When I moved away to college, I distinctly recall that my mother ordered me to leave my room a mess. Coming from a woman who was obsessed with cleaning, I thought it was a strange request. It had certainly never been an option in the first 17 years of my life.
Years of therapy later, I came to realize that my mother liked cleanliness and order because it was about her dual allies: structure and control of emotions. I'm able to express my emotions (yes, you're saying to yourself, I read this blog and know that you are a persistent over-sharer). Even so, in my own life, cleaning has served the purpose of permitting me to manage my anxieties in a mostly functional fashion. In the last week, with my son away and out of contact with me, I have been a cleaning machine. My usual cleaning tasks were dispatched with efficiency and then I turned my attention to other matters. It's a very efficient way to keep my demons and anxieties at bay. And the end result is a tidy home.
First target: the kitchen pantry. Here's how it looked before.
And afterward it was most lovely.
Next up: the family bulletin board that hangs in the hall between the kitchen and the living room, directly across from the basement door. Please note the before chaos.....
Look for a post next month on the bulletin board project, which entailed a little more than simply cleaning off the old papers.
And then I worked on my most challenging task yet: the large (and very full) bookshelf in the study. The before photo says a lot, mostly that I have delayed this task for far, far too long. Also, in a more promising interpretation, that I like to read.
During....Please note that the feline wildlife had completely fled the room and might have left the premises if they were allowed outside. They did not find cleaning enjoyable.
The boy will return tomorrow. He may or may not be impressed with our newly ordered life, but he'll certainly benefit from the fact that all this ordering helped to keep his Mama sane while he was away.
By the way, the nice people at Blogger report to me that this is my 1100th post. I had no idea I'd produced quite that much drivel in the last three and a half years.
Update: Nichole is right...I have a grits problem. But when you mix a cup of cooked grits with a cup or two of grated cheddar cheese and a few chopped pickled jalopenos and then bake the lot in the oven for 20 minutes, then you will understand why I love the grits.