Monday, November 22, 2010

De-cluttering of the Mind

Yesterday started out a little rough.  After sharing my desire to begin a journey to self happiness and inner fulfillment, I spent most of the morning frustrated, stressed, and mad.

After finishing my blog yesterday morning, I decided to start working on my goals for the day.  The first goal was to finish up what I'd termed "Operation: Christmas Condensing".  It basically means I decided that it's about time Jelly gets rid of some of her toys - just so there's room for more once her birthday and Christmas get here.  The Operation started on Saturday.  Peanut and I sifted through two huge toy boxes making a pile for toys to be donated and a pile for trash.  Yesterday, I still had two toy boxes left to sort through - an additional two boxes. 

As I sat down at the pile of toys around me, I took a second to look around the living room.  There were toys scattered all over the floor, empty pop cans on the coffee table, Peanut's desk looked like an extension of her bedroom - clothing and school stuff on it and around it.  While I was looking around, a huge wave of defeat hit me.  I, all of a sudden, just got a feeling like I was fighting a losing battle.  No amount of sorting or cleaning was ever going to get me ahead in the house was destined to be cluttered and messy.  The feelings were so strong that they put me into a depressive funk for a while.  I ended up in my office, head in my hands, ready to give up.

I sat in my office for a while.  I kicked myself over allowing these feelings of anger and frustration to consume me over something so stupid.  It was that thought that was my epiphany, my motivation.  How could I possibly begin to try and make my life less stressful and more happy if I got so upset over something so unimportant?  Yeah, my house is a little messy...I have three kids.  My house isn't dirty.  It doesn't smell.  My kids are not living in filth.  The mess is from toys, and my kids' obvious inability to pick up after themselves.  It's no use getting all frustrated about it - I just have to let it go - do what I can - ask for help.  It was all so simple in my mind.  So, that's what I did.

For the rest of the afternoon, the kids cleaned their mess, my sister helped Peanut clean her room and then helped Butter clean his.  My brother helped me in my office.  We got all of the books off the floor, got them on the bookshelves where they belong, and went about turning my office back into my "oasis" of calm and productivity.  It didn't really even take that long, with help.

The house still isn't perfect.  I'm OK with that.  The important lesson I learned from my meltdown was that the mess is insignificant.  I have to do what I can, ask for help when I need it, and it will all fall into place.  My biggest accomplishment from the entire day was learning how to deal with my frustration - I just had to simply sit for a few minutes and de-clutter my mind.  I took a second to think about the goals on my list - sorting Jada's toys was one, but cleaning the entire house was not.  I am so conditioned to my "to-do" list that I have one constantly in my head....I had to let that go. 

I now truly believe that my goal to reach inner happiness and fulfillment is going to take time, it's going to be challenging.  I have to learn to recondition my mind, only focus on the the things I think are important...I'm positive I can do it. 

"If you spend all of your time focused on the small and insignificant areas of your life - when do you have time for the big and significant?"

Till next time.  ;)


  1. I only have one child, but! Here's how I taught Dakota to pick up his toys and other belongings: If it's on the floor in his room or somewhere in the house where it doesn't belong, I pick it up and put it in a bag. When he asks for whatever it is, I tell him where he left it and he will get it back one week from the time he realized it was missing. If he doesn't ask for two weeks, I give it away. He now leaves almost NOTHING out. Why? Because I didn't just threaten, I followed through. He knows if I say "this is the consequence for that," that is exactly what will happen. We are all much happier with a less cluttered house!

  2. Wow, that's a really good idea Cathy. Think I might have to give that one a try. Thanks!!

  3. Good for you, for realizing that perfection is just a damn word.. and totally impossible for ANYONE to achieve, let alone a mother of three kiddos (and mother isn't obviously the only adjective you have under your belt, so bravo to you!)..

    Anyone who is in your life should understand that chaos on the floor doesn't mean anything more than your kids are having a blast, and you are having too much fun with them to worry about what toys go where.. :)


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