I ask myself this question a lot. Sometimes I lay on the floor and stare out of the skylights and watch the birds chase each other while the clouds float by. I do this because I can get caught up in the chaos of life, especially when things get too busy or in this case, too slow. It’s a way to clear my head and push the reset button. Is there anyone out there asking themselves this very same question? Do any of you need to push the reset button and evaluate if your life is truly headed in the direction you’re wanting?
I help people on a regular basis and they mostly are in the same boat. They’ve found themselves surrounded by clutter and it’s taken the loss of a loved one, an illness, or a life-altering event to get them to see it and want to change it. Let’s face it, life is hard and when we have too much to manage on top of life’s difficulties it can make us want to quit or give up. In the last 3 years my life has taken a few unexpected twists and turns and I’ve had to overcome some pretty heavy experiences. Yes, I can smile and be very personable and help people when they need it most but when it comes to my own self care I don’t make it a priority. Lately I’ve felt really lost as if I don’t know who I am. I don’t know if that’s typical for women in their mid 40’s but it’s happening to me right now and it feels very isolating and scary.
I have a 13 year old son who is getting ready to start high school. Most days he’s irritated with me for asking him to help out around the house or he is impatient when I say anything to him at all. I have a spouse who is perfect and has the patience and demeanor of a saint. I have 2 dogs that look at me constantly as if to say, “Hey, mom, are you going to take us on a walk today?” When I’m helping people I feel like I’m in the zone and when I’m not I feel like something is missing. My estimation is that I’m distracted when I’m helping others and when I’m not then I get to be with myself and sometimes there is an uncomfortableness.
During this time of retreat and reflection I’ve decided to do some serious soul searching to evaluate what it is I truly want for my life. I’ve considered going back to school because I only have 9 classes to graduate. I’ve considered trying a different field of work all together. I’ve considered selling my house and moving to a state that is far less expensive. I’ve considered so many things. At this place in time I can’t run from myself. I have to face the music and look at my surroundings. Social media, reading, cleaning and planning outdoor activities only lasts for so long and what I’ve found to truly quell my heart and mind is cleaning and organizing. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Well aren’t you already organized?”
We remodeled our entire home over the last summer and we are still trying to put things back together. So, No, I’m not currently totally organized and the process to getting things into their new places and finding a new rhythm is just that, a process. Since we are home ridden I’ve decided to pull everything out and start over. Drywall dust is still a dilemma in certain spots and last week I finally ordered toilet paper holders for both bathrooms. My filing system needs an overhaul so that will be the next section I will tackle. Cleaning out the fridge and wiping things down is actually my favorite so I may do that at some point too. You may be reading this and think I’m crazy and it may seem like a daunting task but it truly works. When you take your attention and position it in the present moment for example, while cleaning and organizing, it calms the mind and everything else inside and out seems to calm down with it.
If you don’t like the KonMari Method then start in the area that is used the most like the kitchen. With all of the extra food we have in our pantries and cupboards this will feel amazing! Turn on your favorite music and start by emptying all the drawers and gather like items together. My recommendation would be to empty the entire kitchen all at once and categorize every single kitchen item, but if you can’t, then start with your drawers or pantry. As you empty the entire kitchen, wipe down all the doors and shelves including inside the fridge, before putting things back. With food pantry storage I keep categories together i.e. all breakfast items on one shelf and all snack items together etc.
When you’re finished, you might get what I call the tidying virus and you may then find yourself tidying every square inch of your home. I don’t know if what I’m doing is the right thing. All I have is my intuition and my intuition tells me we will make it through this trying time which I believe is just an opportunity to discover more about ourselves and to become more resilient. For myself, what I truly want is unconditional contentment. I want nothing outside of me to take away or to affect my contentedness and I want to be able to be in constant gratitude for everything that life hands me. So, if you find yourself getting anxious or worried take out the junk drawer and start sorting, breathe, and focus on everything you are grateful for. Thanks for reading and please share your stories if you feel moved to do so.