I’ve been on a cleaning kick of late:
Cleaning out, sorting through, giving away and tidying up.
My cousin and I chat often and she’s well aware of the “stuff” that’s been taking up space in my head. She’s the one who picked up on my cleaning tendencies from 1,700 miles away.
In an email, she referenced the tasks she considering doing last weekend. I wrote back … and prioritized her list for her. Geez.
She commented, “Tidying up is one of your ‘tells’ you know” …. and she’s right. When my world feels chaotic, there’s something in me that needs to organize what I can. It helps me make sense of the crazy.
As a girl, I remember “playing” office. I’d straighten up papers and play with the typewriter, sit behind a desk and pretend to talk on the phone. The desk was always clean. The thing is, I didn’t know anyone who worked in an office so I don’t know who I was channeling. My siblings and played “School,” too, but this was different. “Office” wasn’t adventurous; “Office” could be played alone. The “Office” was also where I retreated to on wintry days when I couldn’t escape on my pony to sort out my thoughts.
To this day, my office is neat and clean. Why? Because job demands can change on a dime so being organized helps me deal with others … who are not. But that’s not all of it: keeping my work space tidy …calms me.
At home, most of our space is organized and clean. There are areas that needed attention and lately, they’ve gotten it. They’re tidier, I’m feeling more at ease, and those other things picking at me? They’re still there.
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What are your conscious (or not so conscious) ways of dealing with stress?