Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Order in the Cupboard, Order in the Mind

When we were kids, Mom always insisted that we make our beds and tidy our rooms before leaving for school in the morning. We bitterly resented it. "What difference does it make to you if our rooms aren't neat?" we would ask plaintively.

Implacable, she said she couldn't do her own work knowing there was a mess somewhere in the house.

"Don't look!" we suggested. "Just close the doors."

"It doesn't work like that," she explained. "I always know."

I guess I inherited this trait. I, too, always know. When there is a messy spot in the house, I ,too, am distracted and stymied by it. And until I break down and sort out the chaos, I can't do my best work.

My closet has been crying out for attention for over two months. I kept flinging things in and looking the other way, keeping the door closed most of the time and going in as infrequently as possible. And in spite of being extremely busy for the same two months, beavering away like mad on a very important project (RAISING 40 LAKHS), I really never hit my stride. I am convinced it's because of that closet.

The irony is that it's because I was so busy I couldn't clean it out. I knew it would take me three hours, and I just didn't have three hours to spare.

Today was a holiday. When Moy Moy went for her nap, I decided to just do it. It actually took me only an hour and a half. Using Cathleen's system of color-coding, I made neat stacks of all my clothes, lined my shoes out along the closet floor, hung my dresses and jackets in a sweet little range and threw away all the junk that had been gathering dust since the last time I did this.

When I was finished, rather than being tired, I was so pleased with myself and so full of energy I scrubbed the kitchen cupboards, made tomato soup and went for a four mile walk with Moy Moy.
And THEN wrote four long overdue letters and this little blog post.

I'm sure there is a lesson here somewhere.

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