Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clutter as Teacher?

This week hasn't been so easy for me. Cleaning is NOT fun. I mean, on any given day cleaning clutter and a root canal can battle for top spot on my "make me want to vomit" list. True story.

I'm learning a valuable lesson here. It's all about the "religion of stuff." How I worship stuff. How stuff symbolizes goals and accomplishments. How stuff acts as medicine, therapist, and confidante. At this exact moment in our house, there is not a real corner without a stack of writing books, or a pile of scrapbook layouts, or 15 pieces from a leggo set, or a sock, or a half-eaten cereal puffy thing. In this house, stuff represents all the things we're striving for, and everything we're just shy of.

I want to publish a book. It's no secret. I have amassed what seems like every single title that involves writing or fiction known to Bookdom. They're everywhere. I buy them when I'm lazy and I'm thinking about writing. I buy them when I'm in the middle of writing and I need an excuse to get up and leave. I bu them when I'm depressed about how I am 31 and I'm still struggling. (Books are just an example here...you can substitute it with pretty much anything I have lying around...scrapbook materials, yarn and knitting needles, fabric and the sewing machine, cookbooks, recipe cards, excercise equipment...you name it, I own it.)

I'm figuring out that to me, owning objects equates to realizing dreams. And it's just not that easy, is it? Sure, I'm terrible at knitting, but don't I get any points for owning 86 balls of yarn?

What's harder is the realization that owning mountains of neat things that I'll never accomplish is getting me nowhere closer to accomplishing. If anything, I come home and I'm stressed. Too much crap. Too much geegaws. I look at that craft shelf and I don't feel motivated, I feel annoyed. ("Who the hell bought all that s&^t, anyway?" My natural reaction is to blame P. Surely he thought it'd be a good idea to grab 15 pads of scrapbooking mat papers, right?)

The other half of that vicious cycle is money. It's no secret that the Applegates ain't exactly the Rockefellers yet. But financial dieting pisses me off. And spending little amounts of money on little piles of doohickeys is a cheap little addicting thrill. I might possible throw up on myself if someone were to tally the amount of money I've spent on my endless good intentions. ("This bi%$h is crazy!!" my piles of thingies is screaming.)

The internal war that unfolds whenever I come near the stacks with a trash bag is heart rendering. (I know, I'm dramatic.) I see my "How I Write" book by Janet Evanovich and I think, "How could I possibly throw that away? I may need that as a reference someday?" Truth be told, I've gleaned all that I can from most of my books and now I hold on to them for no real reason. Same with the yarn. Each unused ball tells the story of what I wanted it to be (a hat for Andrew!) and what it never is going to be (a hat for Andrew!), because, let's face it, an abomination occurred the last time I picked up yarn and round needles.

I've written off this week's challenge by saying I don't have time. I cleaned out the fridge so far, and that's it. (Lame!) Yes, I'm in danger of failing this one miserably, but I AM learning the valuable lesson behind it...more stuff = more fun, right? Ha!

Hi. My name is Megan. And I think I'm addicted to my clutter. :)

1 comment:

  1. Me too!! Glad to know that there is someone else out there who is sick like me!! Nice to know ya friend.......