The zen-mastering of my home is still going splendidly, or rather, the zen-mastering of my soul. The day after I wrote the blog post I shredded one million old bills that were sitting in a plastic bag waiting for such. And by shredded I mean manually tore into little pieces with my own bare hands. Another day I threw into recycling stacks of coloring pages and class work from years of two boys being in school and myself being too lazy to sort things daily into keep-forever, do-not-keep, and keep-until-they’re-old-enough-to-not-wonder-whether-or-not-you-kept-it.
Did you ever notice when you clean out a child’s space they immediately play with things they haven’t played with for months because it was buried under too many other things they don’t really play with? I love that part. And I feel exactly like that child now that I’m sorting my life. Every moment matters more, because I’m purging all the stuff that distracts. Loading and unloading the dishwasher, for instance, is so monotonous and feels like such a time-waste because I know I’ll be right back there in precisely one meal to do it again. But if I load and unload the dishwasher and then sort Drew’s dresser – which seriously took like thirty minutes, if that, but FELT SO GOOD – then my house-cleaning moments of the day feel truly successful. I knew they mattered now not just for a few hours but for days.
But enough about housecleaning already. The thrilling thing is that my thoughts followed my purpose, and I feel all sorted and focused lately. Now, I hadn’t really mentioned, but I was feeling sorta not. (Maybe I had mentioned, in a way). Remember when I was all chemo-y and the best I could do was imagine that a day might come when I cared about things again? I mean, not people – but things, like becoming a writer and achieving our house goals. Well, it’s taken a while. I felt a little dead inside since chemo. I wasn’t terribly shaken about it. I fully believed I’d be me again eventually, but at the time, yeah, definitely dead inside.
So imagine my GLEE the other day, shortly after starting the Decluttering Zenassaince of 2011 when everything I read or watched or saw sparked creative thought. I was all, “Ooh, that’s just why I want to write!” or “I’m so putting that in a book someday” or “Isn’t that just the reason for living?” And it felt so good to be back, or at least well on my way.
So keep decluttering, I say. There might be any number of emotional breakthroughs for us because of it. Or at least, there will be new space for the cat.