It’s time to cut up the list of rooms. Getting the blog up and running this past week has dumped me (and therefore the whole family) into a new chaos cycle. Dishes are piled in the sink, laundry is piled on the couch, parrot feathers float across the floor, and the powder room has been taken over by the bunny because it’s over 100 degrees outside. Fortunately the dog’s not due to have any seizures this week (he has them on a regular two-week cycle).
My older son got his drivers license a few weeks ago, so I’ve let him use the car while I’ve been learning how to set up and manage a blog site. Buys me time, but it doesn’t buy groceries, so the fridge is empty. They’ll have to survive on day-old bagels this morning.
Not only is my house cluttered, so is my mind. I have spent the past couple of years working on clearing my head of obsessive, ego-generated thoughts, creating space so that I can be more present, more conscious. Nurturing stillness in my head allowed me to hear the deepest whispers of my heart.
But the blog has filled my head up again with swirling thoughts about new content, writing ideas, and how to mold these ideas into the book I’m working on, Feng Shui Animal House. I tried meditating this morning, with only partial success.
Exacerbating all of it is the weather. Here in the D.C. area, today’s heat index is supposed to reach 115 degrees. That means I can’t run (outside at least). Temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees all week, and I’ve allowed that to get me off my exercise schedule. Some people can take the heat, but I can’t. Hot and humid weather makes me break out in hives when I’m running, and I come back looking like I’ve been mauled by a tiger from the scratch marks on my thighs and arms. Exercising five or six days a week has become key to my mental health. This week I’ve done nothing (except give birth to a blog).
So today I will begin to dig myself out of this short period of chaos. Because I am easily overwhelmed and almost certainly ADD, I have developed strategies over the years to trick me into productivity. My starting point is always the bowl of rooms.
I start by printing out the list of all the rooms in my house. I cut it up, fold each tiny slip of paper listing an individual room, and throw them into a bowl. Then I pick out one at a time. I can handle one room at a time. And leaving it up to the universe to decide which room should be cleaned makes it a little more fun (one less decision I have to make, anyway).
Sometimes if a particular area is really bad, I’ll divide the room into smaller sub-sections and pick those out of a bowl. Whatever I pluck out of the bowl, I do it thoroughly before moving on to the next thing. It sounds silly, I know. But for most of my adult life I lived by the motto “A Clean House is a Misspent Life.” The room of bowls, which I put into practice close to fifteen year ago, was my first step to transformation.