how to begin

I spent the entirety of Sunday reorganizing the second floor of my apartment. This is what I had to show for it: three bursting, it-takes-two-people-to-lift bags of garbage and castoffs; a bag of too-small boys’ clothing; the satisfaction of whipping my own arse and finally, finally tackling it; a bazillion guitar picks and even more pennies; all the bobby pins that were going to be picked up “later”. SPACE. ALL TO MYSELF.

You know how it is when there’s a chore you’ve got to confront, but tiredness, busyness and apathy provide all the excuses you need to ignore it … for a long time? And then when the task finally seems so overwhelming, even the guilt of failing to begin seems more manageable than starting? That’s when I have to seemingly trick myself into beginning. I’ll start with one small aspect, letting myself think that I’m only going to deal with sorting out a dresser, or, say, getting one basket of laundry put away. And as long as I don’t heap expectations on myself that the entire job will get finished, one tiny step leads to another. Then, if I’m really lucky—and ignore the phone ringing—before I know it eleven impossible hours (and countless songs on countless playlists) have come and gone. And the job is done. I should know this about myself, but it never fails to astonish me how good I am at fooling myself into working my ass off.

The kids did a room shuffle recently, which meant that Number Four, who had shared the second floor with me, moved down to the first floor. Together we moved his furniture into his new room and even brought out a bookshelf from the garage to organize his “stuff”. And everything looked great. Cosy, even. That is, until I went back upstairs and surveyed the shocking amount of junk left untouched and unmoved. My beautiful boy collects everything that is not nailed down, and does not part easily with personal belongings. You couldn’t see the surface of his beside table through his “collections”. Let’s just say that I had to do some covert, merciless editing of the remains. And I was gripped by the need to reorganize the entire space, including moving a king-size mattress, dressers and couch, effectively creating a maze of furniture to push other furniture through.

Judging by the ever-present lock on his door, Number Four is very happily installed downstairs. And I have gained a glorious amount of room to roam: bedroom, studio and open space for yoga. Or space for the yoga to happen when I fool myself into rolling out the mat and beginning with only one small sequence of movements …

the-snow-child

photo by: bliss {in images}

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