Ah! Busy, busy. As we were painting the third (and FINAL) coat on my stepson’s wall, I said to my husband, “Why is it that everyone else spends the holidays eating and drinking and WE always wind up renovating?”
Because free time makes us feel creative. Time that is not already labelled and slotted for something is full of endless possibilities.
I am a HUGE scheduler. It seems like nothing would get done off my todo list if not for deadlines. Alternatively, I am drawn to disorganization like a moth to flame. I am currently resisting the reorganization of the upper-right corner cabinet in my kitchen. Resisting hard.
I am a fan of uncluttering, but I love the creative rush I get from transforming found materials into something amazing. After finishing painting the kid’s bedroom, I designed an AV unit to fit in his closet made from the wood scraps we got at an auction last summer after a cabinet-making shop went out of business. It’s made from different shades of pale woods–nothing darker than red oak, and I think the only thing I will buy when we put it together is brass-look laminate to apply to the fronts (which are all rough edges.)
My own personal hangups are many, but the one most disabling to my creative self is my desire to be immaculate. Immaculate in image, immaculate in thought — If there is one thing I hate it is loose ends and general untidiness.
Worst of all, these organizational tasks I like to set myself are unimportant busywork, and allow me to procrastinate from my important jobs. Their purpose is knife-edged and twofold–they give me a feeling of victory if I finish, but they suck up enormous amounts of time and leave me feeling frazzled and defeated if I don’t.
My stepson and I were discussing at lunch the benefits of the portable dishwasher we got this summer. Sure, it’s another “thing” and hence, more clutter, but it gives us a place to store dirty dishes, which otherwise would sit out on the counter “looking” at us and demanding to be washed. Previously, I would I either wash all the dishes from each meal and feel angry about the time wasted, or set them neatly on the counter and feel guilty about another job yet undone.
Bottom line is, all those small everyday jobs which could be done for an immediate “payoff” were (and are) sucking up my time and destroying my quality of life. The last couple of days I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to change my habits to feel better about my use of time. This is one of my New Year’s resolutions. Check in tomorrow to find out more!
Pictures of the kid’s new room. Personally, I think it looks like the inside of a circus tent, but hey, it’s what he asked for: