teenager, an elderly man made a comment to me that hurt my feelings in a way that I still stings sometimes. He criticized me for allowing my room to be a mess. My mother was never one to force the room cleaning issue. She might mention it and then just close my door so she didn’t see the mess when she went past.
When I became a homemaker, the nagging feeling of shame haunted me. I think that is why I have never allowed personal things to sit on tables. Books, notebooks, nail file, a bottle of polish, pens, markers, lotion, those types of things, I don’t allow myself to leave sitting in the public areas of my home. The bathroom counter is always free of bottles, combs, hair bands. A soap dispenser or dish with soap is all that I allow. Kitchen counters are as clear as I can make them without too much inconvenience. No canister sets, toaster, bread box, etc. sit on the counters. Even in my bedroom there are no collections of toiletries or stacks of magazines. Our bedroom has a lot of furniture and most of my treasures, relics and trinkets. Even those are boxed up and put away when I feel suffocated by them.
Less is more for me. Less stuff to clean and clean around means more time and energy to play and to laze around daydreaming. Two of my favorite things to do. Although, I do love to get busy and wash the cat out with dash some days. That freshness of a washed up house is wonderfully relaxing. That sense of accomplishment silences a ghost voice I am still trying to banish. I like doing it just for the joy it gives me.
A huge almost empty room. Natural light illuminating everything. Sumptuous bed. Beautiful plant or flower. Great book to read. Cup of steaming black coffee. Sounds like paradise to me. How do I get there?