Sunday, May 30, 2010

Betty is irritable

Maybe it's the heat.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm once again attempting the dreaded deed- getting my house in order.  Or maybe it's the combination of the heat and the dreaded deed, with no air conditioning on top of it all.

First, the air conditioning.   It seems so extravagant to turn it on during the month of May!  Good heavens- I grew up without air conditioning at all!  Why should I now need it to survive the month of May?  Something seems not quite right about that.

There's more.  Two summers ago, my central air went kaput, and the service technician warned me that although he was temporarily able to render it functional, it was on its last legs.  So I'm on borrowed time.  Having scarcely recovered from my two recent purchases of a washer and a chain saw posing as a hedge trimmer,  I am far from ready to take on another major expense.  If I don't use the central air, I won't lose it, right?

It seems as though I have spent a good deal of my adult life attempting to get my house in order, literally.  I am not a pack rat exactly, and I'm not a hoarder exactly, yet I exhibit traits of each.   I tend to accumulate, mostly due to laziness.  I don't bother to examine what I'm bringing in, what I'm keeping, what I'm not putting in its proper place, or whether or not each item even has a proper place.  The result is a higher degree of chaos than anyone would be comfortable with.

I present this issue as though I think that cleaning a house is a once-in-a-lifetime proposition.  I think that once I've cleaned my house, I ought to be off the hook.  Forevermore.  During my development I somehow failed to grasp the principles of household maintenance.

Whenever I tackle the house problem, I create a bigger mess than what originally existed.  Below, for example, I have totally organized the drawers and cupboards of my kitchen/dining area.  That's great for the drawers and cupboards:

but bad for the rest of the space:

 After several days, many hours and much irritability, I did end up with a better looking house than before:

Yet a nagging issue remains.  It's not good enough.  It's not perfect.  I have kept a few items which I know, deep down inside, that I should have gotten rid of.  This, for example, has no place in my life:

What does a grown woman need with a dinosaur habitat key chain?  Seriously.  It doesn't even have sentimental value, since I have no idea where it came from!  Yet I can't part with it.  Why?

Those nagging items are ruining any sense of accomplishment.  I may as well have left the mess, because I am so disturbed now by the lack of perfection.  When chaos prevailed, I had no worries.

Betty remains irritable.



Lynilu said...

Well, Betty, your sense of organization sounds amazingly like my own. Bring it in, but what does the word "out" have to do with anything? The difference with us is that I'm rarely irritable about it! Only when I'm expecting company do I get my panties in a bunch, and then it is amazing what I can do! I'm 66 years old; I'm not likely to change. It's OK with me!

Try not to get too stressed! Life is too short. Have fun!

B.S. said...

Dear Lynilu,

Your wisdom rings true, as usual. But I just hope I can convince myself to quit stressing! I don't know why this bothers me so much.


Lynilu said...

Well, my solsution to letting it go is not what I would wish upon you .... AGE! It mellows us!! ;D

I updated my post, per your request!

surjit said...

Hi Betty,
"The Law of Chaos exists when the observing mind cannot accept what is.....
The Law of Order exists when the observing mind can accept what is, regardless of the appearance of chaos...."

B.S. said...

Dear Surjit,

I do think you've nailed it! Acceptance is the key. And I have acceptance when I enter other's homes, no matter how messy. Now I can apply that to my own house, since i already know I'm capable of it.

Thank you!


Aurora said...

Dear Betty,
Give yourself permission to be irritable until martha stewart is willing to come work for you full time!
Feng Shui says clutter is symbolic of inner issues/stress.
Ongoing maintenance is what you have been doing in your soul and heart searching - even the most avid housekeeper takes a break now and then until they are ready to tackle what still remains - that day.

Em said...

I know exactly how you feel! I go through this every time I have to bite the bullet and get my house in order again! A couple of weeks ago I watched a marathon of Hoarders on TLC and OMG I went through my entire house and just started chucking stuff. I ended up with 4 trash bags for Goodwill and almost as many for the dump!

B.S. said...

Aurora, that's what I'm worried about- the inner stress/issues. I often feel that my thinking is cluttered, and I have to write everything down to sort through or to stay on track. I can't just think- I have to see the thoughts on paper. I suspect that really getting my house in order would make the thinking easier.

I don't know if that made any sense.


B.S. said...

Dear Em,

That's a great idea! I need to watch a Hoarders marathon! That kind of inspiration would do wonders.


Big Dave T said...

"hedge trimmer masquerading as a chain saw."

You can't be too irritable to come up with a line like that. Too funny.

I think your cast-offs look interesting. I would be hesitant as well to get rid of them. Curious as to what the "monster" box is for. Maybe for the dinosaurs when they outgrow their habitat.