Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm not the woman I used to be...

You can tell a lot about a person by the condition of their home.

Mine here at home pretty much reflects the state of my life right now - organized chaos. My $35 ReStore desk and haven to most of my creative writing serves as the foundation for a laptop, an extra monitor (how did I ever type with one monitor?), a hoops and yoyo musical birthday card from my kids (from last November), two coasters, a glass of water from yesterday that is resting on neither coaster, coupon books, some unpaid bills, a LEGO magazine and a manila folder filled to the brim with school papers that need to be filed right after I get around to the three years worth of other school folders. I'd add a handful of Chex mix in there but the dog just took care of that.

I used to be so neat. So meticulous. OK, so OCD. Even after kids it was hard for me to wear shirts with spit-up stains, or to see jelly smears on my cabinets. I had file folders for everything from household appliance manuals to the kids' monthly weigh-ins at the pediatrician.

Slowly, though, I think I just gave up. My first clue is my desk. Five or ten years ago, never would I still have a Peoria Park District Playbook from the 2012 Winter/Spring session. I mean, really????? That was so five months ago. And what is this - an expired Kohl's flyer with a 30% off coupon???? What is my problem???

My second clue is my nifty new vacuum cleaner with the clear canister. I can actually see firsthand the filth that has been accumulating on my carpets for the past two weeks or so since I've plugged this little gem of  a machine in. It grosses me out to see the results yet gives me an odd satisfaction at the same time.

I even used to organize my dishwasher. Cups had their own lane in the upper deck, Tupperware was stacked neatly so as not to pool water. Plates were assembled by size. Now it literally looks like I bundled all my dishes in the tablecloth and threw them in. And I wonder why I have to run them through twice sometimes.

In a former life, the clothes in my closet were segregated by style: everyday shirts, dress shirts, capris, dress pants, skirts, dresses, jackets and blazers. Seasonal clothes only. Opposite seasons were stored elsewhere. Now it looks like Wal-Mart's Faded Glory section threw up in the corner of my room. The shoe box that once housed "peep toe pumps" now holds a pair of old flip flops. The box marked "strappy black sandals"? Fuzzy slippers.

What has happened to that neat and tidy, "a place for everything and everything in its place" girl I used to know? She's certainly not the one who puts dog treats in the same cabinet as the marshmallows and the water balloons. Not the woman whose meticulously-planted edible herb garden now looks like a small forest after a nuclear winter. Not the same person who, instead of washing her front door clean of fingerprints a couple of times a week still has a crayon drawing from last March of School House Rock's "Bill from Capitol Hill".

Maybe I've just run out of time. Maybe it's just not a priority anymore. Maybe I'm just too damn tired to think about filing bank statements when I could be watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or finally reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Rather than lament my demise into the world of clutter and chaos, I'm going to embrace it. Chalk it up to the new, laid-back me that lives by the old adage that your kids won't remember if your house was clean or not. Now my motto is, "Dull women have immaculate homes."

Now if you'll excuse me - I have a book to read.

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