…and why haven’t I done anything?
Ok, I have done lots of things. Meeting with the fencing people to get multiple quotes in the middle of the workday. Responding to numerous emails from the lender, the realtor, etc. Answering phone calls that haven’t really stopped since I negotiated, in a hasty hurry, the offer on our house. I mean I am most definitely Le’ Secretaire de Chapmans. Now we are down to 3 weeks to closing date… and I have not packed one single thing. Not a thing. I was on the treadmill last night, starting work on a program that was recommended to me for people who have had chronic injury to ease into a 10k (I will do it, I’ve run more than that on the treadmill before…) and potentially do it on unknown terrain – but, anyway, I was on the treadmill and my mind kept wandering off to “God, I really need to pack… I mean I know we have more than six weeks to move and we are going to piecemeal things down the block to the new house… but geez, I haven’t packed ANYTHING…” Then the anxiety set in. I was running so it was alleviating itself, but as soon as one thing would pass – another would pop in to my head. “I really should finish taking pictures of my Kaffiello collection and posting them online for sale – because those aren’t going in the move.” and the “I really should go through my clothing and send in a ThredUp bag just to get rid of some things and not move them.” — and — “How am I going to move my fish!? The last time I moved my fish it was 4 degrees out and they were all dead the next morning.”
I am a financial coordinator for a living and planning is in my blood – maybe a little OCD, too? – and I get into this cycle of “What HAVEN’T I done?” instead of “What HAVE I done?”
My fiance, Drew, is a list maker. He makes lots of lists, there are filled yellow legal pads all over, but what I don’t know if he knows is that I cannot survive at work without a checklist. I keep a very “high-tech” online prioritization tool with my lists of various items that I need to take care of. I re-order them as priority changes and even add sub-tasks to larger tasks and then check them off as I complete them. I also keep a paper list in front of me to jot down items, in list form, that will then be transferred into the queue as a formal task. We are not so different! However, the difference is that I start to snowball when I lose focus on my home-life “list”. I start to feel like I am not in “order”, like I am not “organized”… and then I throw in the towel – and have a cocktail and then nothing gets done.
I go into each evening with the best of intentions, but then just end up dreaming about the new house and pinning things on Pinterest all night and checking out design ideas on Houzz.com. Unproductive? (Hmmm… Maybe not…)
The truth is that it is hard to wrap my head around the concept that this house is our final destination. When my ex-husband and I were married we moved EVERY single year for the first seven of our marriage. Every time a lease was up. Then we bought our house and three years after that, we divorced. Then I moved back into our old townhouse, then 7 months later I moved to the house we are in now. I have bounced around a lot. I have never felt that a place was permanent. I have never felt that I saw myself in a place “forever”. That’s tough for a person.
I am reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” right now and one of the chapters is on domestic happiness being paramount to a LOT of other things in life. (No, I don’t mean June and Ward Cleaver – or cooking in pearls.) Clutter makes people unhappy. Filth makes people unhappy. General disorganization makes people really really unhappy. She cites other people who have studied what makes humans happy, and in conjunction with relationship satisfaction and feeling validated by your partner – domestic comfort is at the top across the board. It started to make sense to me why I wanted so much to paint the walls, hang things, decorate, get fuzzy throw blankets, brightly colored area rugs… because I really want to be happy in the space so I can adjust to the concept that I will be there “forever”. My irrational fears sometimes take over… “Something will happen and we will lose a job or one of us will get sick and we will lose the house so I shouldn’t get too attached.” (Much like how I had learned to feel about other humans in the last few years, but that is pretty much gone now after being in a healthy stable relationship.) The only way to combat that feeling has been to throw myself into making it a happy place for me to be, that is my house, not someone else’ who just happened to sell THEIR house TO me… This is a super difficult concept for other people to wrap their head around. “Why can’t you just let it be? These things take time.”
…and the answer is that for me, “time” translates into those things moving closer to being “gone”.
The mind is a funny thing. Perhaps, I need a course in learning how to relax without that silly nonsense of “meditation”. Do you people know what meditation is like for a person who HATES being unproductive? It’s TORTURE! Yoga? Can’t bend that way due to my disc injuries. I’m so Type-A that it gets me in trouble. A LOT.
Perhaps, tonight, if I can shake myself out of this sleepy funk, I will pack one tub/box? #Yawn