Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Musings and Magical Creatures

This started out as Sunday musings, but I got sidetracked yesterday. The sidetracking occurred when I began my second round of fall cleaning of my apartment and the process overwhelmed me. That happens just about everytime I clean and organize - the overwhelming part, I mean. It seems that I wasn't born with the cleaning/organizing gene that some people have. I'm much better at creating clutter. Is this the sign of a creative mind? Some have claimed it to be a written in stone truth. Is it just me being lazy and not wanting to clean and organize? No, I can honestly say that's not the case - I want things clean and neat. I just don't want to be the one to make them that way! I'm not really sure what makes a person fall into one category or another. Is it nature versus nurture? Probably, to a large degree it is nurture, chased by a strong dose of nature.

For whatever reason, when things get to the stage of chaos, I start to freak out. "I'm never going to get this finished." "Oh no.....what have I done?!?" This is what invariably happens to me at some point. In order to clean and organize, part of the process is that you create chaos. I.e., you have the semblance of a bomb having exploded in your living room. That's the stage that makes me freak. I have no idea why. I know the sky hasn't fallen and that it is a temporary state, but all the same, I freak. And if I let myself, I find reasons to procrastinate and leave the detritus of that bomb strewn about until my freak out moment dies down and I can tackle the mess again. Sometimes I can work through that mental process quickly, sometimes it takes me longer.

What I have come to recognize, over a lifetime of wrestling with this particular part of my nature, is that we all have intrinsic gifts. Some of us can perform amazing mechanical repairs on car engines, or use power tools to create homes, furniture or works of art. Others are masters in the kitchen who can produce gastronomic beauty. Still others can tend a garden and create a fairyland of magical shapes, colors, textures and fragrances. And then there are the truly mystifying ones who can create order. I've met many of them and I stand in awe of their abilities.

They can walk into a space, glance around, and tell you within minutes where you're lacking order, where you can tweak the traffic flow into a more efficient pattern, and if you continue to stand there gaping mutely in befuddled wonder (that describes me), these amazing creatures simply roll up their sleeves, wade in and get to work. And they do this cheerfully. I don't know about you, but cleaning and organizing do not make me cheerful. That process, in fact, makes me downright cranky. That's why I put it off until I have no other choice, and it is also probably why the chaos stage becomes so large and overwhelming - I've put it off so long that the chaos has no other choice but to become pretty darned large and overwhelming. I accept this burden philosophically, because I'm the only person to blame. No one else created the clutter to begin with, obviously.

So, here I sit, at my computer, tapping out a blog entry, while the chaos awaits me downstairs. What I wouldn't give to have one of those orderly, organizing types available to whip me and my living room into shape, all tidy, neat and clutter-free. Okay, that's stretching it....some clutter is inevitable. This is me I'm talking about, after all. I'm comfortable with a few stacks of books, a basket of yarn and half-finished crochet projects, pairs of shoes downstairs that should be toted upstairs at some point. I would like to morph, for maybe one day, into that type of person who likes to clean and organize. I muse on that occasionally, what it must be like to have cleaning be a "happy place" for someone. Then I shake my head and admit that I'm never going to understand what makes a person like that tick. No matter, they probably wouldn't ever understand how sitting at the computer, creating a corporate newsletter and writing copy, or moving images fractions of an inch to create symmetry is my happy place. That's what makes all of us unique and beautiful....the myriad differences, talents and traits.

Does any of this musing accomplish getting my living room back into shape? Of course not. It is accomplishing me processing through my freaking out moment. I'll venture back downstairs in a bit, after I breathe through the panic and remind myself that I, too, can create order out of chaos. It just takes me longer than those mystifying, amazing organizing types. You all know who you are, so consider at some point, that there are those of us who think you possess magical abilities.


  1. excllent and thanks...
    J Nix

  2. Thanks right back, Jeff! I'll look you up tomorrow morning.