Before anyone starts thinking of possible prescription meds to solve this, I’m happy to report that I’ve found an effective treatment. Last year, while immersed in the post-Christmas doldrums, I binge-watched a show on tidying up (yeah, it was that one). Then I went on Amazon, the officially supplier for cold-weather shut-ins, and had a whole whack of itty bitty boxes with dividers delivered. Then I systematically went through everything. I mean, everything. For a couple of months, I picked through every drawer, every cupboard, every closet, and toted out bag after bag of nothing in particular (and yes, I thanked it before I pitched it).
It felt really good, good enough that the fact that it was winter didn’t bother me so much. Like, good enough that this year, once the holiday hullabaloo was over, I just automatically launched into it again (holy crap, it’s amazing how extra stuff can grow back in only a year). Like, good enough that I actually look forward to the next domestic vivisection.
While I am somewhat beholden to a certain home organization guru for kicking me off on this endeavour, this post isn’t intended as a testimonial or an endorsement for any particular methodology. It’s just that, while I’m turning over proverbial rocks and dealing with everything that scurries from underneath them, I feel the need to also take stock of my reasons for doing so. I like to gut my mindset as I gut my closets.
So, into my second winter of epic tidying of the space between walls, here’s what I’ve found in the space between my ears. Being inside most of the time forces one to be alone with one’s thoughts. Yeah, I know, good Canadian girls get out and go skiing and skating and tobogganing, but…ew. For better or for worse, I spend the winter months reorganizing my ideas, my priorities, my goals. And just like the space at the back of my cupboards, sometimes it ain’t pretty. Type A extroverts like me tend to let things stack up, go unnoticed, get moldy with neglect. I’m forced to ask “Why did I ever think that was a good idea?” and then I’m obliged to thank it for doing its job, stuff it into a proverbial bag, and take it away.
As is part of the process of tidying my possessions, cleaning up my mental space also necessitates that I revisit the good ideas as well. There are sparks of awesome that get hidden underneath routine and foolishness. As I dig out cute, snarky t-shirts, cartoon socks and a pair of jeans that fits like it was meant to be travelling pants, I also excavate happy thoughts, plans that might still work. It’s strange how good ideas get lost in the shuffle just as often as less-than useful ones, maybe even more often. Good ideas are sometimes hard to wear and use, and easy to put away and forget.
Do I still feel at odds with winter? Hell yes. Do I still want the apple fritters, the hot baths, and permission to nap unabated? Absolutely. But I’m finding that a stack of empty bins, some garbage bags, and a little time to take stock of the clutter both inside and outside of my head can make it easier to find contentment as I wait for spring.