“Light reveals us to ourselves, which is not always so great if you find yourself in a big disgusting mess, possibly of your own creation. But like sunflowers we turn toward light. Light warms, and in most cases it draws us to itself. And in this light, we can see beyond our modest receptors, to what is way beyond us, and deep inside.” – Anne Lamott
I spent all day yesterday in grubby sweats, covered in dust and cobwebs. My garage and storage area (and laundry room and spare bedroom) have slowly become catch-alls for random “stuff” strewn in random piles….every time I would add to the piles I’d think “ughhh! I will deal with that LATER! I just can’t deal with that mess right now – uggggh!!”
Well, piles stress me out. I like order. I like to know where things are when I need them. Clutter & disorder make me uneasy. My too-busy-to-deal way of coping with “stuff” is to make piles. Piles = “organized” mounds of mess.
This is not helpful.
Yesterday presented me with some uninterrupted, rainy (cancelled baseball games & cancelled plans to mow & weedwhack!) hours with which I could dedicate to immersing myself in the undoing and uncovering of piles. [truthfully, I will admit that I made 2 new piles (1. DUMP & 2. GOODWILL), but those piles are small, orderly and have a purpose! 🙂 ]
I have to say, my garage looks pretty spectacular. Yes, it’s still dirty (garages are just dirty places!), but it is super organized. Ask me where my hoe is! Wanna borrow my caulk gun? ‘Cause I know where it is!!! This makes me happy. Last night I kept going downstairs to peek at it. Still clean!!
The storage area/closet proved a bit more challenging. Boxes upon boxes of photos, mementos, important documents, Liam’s elementary school art projects…old journals, college papers, letters, yearbooks – I still have my running log from 1997 when I trained for my first marathon!…I found myself drifting in and out of that zone you get in when you revisit the past.
Reading the old journals was a major eye opener. Okay it was a huge downer. To look back and read that in 2003 I was struggling with similar issues….that, in many ways, my 30-something self and my 40-something self are fighting the same fight.
What does this have to do with my 100 day project??
I can mentally mark different parts of my life by how big or small I was at that time. How I was “doing” in terms of my eating disorder, depression and all the detritus they created. That’s a pretty f*cking pathetic realization right there. I don’t want to remember my life in weights. That is one reason I am not focusing on my weight during this 100 days, and not mentioning it here. I have stopped weighing myself on a regular basis because frankly those numbers are meaningless to me in the grand scheme of this experiment. In the grand scheme of this life.
I’m in it for the long haul & I am willing to wait. I am no longer interested in quick fixes and magical thinking. I know my habits won’t change overnight, nor will my health blossom magnificently in 3 days because of something I eat or don’t eat. Part of this process, for me, is to interrupt the childlike thinking and grow the hell up. Too often, when something hurts, is too hard, uncomfortable or scary, my reaction is the equivalent of a little girl’s “Wahhhhhh but i don’t waaaaaant to!!!” (or “Wahhhhhh I want to eat that whole entire bag of swedish fish!!! RIGHT. NOW!”)
In order to build lasting change I am practicing patience. I’m slowly learning to put in the work, pay attention to the process, and wait. Change is slow.
It’s freeing to get rid of needless crap and look clearly & honestly at what you have. I am hopeful that this project of mine will grow my happy healthy awesome pile & shrink the ugly dusty eyesore of a pile I’ve been dragging around.