Friday, May 6, 2011

One Bite at a Time

I think nearly everyone knows the parable (or whatever) about how to eat an elephant. One bite at a time. I have never been very good at that. At least not in spacing the bites out over the course of days and weeks. If I want to do something, a project, rearranging, anything,I have it stuck in my mind that I have to do all of it at once or not at all. In part this is self-preservation because I also tend to get bored very quickly, so my enthusiasm for any given project will almost certainly fade before the project has gotten done. I often ask friends and family members to keep me company or help me with projects because I know that if left to myself .... they won't get done. At least not to any degree an average person could call done "well."

I have been working on this. I'm over 30 years old and suddenly it occured to me one day that I could do that project in little pieces. I don't recall the very first time it occurred to me, but it was A Revelation! So I have been trying to talk myself into that for various projects since then. And it is working!

Since I got my laptop I don't spend a lot of time in my spare room/office. Plus I had it "organized" except that i had a lot of stuff lined up against the wall that had the radiator on it. Which meant the room was always very cold. For a couple of months I have been pondering how to move things exactly. What is The Most Efficient way to arrange the furniture in there. (I'm a nutcase about that.) After my Dad got sick one night I tackled my business stuff. Samples and brochures etc. I had sorta set up a system once but then it didn't really make sense to me, so I never stuck with it and it all went to pot right away. It is now well organized. Well Organized.

I have a cute little white shelf/stand thing I got from a friend that I've had in my bathroom for a couple of years. I got a little white shelf from Goodwill to use to better organize my books. I'm a bit of a bibliophile. The stand in my bathroom is really cute, and to be honest, feels a little "wasted" in there. One day it occurred to me that I could swap the two. Earlier this week, I did that. Here is the stand in my bathroom. And boy oh, boy was the last one being underutilized! This one is at least half empty and it's probably 3/4 the size of the other one.

I also got a tv/microwave stand. I'm not certain which it is "supposed" to be, but I realized that the one I bought is about 2 inches wider than the one I have my microwave on now. This is worth noting because I had to buy a new microwave a year or so ago, and I thought it was the same size ... Totally NOT. It fits, but just barely. When i realized the one stand was a little wider I decided to swap them out. Again, this, in my head, was a crazy big ordeal and involved 3 rooms of the house and hours upon hours of focused energy and concentration. One day I decided to just do it and on my lunch hour I swapped the two stands. Yes you did read that right. On My Lunch Hour!! Loved it. Actually I loved the feeling of accomplishment I got to carry around with me all day.

I have, as previously mentioned, an obsession with efficient usage of space. So I am constantly pondering the best way to organize things. Especially my books and movies, since those collections are constantly growing. My movies have been stacked on a book shelf for the entire time I've lived in this apartment. But it just never quite felt right to me. It worked and I didn't have an alternative, but I knew it wasn't "efficient." One day I realized I could use the other TV/microwave stand thing instead of the bookshelf. So Wednesday night, I did that.
I pulled the stand into the living room, put all the movies into the canvas boxes I already had and put all my DVDs back on the shelves. And as an added bonus, it gives me somewhere to put one of the plants I am accumulating.

But Wait!
That's not all!!

I did it again at lunch, today! I realized where I ultimately want that small bookshelf to end up, so I put it over there and put all my non-fiction books on it. And I left it sit there even though the rest of the corner isn't "right." I left all my fiction books just sitting where they were and didn't organize or rearrange them at all. Because I didn't have time and just as importantly the stand is not where I'd like it to end up. So I just left it. I did one small bite of a fairly large project, and left the rest for later!

On the one hand I'm very proud of myself for all of this. Truly this has been a Major Thing for me. On the other hand, I'm cornfounded. My coffee table is almost completely covered in crap. My shoes by the door have zero organization. I have two piles of Stuff in the spare room. And dishes to be done. But, I just can't make myself want to take care of those things. I know it's a touch of depression. Mostly I'm ok with that. But sometimes I wish I could be different. I wish I could cope by cleaning like a crazy person. I wish I could make myself care or even just take care of it. But I am trying to remind myself that My Dad hasn't even been gone a month yet. Letting the house go to pot, a little bit, is fine. It is acceptable. No one will think anything of me one way or the other based on the state of my apartment.

I am trying to remember that I am functioning. I am working, and I enjoy it. I am sleeping and still eating regularly. I am keeping in touch with my friends and family. I am crying when I want to. This is what Grief looks like. This is where I am right now. And that's fine. I'm ok. I'm not fantastic, but I'm not shutting down either. So, I'm happy that my little projects are getting done. Eventually they will all be done. Well, actually, probably not. Because I never stop moving things around. But the major swap stuff will get done. Eventually. Someday.

For now, it's back to watching The Hangover for at least the 15th time.

No comments:

Post a Comment