Much like traffic interrupts a lazy Sunday drive processing encounters road blocks. Kondo suggests that during the KonMari process that you do it all in one sitting (see my father’s mantra successful people do it now really fits into a multitude of areas of life). The problem with this is that, well sometimes it’s just not realistic. If you remember my clothes took me 6 hours to finish and let’s be honest two weeks later I still have four bags of clothes to donate that are taking up space on my bedroom floor.
So I sit here on February 7th and still haven’t finished. In fact I haven’t even finished reading the book. I am trying to catch up and write what this process has been like for me. The powerful changes it has sparked. The challenging questions it has stirred and left mostly unanswered. But as I try to write my blog (which I recognize is half written and now this post will be out of order) about my first day of doing the KonMari Method I sit here looking at piles of crap. Some small, some large, some well contained in storage tubs and some in a chaotic mass, but all piles of crap nonetheless. Piles of papers, books, toys, pencils, photos, piles and piles of stuff. Stuff that just doesn’t have a home.
I can’t focus on telling you what made me cry or how my heart is lighter or how my tolerance for others has decreased. I can’t even share how my self care continues to improve daily. Instead on this SuperBowl Sunday I stare at the empty cabinet that David built to put the liquor in and the 50 bottles of liquors which are still sitting on the floor and all the piles around me. My knee jerk reaction is to take the many piles of crap and put them in one of our storage tubs and put the tub right back in the storage. That seems much easier than dealing with it.
The irony and most difficult part about this process is that I’m doing it alone. David supports this process but he’s not joining in and helping. That’s neither a complaint or a judgement purely an observation and a statement of fact. I told him he didn’t have to and he hasn’t.
The analogy shouts loud and clear I have to come to terms with the fact that this is my crap (the emotional crap that keeps me running and the literal crap that I see on the wooden floor in our apartment). Some of it is in fact stuff mixed in with David due to our history and the fact that he also collects piles of miscellaneous stuff. But the fact remains it is now clear I have to deal with this crap alone. What a painful fucking realization. This is my road block. The flashing sign that says “Stop! It’s time to deal!”
I’m great at compartmentalization of everything and anything. It’s an amazing and soul sucking skill. I do it literally and figuratively and really always have.
When I was in junior high I learned quickly that in order to get free time I had to be neat, clean and orderly. I was a normal eleven year old girl who had better things to do than to clean my room. So when my dad or his then girlfriend instructed me to clean I grabbed plastic grocery bags and bagged everything up that didn’t belong. I packed each white plastic bag nice and tight, tied the top and threw it in my closet. I then cleaned so every inch was spotless. My room now spotless and my freedom gained while all the while no on ever looked in my cluttered and jam packed closet. My life lesson early on? Appearance of perfection was better than actual perfection.
At 36 I recognize that I still suffer from this. I am the clean one in my friends and family. My house is always immaculate and tidy. I am always ready to entertain. However when you look closer you would see the plastic bags of an 11 year-old being stealthily hidden in a closet. Today as I dump another tub out and try to go through it without just hiding it back in an “appropriate” place I can feel my frustration and my overwhelm creep up.
I am tired of staring at piles of crap. I am tired of being exposed. I want organization. I want cleanliness. What I need is to empty my closet out. I’m struggling doing this alone and that has to be ok. I would suggest if you’re single do it alone. If you are in a relationship doing it together might be more helpful so you understand what is happening with the other. However, don’t miss the opportunity to really go through YOUR bags hidden in your closet. Don’t dump them on your significant other expecting yet another person to clean up your mess.
I did not succumb to throwing stuff in any container (except for one basket of mainly David’s stuff he can organize later). I saw the road block. Didn’t try to take a short cut and admitted the difficulty in the process to David. Here I am proud to say I successfully put my running shoes up if but for one more day.
Run JKO Run!