I’m Too Old To Be This Busy

I’ve been quite busy lately, helping my kids update and fix up their new house before they move in next month.

I have never been a cleaner by choice. I’ve survived, my kids have survived, yet my house has never been a front runner for Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens.

Because of both retirement and Covid, my house is the cleanest it’s ever been. I have a new refrigerator that I keep meticulously clean, and my clean counters and organized pantry are finally proof of my boredom.

I mean, I’ve always been clean — I’ve just always been messy. Disheveled. Sidetracked. At the end of the night before I go to bed I retrace my steps of the day and take 20 minutes putting everything back where it came from.

I so envy my daughter-in-law. She is clean, organized, and keeps up after three kiddos, a husband, and a dog. I’m always getting organizing ideas from her, including bins, shelves, and lists. 

I’m lucky if I can sort yesterday’s pj’s from last week’s.

Every time I come home from her house I am inspired to put more away, get rid of more clutter, and organize the rest so that I can find what I want when I want. 

But I believe it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

I still have a tendency to go three directions at one time, start projects I don’t finish, and extend my energy way past my 68-year-old limit. I want to do ten things at one time, including art projects, writing a new novel, sewing beads on my t-shirts, finishing the two books I started reading, and watching a 52-part Chinese TV series with English subtitles.

One thing is pretty darned clear.

I will have to live until I’m at least 95.

I can’t see getting everything done and organized before then.

 

Cleaning Up Your Act

My friend Chrissy over at Chrissy’s Fab 50’s has been blogging about going through her closets and drawers and other places of secret stashes and cleaning out, rearranging, and thinning out her house — and life.

I love it.

Over the last few months I have been cleaning up and straightening out too. I am so proud of my (finally) thinned out and organized closet, and am eyeing the buffet in the dining room as we speak.

I have also been cleaning up, straightening up, and re-evaluating my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog. I’ve been checking links and spacing and image sizes, trying to make it more esthetically pleasing.

That may not sound like a big deal to most. That is because most take care and time the first time around. 

I just feel like I didn’t take enough time with my work. With my presentation. Like I ran helter skelter around the woods looking for violets when if I would have just followed the path I would have found them.

It’s not that I didn’t pay attention — I did. I loved the art, I loved the showcase. But these days I can’t help but wonder — where was I going when I was in such a hurry to post in the first place? What was so important that I couldn’t have used a little more time to make a precise, pleasant presentation?

This is the funny thing.

The older I get, the more precise I’m becoming. The more organized I’m becoming. The more thorough I’m becoming.

Maybe that’s because the older I get, the more I’m forgetting. The more I’m knocking things off the shelf and knocking things over. The more I lose things, break things, forget things.

Cleaning up my blog or my closet or my pantry are ways to take back what control I still have over my body and my mind.

The positive thing out of all of this is that you’re never too old — or young — to pay attention to anything you do the first time. Or the second time. There’s always time for cleaning up your act. 

Don’t be in such a hurry. Take pride in everything you do. Everything. It sounds so simple, but in reality it’s quite hard. We all have places to go, projects to finish, schedules to keep. 

But our personal space, our personal Art, is just as important as keeping precise spreadsheets at work. You don’t need to be perfect — you just need to pay attention. Take your time. Do it right. Clean it out. Straighten it up.

You’ll love your outer space — and your inner self — when you’re finished.