From the Braver Institute
Talking about the weather is getting a little bit old. It has been so cold the past couple of months that everyone seems to be staying indoors, hanging out with their imaginary cabin fever friends and only venturing outside to go to work, school or to get food. I know that is all I have been doing.
As a person who has precious little use for winter, this one is taking a toll on me, but there has been an upside to this miserable deep-freeze we have been enduring; I have a new winter activity.
I have never been accused of being a neat person. I’m not a slob, but you will never equate me with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clutter and disarray are the hallmarks of eccentric, pseudowriters. In spite of the apparent chaos of my existence, I seem to know almost exactly where everything is through sheer force of will. For the bulk of my life my filing system has been to remember where I left something. Sure, sometimes I can’t find a piece of paper or one of my kids, but I have seen people who are insanely organized not find that which they are looking for because they have forgotten if they filed their children under K for kids, H for humans, or P for people. I am not convinced that such a level of organization is the way to go.
Anyway, back to my new winter activity. Since it is too cold outside to do the winter things that I have a slight interest in, I have turned housekeeping into a my new hobby. For the first time in my life I think my house is in such a state that I would actually entertain guests, and it has stayed that way for more than a day.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t live in filth. My dishes are washed, my clothes are clean, there aren’t experiments growing in the refrigerator, and my house doesn’t smell, but I am prone to having growing piles of paper on my desk, junk mail, newspapers and magazines on the kitchen table, assorted shoes scattered around my entryway, and the peninsula in my kitchen can take on an appearance that more closely resembles a workbench.
A few weeks back I set to work with my imaginary cabin-fever friends and we cleaned house. All of the flat surfaces were decluttered. Nice placemats took over for the newspapers and magazines that once ruled the kitchen table. The floors were all swept, mopped, and vacuumed depending on the material they were covered with. All of the items destined for the recycler were taken there. And the web of wires that existed near the electronic epicenter of my living room is no more.
The shocking thing is that my house has remained this way. Oh sure, the papers still grow on my desk for a few days, but then my new hobby kicks in and I take care of them. At this very moment, the only tool on my peninsula is a tape measure. There are a couple of knives and a paper towel that I didn’t take care of after supper last night, but they will be gone when I start to make breakfast in a few minutes.
The weekend is coming and I will straighten up my shoes and I will run the vacuum over the floors and I will clean anything else that catches my attention, but that will hardly be enough to keep me busy for the entire weekend.
The imaginary friends are suggesting that I clean out my closets and organize the cabinets in my laundry room.
Cabin fever is a wonderful thing.
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