Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beautiful Disaster

I highlighted where Part 2 starts because I like you.

My boyfriend once told me I was a "beautiful disaster." I didn't mind because I just heard "beautiful" and that was it.

Also, because it's true.

In work life, I am super organized. I am copious, I know where everything is. It's right under neath that pile of binders, scripts, notepads, post-its and pens that have no ink.

Yeah, disaster.

I'm cool with my work life way of being because it works for me, meaning, it does not hold me back. I always get my work done and always on time. I like having everything I need around me... I'm good with it.

Now, where being a disaster affects me is in my personal life. I would like to not have you over right now because I don't want you to see that I am a perfectionist... but in a bad way.

See, I can't recycle magazines. I have to sort them by theme and then by those themes, divide them into piles according to which hospital, clinic or dialysis center I will bring them to. I can't take clothes to Goodwill, that's what everybody does. I am a perfectionist so I have to scour out the most random shelter and bring them there.

But not until I have sorted them between stuff a teenager could wear (that goes to one shelter), stuff a woman could wear to an interview (that goes to a different shelter) and day-casual (that goes to a shelter all the way across town, the one with no parking... but I'm definitely going there... one day.)

Yeah... perfectionist.

Well, "perfectionist" until I am completely overwhelmed by piles and boxes and random bags of clothes.

If you knock on the door and I let you in, do not look surprised.

PS, the perfectionist in me wants you to know that my place is super clean. You just can't tell because you can't take your eyes off the pile of "Shape" magazines that are stacked to the ceiling.

So I have this talk with my shrink because life has really turned around amazingly for me recently. I have a great job and my butt is shrinking in ways that make me say "Yes!" with a fist pump when I try on my jeans.

I feel good. I want everything to look good.

I have this wish for this place that I live in and love and this is not it. I read "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big?" by that organization guy who's always on Oprah. I get that this is a problem.

One issue is I am sentimentally attached to stuff. For instance, when my Dad was really sick when I was 12, we had to get 10,000 signatures from people in our state to protest that my Dad was going to get kicked off his health insurance because they didn't want to pay for his expensive, life saving, take his heart out and replace it with someone else's surgery.

When it was all said and done (we got the signatures, we won, he got the surgery), my Mom threw out the reams and reams of paper with people's signatures.

And I crawled into the garbage to get them.

Beautiful. Disaster.

We stood outside of churches, grocery stores and gas stations to ask people to save my Dad's life. And they did. And I wanted to be close to the people that had done it. That made my Dad be alive.

Maybe that's what all this perfectionism in donating clothes or magazines or other things to "the right place" is all about. I want the people I'm donating to, to feel cared for. Like some busy person rushing into that Stop N' Shop all those years ago made me feel by taking the time to sign that petition.

Part 2

Long story short. I xoxoxo my new shrink but when I talked to her about my weird "donation" hoarding she pegged me as possibly slightly ADHD and said some people cannot be expected to organize for themselves because they are "too genius."


I mean, I lapped it up... but even I know that is bullshit.

She was trying to convince me to hire someone to organize me and my possessions and all of a sudden I was having some kind of freaked out vision of all my stuff being laid out in the drive-way while a camera crew from "Oprah" filmed me while I cried over an old Ritz cracker canister that I couldn't part with because it had too much meaning to me.

When someone tells me I can't do something, I become quite determined that, "Yes, I can."

I decided to go all Obama on my living room. Here's what I did:

I got some colored masking tape and I taped off 10 zones of my living room. All of a sudden everything became a manageable 2 x 3 area which I could attack daily. I had to be merciless and when I couldn't be merciless it went into a "Deal With This Later" box.

Everyday I have to deal with one zone. Buh-bye, off it all goes to be donated or recycled or thrown away.

I realize if someone walked into my apartment and saw masking tape lines everywhere, they would think I'm crazy but what's crazier - figuring out a way to do this myself AND overcoming a huge hurdle or having to pay someone $300 or $400 bucks to do it for me?

You let me know what you think. I'm about to tape square boxes all over my bedroom floor.


This blog is dedicated to eatin' pants.