Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Growth

Tiger Lily, helping out in the art room...

This winter I'm noticing something. Something miraculous. I'm loosening up.

In teeeny, tiny little ways.

The house is messier in the corners. But I'm happier.

I'm not doing everything I planned to do for the holidays. But I'm calm and peaceful.

I cancel with friends at the last minute. And I trust that they'll understand.

I get mad at things and make rash decisions. And it's okay.

What is happening here? One guess is that once you get the kind of news that scares the shit out of you, that won't go away, that requires constant vigilance and hope and prayers and endless amounts of faith -- the little stuff falls away, bit by bit. Priorities become more clear. Suddenly I see that options are not always endless. I have to choose, I have to make priorities. It doesn't matter one bit if the dishes are left undone. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT DIRTY DISHES. They might gross me out, but they'll get done (usually not by me!). Or thrown away.

However -- I do care about arts and crafts. About creating, in any and every way, shape, and form. Someone at work recently told me, "You're a maker. It's part of who you are, isn't it? You can't not make things. It's something that I really love about you."

I glowed for hours after that.

I've been practicing. I leave the table messy, and trust that it will get cleaned up one way or another later. I notice that the rugs need shaking for days. And I replace the anxiety that pops up with a kind of couldn't-care-less attitude (even if I have to force it) that feels amazing.

And you know what else? My house is not any messier or dirtier than it ever was before. It's still fairly presentable most of the time. The bathroom is still mostly clean most of the time. The kitchen still gets cleaned every day. By me, or by Terri. The difference is that I'm not obessed with it. The obsessing didn't do any good. It was just a way for me to channel anxiety.

Now, instead, I'll sit at my desk in my precious, beautiful art room, and fiddle with things.
Or I knit while watching a movie.
Or I indulge in trashy books.
Or I bake things that I won't eat (but my coworkers will devour happily!).

The change is internal. It's better. I said to Terri the other day, "Have you noticed that I'm leaving things messier these days?" She says, "Yes! It's such a relief!"

Also, I must profess yet again my growing love for the tiny art room. I love this room so much. It is always there in my heart, a warm, happy comforting little space. When I'm sitting in there, with stars glowing in the window and a kitty on my lap, I feel such amazing peace. I have needed this space for years and years. It's a space where I don't have to do anything amazing -- I can just fiddle with a project for weeks. Somehow having this space has allowed me to drop some of the pressure to finish things that prevents me from starting them in the first place. It's so wonderful to be able to leave a project out and just work on it for a few minutes whenever I want, rather than having get everything out and finish the project right then because otherwise I have to put everything away, then take it out, then put it away, etc. It's so freeing.

So growth is happening. If you come over and and the bedroom is messy, but I'm smiling, be happy for me. I'll be glad to show you my latest little art project.

1 comment:

sasha said...

it's taken me years to loosen up about the housework... though i have to say it gets downright Disgusting in my bathroom, since i live with someone who is blind without his glasses and both of us prefer dim lighting!!! oh well.