If I recall correctly, the above image (which I pulled from a public domain site) is of the atrium at The British Museum in London. They completed this for the year 2000, one of the myriad projects to celebrate the millennium in that great city. I believe the brochure for this particular project states that each piece of glass for this undulating ceiling was cut individually. Well, I’m not surprised. All of those curves and angles means a lot of individual attention was needed, especially for this iconic repository of history.
My head was in about the same state this morning, except that nothing was catalogued or shelved or individually cut and placed in the complex grid that is my brain. The universe knows that I’ve been collecting memories of voices, events, feelings, and dreams for only about 57 years, but there are days I could swear that my repository could rival the great museums of the world. And there are mornings like this one when the weight of the mess is too much to bear. Here’s a sampling:
- Do the laundry
- Declutter the laundry room
- Declutter the closet
- Take all unused clothing to Good Will
- Go through the entire house and find everything that needs to go to Good Will.
- Order a 9-yard box for the driveway because there is a lot of shit in this house that needs to go
- Why does my partner keep so much shit!
- Why do I still have all of this shit!
- Jesus, I should just put away the clothes that are folded up and sitting in baskets.
- I need to make sure I have clean clothes to wear to work this week
- I should go into the office today to catch up because I was out on Friday (sick).
- I should go to the gym today, too, because I missed that on Friday.
- If I go to the office, then I can go to the gym afterward, and then I’ll come home and do laundry.
- I should write thank you notes, too, from Christmas.
- Who gave me stuff? I better make a list.
- I have to forward that email to my partner so he can get in touch with his friend.
- Oh, crap, here are three things in my email box I need to deal with
- Facebook is better than email.
- Facebook is full of crap most days.
- Why don’t people recognize fake news when they see it?
- Why don’t I just pick up after myself every day instead of letting everything get this messy?
- I should start with the bathroom.
- I want a nice, clean, uncluttered bathroom. My bathroom should be a sanctuary for me, a place from which to start each day fresh and a place to unload before going to sleep.
- New towels would be nice.
- Oh, gawd, I should do something about this wallpaper.
- This stupid little closet in the bathroom is next-to-useless. Who designed this?
- OMG, all of this old makeup! I remember when I used to do my hair and makeup every day. Well, that was the 80s.
- OMG, the 80s. Big hair, high heels and blue jeans.
- I will never look like Meg Ryan.
- I loved Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.
- Carrie Fisher was in When Harry Met Sally. She was great.
- Oh, gawd, Carrie Fisher is gone. So is Alan Rickman and Gary Shandling . . . too many people have died.
- I used to watch The Tonight Show with my dad when I was in high school. I remember Gary Shandling being on that show.
- I used to know how to make coffee on the stove. I didn’t drink it myself, but I knew how to make is just right for my dad.
- I wish my dad had liked me more. I know he cared about all of us, but he never gave the impression that he was in my corner.
- That old house we lived in. Crappy insulation, but I remember how warm it was under the covers.
- That morning when I thought I’d get up and help my mom out around the house, but I felt so dead tired, and all she could do was yell at me for not keeping my word about helping with the housework.
- That house looks so small to me now.
This is why I cannot meditate for shit. There is no way to empty my head of all of this stuff. So I called my sponsor.
I’ve had several different sponsors since I’ve been in the program. I like to think I learned a little bit from each one. My current sponsor is someone who has been a friend in the program from early on. We are definitely on the same wavelength for so many things. My sponsor often just gives me a way forward, and that way forward is, paradoxically, to sit still for a bit a connect with my Higher Power. When I connect with my HP, a lot of the bullshit can fall away.
Today’s bullshit has been a lot of shaming and a lot of “shoulds.” I’ve been mentally berating myself for taking a sick day, for missing work at the office as well as a workout (as if missing one workout sends all of my progress down the toilet). And then I was berating myself for not having done more work around the house in this time I’ve been at home, e.g., I should have started in on laundry, I should have kept up with decluttering, I should have put these other things away.
Writing in this blog/journal is a way for me to meditate. It’s a way for me to get things out, and it’s a way for me to remember what I’ve learned from a talk with my sponsor. It’s sort of like the only way out of this maze is to stop for a moment and make my own map.
I’m a “doer;” I have a hard time just sitting still, and I often think that the only way to get things done is to just start at one end and work to the other. But my house is too big for me to tackle in one day, and my recovering won’t ever respond to that kind of linear approach to sorting and cleaning.
So, here is the way through the woods for me today (my Action Plan, another of the tools of recovery): Make sure I have clean clothes for work this week (which will likely include tackling some of the laundry concerns), get my gym bag ready for a trip to the gym tomorrow morning before work, stop after those two tasks and consult with my HP about what might be the next most beneficial activity for today.
Updated 1:55 p.m. Gym bag ready for tomorrow. Clothes enough for the week. Laundry started.