Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days: Day 12, er 13 - Re-evaluating things

Here we are, day 13 of the 31 Days challenge. I see now why the word 'challenge' is in there. Yesterday, I just completely ran out of time and ideas and thought I was done. I'm sure a more seasoned 31 Dayer would say something like, "Oh, yeah, that 12th day is when it really starts getting tough. If you can push through that, the rest will be a breeze!"

Actually, It's not the writing part I'm having so much trouble with, it's my subject matter. When I first decided to do this, I had an idea that I would systematically go through my entire house, tackling ugly closets and forgotten junk drawers and sharing it with the world. Then I chickened out broadened my subject to include other things like recipes and crafts and furniture projects so I wouldn't completely chicken out get burned out. Then, I discovered this blog. Jules is doing exactly what I wanted to do, but, as you can see, haven't. I haven't shared a single decluttering/reorganizing thing since I started. I'm fascinated and inspired by the idea, I just can't take that first bite of the proverbial elephant. And, let me tell you, I'm staring at a very large elephant here.

I have been doing a decent job at keeping my house presentable mainly because I have people over at least 2 times a week. That has forced me to keep things picked up and looking nice - on the outside. But there are still rooms in my house that I keep closed off to friends and even relatives because they are just catch-all rooms used for last-minute stashing. Even my bedroom is that way. For as long as I can remember, I have been at peace with that. I've felt that I have a right to have places in my house that are closed off to others. Now, I'm not so sure.

I accidentally brewed caffeinated tea last night so I had plenty of extra time to think before I could fall asleep. One thing I realized was that I'm not really content with my current system anymore. I live in constant fear that the guest bathroom toilet will explode and someone will have to use the bathroom in my bedroom. Oh, no, please not that. Or that, God forbid, someone would need to put a bag of ice in the freezer in the laundry room. My husband and I are always having to intercept that one. Why has this been ok with me for so long?

In my personal life, I'm going through a season where I'm trying to be real, completely real, with my friends and family. I'm trying not to keep hidden those things I've thought best to keep hidden for the good of everyone. I gotta tell ya, it's not a very fun process. I'm having to go to neglected corners of my mind and sift through ideas and thoughts that, for whatever reason, have been there for years. Sometimes, someone will stumble on one of those places and I've just stood aside and let them enter to find whatever they find. That's been the hardest. Kind of like letting someone go through your stuff even before you have and just sitting there, watching. It's the ultimate 'before' picture, left to linger for a while before the 'after' is revealed. I want the 'after', but I'm very hestitant to share the 'before'. But, in the same way that I want to be 'known' by those who know me, I want my house to be a reflection of that. I want my friends and family to feel completely comfortable and at ease in my house. I want them to feel like it's their house, too. That's what I've always wanted. That's how I've always felt. But instead, I get irritated with myself that they don't have all of it because I haven't been willing to share all of it. 

I thought this whole thing was about a William Morris quote, but, for me, it's turned in to something else. It's about letting everyone in on my process. It's about deciding, once and for all, to let my friends and family have an all-access pass into my home and my life, no matter what the current state. Then, when I've let people in to my 'before', they'll really appreciate and celebrate the 'after' with me.

P.S. Tomorrow I'm starting small. My kitchen junk drawer. 

Click here for the rest of the 31 Days posts.

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