Sunday, May 30, 2010

When Serentiy Prayers Won't Work

How do you admit you have a problem? Face it head on? Let it fester for a while? Wait until your family stages an intervention? For me, I think it's a combination of all three. There's no substance abuse here, no illegal drugs, no behavior that is non-conducive to a productive life . . . but there might be a problem. Let me back-track about three weeks.

Jordan and Shelby finished their first year at Temple on the 12th (quite well, I might add). They came home to a messy house as I finished up with a student teacher a few days prior, was back in full teacher mode, and settling into a precarious balance of extra duties. Translation: cleaning was the last thing on my mind and I really didn't care. I'd had about six hours sleep over the course of two days and woken up thinking every morning for a week. Things at work had been reeling in my brain for days on end, and I could have cared less about what the dining room, living room, my room, and bathroom looked like. The Girls, on the other hand, did . . . and I totally get that. Truly, I do. But for me, cleaning would most likely wait until the first day of summer break.

I do this every summer, literally, spending days pulling everything out and doing a thorough purge of crap. Stuff I bought at Target on clearance - gone. Stuff I "rescued" from Mom's house - gone. Stuff I have been saving for another use - gone. Get the picture? Erika can tell you . . . I might not surface for a week depending on the mood, but the house gets clean. This year, I decided differently because the Girls were expressing their frustration with the clutter. Jordan even asked how, if she and Shelby were so tidy, I could live with all the mess on the dining room table. Truth be told, I really don't like it, but I've gotten used to it. And, I knew that once I got started, the yarn and knitting crap would take a full day to sort out properly.

Yesterday was that day. Dave and I went to Target and bought some lovely clear storage containers. I opened up a notebook, carefully inscribing "Projects" on one page and then skipping about 30 pages and writing "Yarn" on another. At 10 AM, I pulled out the first of many bags next to the couch to begin a slow descent into my own personal hell. You don't have to knit to understand this . . . you just need one hobby or craft or passion or collection. By the time Shelby woke up, the couch was covered with bags of yarn, projects half begun and discarded, various needles and books and shit that I long forgot I had. "Hey! You're cleaning the dining room," she said. When I pointed out that this was from next to the couch, her look changed. I don't think it was sympathy but more of concern.

By the time I finished pulling stuff out from bags, from cabinets, from under the table, from a beautiful stand that Dave bought me years ago when this obsession was manageable, I had no clue what to do next. Start by putting sweater-quantity yarn into a bin: check. Hang your head in shame over the ten sweater-quantity yarn selections you just put in that bin: check. Wonder if it's too early to start drinking: check. Think about running away: check. Motioning at the couch and the dining room table, I told Dave that I had no clue what to do next. "Well, you have to do something because it can't stay like that," he said.

About seven hours later, I finally admitted that I was, in fact, as done as I was going to be. Honestly, I accomplished a lot but nothing at the same time. Sure, I had the yarn all nicely organized and cataloged and tucked away . . . but the five sets of vocabulary essays and five sets of punctuation quizzes were still sitting in my school bag, my summer clothes still sat in Space Bags upstairs in the hall.

But damn if I don't have the nicest, most organized yarn in the county. I even saved a spot for the yarn I need for a new sweater.



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  2. I'll read later, but I had to tell you that you're gross. Sorry. I still love ya.

  3. Trust me, I get that. There were hanks in there from Knitter's Merchantile bought for projects I can't even remember. Three bins (albeit small ones) of sock yarn . . . THREE!

  4. At first glance of the new post I saw all the GREEN yarn and knew it was Jill that had posted :) - GOOD FOR YOU for going through your stash! On top of that only needing one day to do it! BRAVO! 3 bins of sock yarn = SQUEE!!!!! Nice baskets too :)

  5. The fact that you are "proud" of me for having three bins of sock yarn is so wrong, Cherise.