Six weeks to go. I’ve realized that putting myself to work organizing distracts from my melancholy, so organize I will. Last weekend we started on our master list of to dos. The house is officially in disarray. As I write our dresser is in the kitchen.
So last weekend we got to it. Packed up some boxes of winter items that we didn’t need for the next leg of our journey (a sublet in West Philly, in case you were wondering), sorted clothes for sale and those needing a clean and repair, attempted some yard work…all leaving the house looking even messier, but it’s a start.
This process has finally made me realize what people see in cleaning: control. There is something soothing about the productivity of cleaning a space when everything else in your life is completely our of your hands. I was always baffled by this when people confessed to a love of this mundane task, but I am finally with you–as in I understand, I still don’t like cleaning under normal circumstances.
I am amazed by home much stuff we have, but why? It’s hard to get rid of things, even when you’re a self-proclaimed minimalist; gifts, clothes that never fit, odds and ends…all of which you feel guilty removing from your home. But! Moving gives you permission; one point for moving.
What helps me though during a time of chaos is keeping some consistent routine and for me that is the mornings. It’s silent for about 30 minutes until the birds start singing. Then, it’s them and me and that’s fine by my measure. I [try to] meditate for ten minutes or so, put the coffee on (though I need to quit this vice…), start my breakfast, then sit down with a book; for the past weeks Wendell Berry’s New Collected Poems, a gift I gave L for our first wedding anniversary. The poems are grounding. They’re peaceful. To me they illustrate what happens when you strip the excess and return to a basic existence, communion with the earth and each other.