As a self-described creative person, I require order and routine in my life in order to create, but as we all know, life is messy. Because I live in my head, people no-doubt think of me as disorganized, but organization is what keeps me functioning. I have my rigid routines and habits. I need the kitchen counter clear, dishes cleaned and put back in their proper places. I hate piles of newspaper tossed about the living room and junk mail mixed with important mail and left lying around. Recycling belongs in the bin. And it drives me crazy that my yard is cluttered with building supplies and leftover lumber, and my porch is a resting place for whatever junk people bring to the house and the empty cardboard boxes those things came in.
Right now, however, the house is a jumble of people and their stuff. Andrew and Natty try to be neat, but their things spill down from upstairs. Lizie and Cole add their junk to the upheaval of the house. Having all these kids around with their crazy schedules and mixed eating habits adds to the confusion. The biggest culprit, though, is Ron.
I admire the fact that Ron doesn’t like to waste building materials and brings home bits and pieces that he spots by the side of the road. He has an amazing ability to spot any number of stray things from the corner of his eye as he drives: tools, flashlights, wallets, and jewelry. He will spot a bungee cord in the grass along I-40 and circle around to pick it up. I joke that he slows the car down and demands that I drop and roll and run beside the car to hop back in after I have retrieved the bungee. He does, in fact, stop the car, though, and gets out to locate the object, but that’s just because I still can’t see the thing after we have stopped the car.
Still, the mess that I live with messes with my head. I have trained my eyes to look straight ahead as I pull into the driveway of my house, and I do not look behind me at the piles of wood, metal, tools, and plastic buckets that surround the house and yard. Nonetheless, I am confused by the disorder that I cannot ignore. I clear the kitchen island and when I turn around, somehow the surface is piled with stuff.
I also need my routines so I can go through the week without thinking too much about what I am doing. Get up, pee, take my thyroid meds, go to the kitchen and make coffee and tea. Make breakfast and pack Ron’s and Andrew’s lunches. Drink coffee and go to the bathroom. Then shower, dress, and proceed. Any missing step disturbs my equilibrium, and if we are away on vacation, I am totally lost and confused. And constipated.
Evenings I go home, prepare dinner, clean up the dishes and read while Ron watches reruns of American Pickers. The pickers are interrupted by Monday night’s Antiques Roadshow and Tuesday night’s NCIS. If Roadshow isn’t on, both Ron and I are left scrambling. I have enjoyed posting great shows to watch on Netflix, etc, but it seems that those annoying pickers rule our tv. I tune out their irritating voices and their blather about old motorcycle parts, but it still plays as the background music of my evenings, similar to the thrum of heavy metal I used to hear emanating from Natty’s room when he was a teenager.
Now that I am no longer teaching, I miss the routines of the week and the order of each day’s classes. I am unsure what day it is, as every day feels like Saturday. Because of that I miss important events. Last week I forgot it was Wednesday and I missed Pilates class. That added to my sense of disorientation, but I almost missed class again this week.
This week I am taking time off from the shop so I can be with my grandchildren in the afternoons. I am having a ball, but not being in the store as much also confuses me. I need to make lists of what I need to do. But then I forget where I have put the lists.
As much as I love the children and grandchildren around, I will welcome my sanity when things slow down and the clutter dissipates. Next week Ron and I will be up at Lake Lure with the extended Davis family. I look forward to time with them, but look forward longingly to getting back to my routine.