Gentlemen, Start your engines!

Please note: This blog was started on Monday April 26th.

It begins today, and it will run for the next four to six weeks. Swimming lessons Monday – Friday from 11:10 until 11:30, admission process for Montessori school, putting 25hrs into my paid job, various dental/doctor appointments and maintaining the chores in and around the house. As I drove the boys to Suzann’s this morning, I was going over the chaos beginning today. Seems this is a good example of what summer will bring, when the kids actually do start school and follow the school-year calendar. Happily, I still have a year before that happens.

On Sunday, I went to luncheon for women at our church. The purpose of the luncheon was to make sure the women knew what type of groups and activities took place within the church, specifically for women. In addition to the rundown of various woman’s groups, we heard Connie Smith speak. And, as I listened to Connie’s story, it was another reminder that we all live a life full of chaos and challenges.

The chaos of this week and the weeks ahead seems trivial in the shadows of Connie’s story. But, I am not Connie, and though I learned something from her story and took with me a refreshed mindset, the reality of my life is the only reality I know. I mention Connie and her story, because as I write about my challenges, I understand there are others out there with bigger challenges. Plus, knowing others are struggling, helps me keep my things in perspective.

I tried to find my Super Woman outfit Sunday night, prepping for the weeks ahead. In my search, I found Charlie’s wubba nub, one of Joe’s puzzle pieces, two quarters and a slice of toast. [Don’t ask.] I’m not sure where I left my Super Woman outfit. Maybe that is why I am having a hard time keeping everything afloat. Surely, once I find the outfit, I’ll be back on track and invincible. Plus, I look really hot in the Super Woman outfit. Though, honestly, when I am bloated, the outfit is much too restrictive.

I have started my engine, and this week has me running in high gear. I’m enjoying the chaos for the most part; because, when I don’t have things pressing, I tend to procrastinate to the point of complete avoidance. Plus, it is easier for me to keep away from spontaneous snacking, when I am busy with life. As is often the case for me, snacking is frequent while idling. Although, snacking while stressed is another habit of mine. Here’s hoping I continue to find the fun amidst the chaos, and the Ben & Jerry’s stays at the grocery store.

So, I started this post on Monday, as I indicated. And today? Yes, today is Wednesday April 28th. Seems the busy schedule leaves little time for blogging. Rest assured, I have managed to stay up-to-date on emails, Facebook, and We all have our priorities, eh? I have also squeezed in a movie via Netflix, playtime with the boys, multiple loads of laundry and . . . Well, I am sure I accomplished other non-scheduled tasks. And once again, my blogging is being cut short, as it is time to pick up the boys and take them to swim class. Once swim class is over, I will need to tend to the vacuuming. I don’t think it is a good sign, when the carpet resembles a hiking trail.

Hiding the Junk

Behold, the junk drawer.

Today, I am going to share my thoughts with you, as well as what is in my junk drawer and what is behind door number one and door number two. Yes, today I risk sharing too much, though perhaps I crossed that line long ago. I have such a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, and my busy mind is starting to prevent me from falling asleep easily. On the surface, I like to have things organized and tidy. I do not like having clutter around the house, in my car on my desk, etc. Nor do I like clutter in my head, yet it my head seems to be a permanent residence for clutter. If you were to come to my house on any given day, you would find a relatively clean house. Wait a minute. I just looked around me, and well – I do see some clutter. UGH! Looks like I have even more tasks to tackle today. *sigh* I digress.

Generally speaking, the surfaces in our house are cleared of clutter. Because we have two dogs, you would be hard pressed to come to our house and not find clumps of dog hair on the floor or dust on the mantel, etc. I try to vacuum the house every week, and I try to dust the house and clean the bathrooms at least once a month. I don’t clean windows, nor do I mop our vinyl floor. My husband will mop the floor approximately twice a year, which I appreciate. Based on my cleaning efforts, our house is – as I said – relatively clean. However, there are a few places in this house where I fail miserably on lack of clutter and organization. And today, I have decided to come out of the closet. Though cleaning and organizing the closet is a better use of my time.

Behold, our junk closet.

I submit to you my first example of a chaos and clutter: our junk closet. This closet is in our dinning room/kitchen area. We keep the dog food bin [not pictured]  in this closet, as well as bags, batteries, paper products, broken toys, old phones, candles, etc. I have tried organizing this closet on two separate occasions: while nesting during my first pregnancy and during a PMS surge of frustration caused by the clutter. Evidence of the prior organization attempts is no longer – well – evident. I have given in to my junk closet, as now I simply try to keep things relatively easy to find, when needed. And, I am thankful for the fact that the junk closet has a door, making it easy to ignore the chaos and clutter.

Behold, our linen closet.

Next, I submit to you my second example of my poor organizational skills: our linen closet. What a mess, eh? And, by mess, I am referring to the way the items are literally stuffed in the closet. Sometimes, I will close the door in an effort to stuff the items more firmly in place. Much like an overstuffed car trunk or suitcase, which requires you sit on top of it to close, our linen closet needs an extra push to close completely. What bothers me most is the fact that much of what is in the linen closet is no longer needed or used. I could easily take the blankets and sheets to Goodwill or MUST, so those who need these items can have these items. Why don’t I clean out the closet? Well, I have tried. Some of the blankets have emotional ties, and I can’t help but wonder, “What if I need these sheets one day?” It’s ridiculous. Some of the linens in the closet haven’t been used in over a year. I highly doubt I will ever ‘need’ much of what clogs the closet.

Oh, and if you look closely, you will see Kyle from South Park.  (Second shelf going down, by the yellow sheets, face down.) One of my siblings gave me all four characters of South Park for Christmas several years ago. Why do I still have these stuffed characters? I haven’t a clue. Maybe I think they will  be worth something one day. I can see it now, I’ll bring them to the Antiques Roadshow and gasp in amazement, as they inform me the four  South Park characters are worth half a million dollars. Wow. What a moment. Yes, I most certainly should keep those four characters. My husband and I are going to be rich! Or not.

The closets and junk drawer give us a place to hide things. We are able to keep various items we believe we will need one day, but we can keep them in a place that doesn’t interfere with our day to day living. Well, the junk closet is opened daily at our house, when we feed the dogs. Our dogs are great companions, so I’ll accept the chaos of that closet for the sake of the pooches. So, although the outside may appear nice and neat, with tidy counter tops, table tops and mantels, what is in the closet may tell an entirely different story. And, if we actually took time to go through the junk drawers and closets, I am certain we would find more junk than anything else. Why is it we hold on to junk? The junk doesn’t just fill our drawers and closets, it fills our minds. Throughout my day, I have thoughts in my head that do nothing but create chaos and clutter. Typically, the chaos and clutter comes from thoughts of insecurity, paranoia, anger, frustration, etc. In an effort to shut out these negative thoughts, I might turn to food. And, just like an extra push is needed to close our overstuffed linen closet, I become overstuffed with food and need an extra tug when trying to fasten my jeans.

When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers gave us grades based on how clean we kept our desks. She would go around on a weekly basis, checking to see if our desks were neat and organized. She made the comment that she could tell a great deal about a person based on how tidy a person kept his/her desk. Her comment stuck with me, and I always made sure my desk was organized and clean. Even as a kid, though, I thought the joke was on my teacher. If she ever came home with me and checked my dresser drawers or closet, she would be appalled. I knew how to give an appearance of organization and neatness, but I lived a life of chaos and clutter behind closed doors. Nowadays, my dresser drawers and clothes closet are in better shape. Still, I have a great deal of work with regards to the junk drawer and closets, which is apparent in the pictures I shared. And, I have work to do regarding the clutter and chaos in my head. Perhaps, if I start working on one, the others will follow naturally. Stick around, ‘after’ pictures could be right around the corner.