Monday, December 31, 2012

Little by little, every day

In the past days, beginning since last week actually, I've had very little time for... well, for everything, it seems. And when things are a little rushed, as you may well imagine, my computer time - along with other personal pursuits - is the first to go. So what happened? Nothing too terrible; my husband is feeling a little under the weather, and took a few days off work. And of course, as you all know, when a family member is sick - and particularly when it's Daddy staying off work - your routine (often along with your sanity) flies straight out of the window.

For me, the most difficult part in days like these is the feeling that I'm milling around, trying to accomplish this and that - simple things, really - but somehow, nothing gets done. The barest essentials stretch throughout my entire day, and it feels like every little task demands thrice its usual time. And of course, laundry still needs to be taken care of, meals cooked, dishes washed, animals tended, play dates hosted, etc, etc. 

So, in the midst of my little frustrations, I decided to challenge myself and change my attitude. Perhaps, in the near future at least, efficient work is denied me. But I can still do something... and why not in the areas that can give me satisfaction, while also benefitting everyone involved?

Clutter is one of the things I find most difficult to tolerate. I see a place that can be beautiful, and yet it is messy; I see space that could be wonderfully utilized and easy to maintain and clean, and yet it is piled high with stuff I know we will never use again. This is especially jarring after I've visited the homes of other people, homes which are smaller than mine, yet every object has its proper place and function, and nothing unneeded is tolerated within the home - from necessity, which blossoms into something very inspiring (for me at least). 

However, I have also had to come to terms with the fact that I am married to a pack rat, who finds it hard to say goodbye not only to his 20-year-old floppy disks from the era when DOS still ruled, but also to some little baby sleeping bags which Shira used for perhaps one month, and Tehilla not at all, and which have been taking up much-needed shelf space for nearly 4 years now. Furthermore, my husband will rarely pass a dump with discarded furniture without rescuing a few boards, some door knobs, nails, etc. Most of these sit unused for years, until I (after a long process of negotiation) wheedle permission to dispose of them.


Please note I am not complaining. I realize this quality is part of my husband's self-sufficiency; he is always on the lookout for useful objects which help him in his DIY projects, which have saved us a great deal of money throughout the years. Whenever we do need something, we are almost certain to have it on hand. But due to such accumulation of various objects, our house - how shall I put it? - does not have the look of a showplace. 

So... having said all this, I realized that lately, I have been wallowing in bitterness over the inability to put the house in order the way I see fit. "Fine," I told myself, "I lost the battle. I will always cringe when people come to visit." But then, as I looked around me, I realized that all around the house, and especially in the yard, there is trash and clutter in abundance (without even taking the disputed stuff - and there's a lot of it - into account), and lately I have grown neglectful about it, because I couldn't have my own way in everything. Well, no more, I said - and began the job of clearing the yard. It might never look perfect, but it looks much better, and I feel much more accomplished, too, despite everything seemingly being upside down, at the moment.

Since I truly cannot know whether I will have time to log in tomorrow or not, perhaps now is also a good time to say that tomorrow will be our Shira's 4-th birthday. Actually, since we count a day from the evening before, now is tomorrow already! No words can be enough to say how grateful I am for this child - this wonderful, special child. So many sweet memories accompany the moment, 4 years ago now, when she was placed in my arms - so tiny, so fragile, so perfect. Now it's hard to imagine that once upon a time, she was not a part of our lives. 

I feel that if I'm going to write much longer, I will end up sounding completely incoherent, so I'd better wrap this up now. I hope to talk to you all soon, and certainly intend to fill you in on our (as planned, very modest) birthday celebrations. 


Gothelittle Rose said...

I am in the exact same place where you are when it comes to clutter, with the added problem that *I* have a bit of the packrat in me too, and I can't toss anything without wondering if I'll need it the next day...

I have a very good friend in my closest sister, who comes in every now and then, picks a room, and throws stuff away that I want to be rid of but can't bear to touch.

Lady Anne said...

I am also married to a Hardware Packrat! Not to mention the Scrap Lumber King of the entire county. Whatever we need, he has it - somewhere. When my dad died, we threw away coffee cans rusted solid with bent nails and nuts and mis-matched bolts.

My sister used to say men only had different faces so we wouldn't bring the wrong one home from the grocery store one day. But, ah! When you do find the Right One, it is wonderful indeed. Happy Birthday to Shira, and many years ahead for all of you!

Anonymous said...

Oh My!!! It sounds like me!! My husband and teen girls have been home on Christmas break here in the USA for 10 days now, and there has been illness also along with presents and cooking and visitors,and candy and cookies, and visiting and late nights and ...well everything is everywhere except where it belongs mixed in with all the Christmas decorations . All I can think of is ORGANIZATION!! You have inspired me once again! Karen

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Maybe we could follow each other on bloglovin or GFC? Please leave me a comment or follow me and I will follow you =)

kharking said...

This reminded me so much of my day today. I'm finally slogging through rotating the kids clothes to the next larger size, deciding which of the old we don't need to keep for the next baby and putting away the rest. The constant interruptions from little people mean that I have a half-finished job for my husband to come home to and a long evening ahead of me after everyone else goes to bed. I come from a long line of recovering packrats and, while I love to be able to walk into my pantry to get something that I put away so that I wouldn't have to buy another one later, I'm trying to be realistic about what things are truly ever going to be a part of my life again. Those fleeting moments when a small corner of my home is clutter free enough to really enjoy and be peaceful in are so lovely.

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, ha. My husband is a mr.fix-it and a mr.packrat too. Lovely and awful at the same time.
After 24 years of marriage we have compromised on having the hall, living room and small bathroom clean and EMPTY. The rest has to be tidy, that means anything kept has to be put away and to be easy to find.
I used to be so embarrassed when he looked through skips to see what was there. I now laugh at myself, how silly I was to care.
It's so good to have a man that fixes and builds for his family.
God bless you

Avigayil said...

Oh boy oh boy can I ever relate! Clutter turns me into a screaming monster. It totally drags me down into the fog of discouragement and despair. I can NEVER seem to get on top of it. My DH is a pack rat too. I, on the other hand, LOVE to throw things out whereas just the idea of throwing anything out makes him physically ill. Sigh.

Avigayil said...

I assume you know about this site?

It's helped a lot of people I know and if I were home full-time I would so do it!

There's also the S.H.E. book (Sidetracked Home Executives):

My mom discovered them in the '80s and we used their 3x5 index card system which worked very well for us. It's very organized and not complicated.

Avigayil said...

Also google "feng shui and decluttering"......for inspiration.

Miriam said...

Dear Anna,

I really do hope everything is ok. Be safe.

momto9 said...

I'm the same way...cannot stand clutter!!! And often think how I'd love to have time for projects or for keeping the floor washed even and et upset...but truly...just picking up makes such a wonderful difference!