Our dining room is a mess… An honest-to-goodness disaster area.
I hate it. I hate sitting in it. I don’t feel at home eating in it. I hate looking at it. I hate the energy I feel from it.
I was journaling the other day, like I do. Every single day I try to write about one problem I wish to solve so that it’s given some life and, hopefully, some energy.
“A problem that I would love to solve today is what to do with the dining room corner. How can I create harmony in our dining room?”
I mentally flipped away and rambled on about some other stuff for a while, not mentioning the dining room again… Until the line just before I signed off:
*Really see your behaviour around the dining room today. It’s important!*
Huh. An odd thing for me to write down. But I was game. It’s just a corner of our home, it should be easy to clean up if I just get down to it… But then I didn’t. I thought I’d start after breakfast, but then I started moving around other areas of my home. Doing other things. Always meaning to get to it next.
In the afternoon I did get around to moving some of the very easiest things to their homes. But then again, I didn’t get back to it. I lamented in my journal the next day,
“I started and dealt with the surface things that were obvious and had simple solutions. But I didn’t get deep into it. I recognize that there are easy-enough things to deal with, but I didn’t deal with them either. This is me and my life. I hate that it’s there [the many items or situations]. I resent that it’s there. I also resent that it’s mine to deal with. Completely resent it.”
The response I replied made me cry a little bit when I reread it later.
*At the end of the day, you can resent it all you want -but- it’s yours to manage. Nobody can do this for you. Do the work so that you don’t have to re-manage it. There will be such freedom. If you get deep enough, you will keep it from ever being an issue again. Ignoring this won’t solve this. Running away won’t solve this. Packing it into boxes that you never sort won’t solve this either [my weapon of choice to deal with messes]. It sucks that you need to do this- I’m so sorry.*
That response. Whew.
So the Dining Room is representing my current therapy-worthy issues. I keep looking at it all. Wishing it was all gone. Angry with everyone who put everything there. Disappointed with myself for letting everything pile up and then packing the most overwhelming things into boxes and hiding it all in places that it doesn’t belong. Sure, it looks neat and tidy… but it’s a false front. Don’t look too hard or open anything or everything will come spilling out. It’s awkward. It’s heavy. It’s taking a lot of space and therefore a lot of my energy to move around the space.
At the end of the day. I have to deal with this stuff. I have to open each cupboard and box and look at everything inside. Touch it all. Accept that it’s there and that it deserves better than to be shoved away and ignored. Is it all mine? Absolutely not. But I know that I am not doing anybody any favours by “making life easier” for the people it does belong to. I can’t manage the things the way others need to manage their things. There are things that I can easily say goodbye to that weren’t dealt with appropriately the first time around and then got caught in the shuffle. What will remain is what is actually important and necessary for me to keep. Information that will make life easier and be crucial for moving forward.
If I make time to deal with all of this stuff appropriately, there will come a time when I am better able to keep things from getting out of hand before issues arise. I will know what the consequences are for not making the time to deal with things. Procrastination is a dark hole to emerge from when you realize the enormity of what you are facing. But with awareness comes clarity. I know what I have to deal with now and I know what it represents. I know it won’t be easy but I know that I am able to be brave and face it. It won’t kill me and if I don’t deal with it today, it will just wait for me… I have already gotten better at keeping the mess from expanding. I will be able to get to it when I feel my best and recalibrating my sleep has been helpful.
This brings me to another point about all of this. The Dining Room is one thing, but there are so many different areas in my home where I have performed the exact same trick. Plus there is overlap for where things end up. I have Dining Room boxes in the Basement, for example. So really, as I move through all of the spaces in my home as part of my Spring Cleaning, I realize there is going to be a lot of back and forth. I will think I have a room done and realize that I left something somewhere else. And some of it is OLD stuff. Stuff I will recognize and have absolutely no use for anymore. Stuff that I have moved to new homes and situations thinking it will fit in better elsewhere… I’ll have to avoid the temptation to pull it out of it’s old space for old-times sake. Some things are better let go of.
The process is long and I’m skeptical that there’ll ever be an end to be experienced, but I know that I can improve how I deal with everything. I have the tools to manage things more effectively now and I’m actually excited and feel that this path will lead me to somewhere new and expansive.