I am sitting in my favorite chair in my Great room, a beautiful 20+ foot tall room with two floors of columned windows. I should be in my “Happy Spot”. Unfortunately I can hardly see a spot to be happy about. Even further, I cant really see a spot at all. As my eyes wander around, this is in “real-time” what I see:
1. An opened, full glass of what-is-that on the floor? No, TWO!
2. Socks…why do I see four socks and three colors?
3. Three blankets, all waiting to be peed on
4. 5 remote controllers, we had 4 yesterday…and why all on the floor and not in the bin? Am I sounding like the Twelve Days of Christmas from Hell?
5. DVD’s: DVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVD…ok my eyes are going all wibblety with this one….
6. Um…I don’t think I even know what that is….
7. One, no two, no three coats and the hooks are just a couple of feet away…again CAT PEE magnets
8. Are ALL my dishes in here?; I can’t even recognize what is on that dish…..YUCK
9. Why do people keep bringing in tree sticks?
10. I thought I hid that?
11. Someday I would love for my beautiful staircase to be just a staircase and not a merchandize rack!
12. Why are MY pillows in here?
As I look around, now rather agitated, I am trying to find a way to leapfrog from my chair to the kitchen over all the stuff that has accumulated in this room IN ONE DAY. Really? One day?
My family says I have OCD. False.
First of all I would not be so unfortunate as to have bipolar disorder, anxiety AND OCD. Although, after living with this for 20 years, I’m thinking I see a potential root cause for any one of the three…. 🙂 I don’t like a lot of stuff out. Too true. But not out of any kind of “obsession”.
Yes, there is a satisfaction to order. Order helps me find items quickly. Order reduces my anxiety, as I do believe that “everything should have a home”. But the reason why I am NUTS over the list above is that visually I go blind when I see a lot of “stuff”. It all flows together and I find that while I can see, I can’t distinguish anything individually. I HATE going to stores. Too much stuff.
So, no, I don’t have OCD but I do have “something”. Either a high sensitivity to visual space or a problem with visual perception, or I’m just plain nutty. I also have some short-term memory problems, and I quickly forget where I placed an item. So add this to the above and you can imagine my anxiety related to the whirlwind in my house.
What also makes me unhappy is that I will now waste a good deal of MY energy to put the area to “rights” so I can see what is really here. And that is a terrible waste of time. And cancer taught me that time is precious, fleeting and seldom used wisely. So I resent wasted minutes I could be spending doing other activities that are more productive.
So is it that we have too much stuff? Or is it the case of not too much stuff, just nowhere to put it and no one eager to “tidy up”? Am I just living with 3 other slobs who make it look this way? How did we GET all this stuff? Even the sound of “stuff” drags me to the ground. I think it is all three. Stuff is weighing down my life, with nowhere to put it. And yup, I live with messy people. Bummer.
My husband’s clothes. The walk-in closet is two feet away. Apparently he has a closet phobia. Somewhere in there is my bathtub.
I. Just. Don’t. Know. Where. To. Start….like my cat? Want him?
But not just the physical items. My personal and work email boxes are chock full of “stuff” I can’t get rid of without a lot of time to really read them and figure out if they are necessary. I’m afraid to get rid of any of them in case I will need the information later. But a huge psychological weight presses on my anxiety button when I open up my emails and I am blasted with the sheer numbers. I’m like a balloon at the busting point. Everything new makes me anxious. Need more gig-space please……
What does Jesus say? “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavily LADEN and I will give you rest”. Get rid of the stuff and lighten the load. But getting rid of the stuff means that I will have to rely on Him to provide the information JUST when I need it. And deleting emails is just lightening the “Stuff-itis” in my head. What about the rest?
I think the word “stuff”, or “full”, is a pivotal word for this generation. Everything is too easy to get, too hard to give up. Information is too plentiful, and without time to critically evaluate what comes at us, it becomes impossible to look at the meaning or need or truth in any of it. I am being drowned in “stuff”. But, to be truthful, it is my choice to buy it (or let it stay in my inbox or on my table). It is my choice to have an email. Well, ok, not for work. But I don’t HAVE to have a personal email account, I CHOOSE to. Therefore I choose to be bogged down by it all.
Once the tornado of “stuffitis” hits, how do I get out? I give loads of stuff away several times a year. Over the last 20 years, probably enough to fill the houses on my street. Yet I find that my house is more filled than ever.
I feel like the 5 loaves and 2 fishes that Jesus miraculously turned into enough food to feed 5000 before it was cleaned up.