Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 1: Why?

I have no idea when it was that I first began my torrid love affair with Stuff.  I honestly cannot recall.  All I know is that, whenever I have felt lonely or insignificant or even just a little bit sad, Stuff has been there to make me feel better.  Stuff's been there to help me celebrate the good times, too.  The problem with our relationship is that it's inherently unhealthy.  The whole time, it's just been an illusion.  Stuff doesn't love or need me in any way.  In fact, Stuff has actually been slowly suffocating me, turning the joy we once shared into sometimes overwhelming depression.  And the worse part about it is that Stuff doesn't even care.

I'm tired of feeling claustrophobic in my own home, and I'm tired of fearing the possibility of  unexpected visitors, because Stuff is always lazing about, flopping wherever might be most comfortable.  Stuff is the elephant in the room that I've avoided discussing for far too long.  So, I've decided it's time to end our relationship and kick Stuff to the curb.

In all seriousness, my OCD can sometimes be debilitating.  Instead of turning me into some super-powered, psycho clean freak, it overwhelms me with all the minute details involved in decluttering my home.  Rather than seeing a small task to be done, I see all the smaller tasks that are involved in that task ALL AT ONCE and how those tasks relate to ALL THE OTHER tasks that are as of yet unfinished in my home, until just considering starting something becomes all too bewildering.  Then I end up curled up with a book, or the TV, or the computer with my invisible blinders on trying to ignore all the chaos that pushed me to near-hyperventilation in the first place.

So, what's different this time?  In the past, I've always looked specifically at what needs to be done in my home and have always come up with a mile-long list that's more than I can bear.  Recently, however, I was surfing the web (possibly while avoiding housework), and I came across 31 days to an organized home, which led me to other sites with similar goals.  All of these sites had one thing in common, they'd broken down the elephant that was their major cleaning and organizing project into bite-sized tasks, something I had been unable to do myself.  So, I used their lists to get me started, to give me a recipe for my elephant, if you will.  Then I just tweaked the ingredients to suit my tastes.  When I'd finished tweaking, I had my very own recipe for elephant, unique to my needs.  Apparently, that small shift in perspective, taking someone else's bite-by-bite plan and working it to fit my task instead of trying to take my task and figure out how to make it bite-sized, was all I needed to put together a workable plan without needing to reach for a paper bag for breathing.  Who knew?

So, if you've had difficulty taking that first step, because you see a whole elephant when you should just be dealing with the toe, I hope this 31-day challenge can help you ... just as others' journeys have helped me.  Bon appetit!

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