I'm Just Saying…

December 31, 2010

New Year, Same Dust

Filed under: Daily Life — jillamyrosenblatt @ 2:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

This time of year calls to me. It’s more than the holidays, the impending New Year,  and the singing of Auld Lang Syne. This time of year heralds my yearly cleaning ritual. I like to think of it as my own personal winter solstice, a rebirth of sorts when I make my feeble attempt at cleaning out the clutter, sucking up the dust bunnies, clearing away the cob webs. I try, I really do.

I rationalize that my lack of housekeeping skills is not my fault. I’m a writer; I should be at my computer all the time. I take heart every time I’m on the internet and I read the laments of other writers;  the  messy houses, the uncooked meals . I stop weeping and gnashing my teeth.  I am not alone, there are others out there. And they’re just like me.

Still, I have often dreamed of living in a minimalist home. I imagine a clear, unfettered space where there isn’t something piled in front of every closet door, piles of paper are not arranged like upside down pyramids,  teetering on the edge of collapse. I often wonder if there’s something Freudian at work that I’ve designed my living space like a giant game of Jenga. I’ve read articles praising the benefits of a minimalist home: less stressful, more pleasant visually, easier to clean. Uh… yahh!

So I went to work. I spent hours, without stopping, without eating, without drinking, determined to clear every item off the floor, put everything in its place, ready to forge ahead into 2011 with an open, clear, work and living space. Maybe it’s the symbolism of the exercise. New Year, new start, nice clean house. Nice theory.

For all of those minimalist people out there,  I salute you. I don’t know how you do it. How do you live without… stuff. I have stuff. Lots of stuff. I need my stuff. It comforts me. Mostly paper stuff. And I swear that paper multiplies on its own and begets more paper. No matter how much I shred and recycle, every time I turn around, there’s more paper. It’s like the blob. Only it’s paper. And what about those papers that you need to keep but you don’t really have a spot for? They don’t fit in the filing system. They’re not for a household appliance, they have nothing to do with taxes. But they’re important. They are important pieces of paper that someday I might need. How can I throw them out? Why would anyone do that? But I digress…

While I did throw out some things, I moved most of the other things. That’s what I do; I organize,  I consolidate, I move items from one place to another. Sometime in February I will need those items and I’ll have no idea where I put them. I’ll console myself; at least I didn’t throw them out.  I spent six hours dusting, vacuuming, straightening, and sorting. When I was finally done, I had six bags of garbage. My apartment looked the same. What is that??

Perhaps I should make a resolution this year to stop observing the winter solstice cleaning ritual. Perhaps I should make a new resolution: to turn over a new leaf, adopt a new minimalist lifestyle that I will observe every day throughout the coming year.

That’s a bold resolution.

I’ll think about it. After all, even if I don’t do it this year, there’s always next year.  🙂

I wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year!

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