Seeing Past the Pink Cowboy Hat

I think my fifteen minutes is over. Whew. My post has worked its way off the bottom of the Freshly Pressed page and things are starting to calm down into a manageable state again. That was quite a little ride, though! For a casual, personal little blog like mine, the pace got a bit crazier than I think I’d be able to sustain for very long. I went from a record of something like 95 views in one day to a new high of over a thousand, and lots of people took the time to comment, all very much appreciated, whether they liked my post or hated it.

My blog, however, is not the reason I’ve been dreaming of having a maid, butler, and a driver, and now maybe a personal assistant. No, that would be my seeming inability to handle the tasks of everyday life, at least not without becoming overwhelmed and collapsing on the couch melodramatically at some point during the day. More and more, I find myself wondering how people do everything you’re supposed to do, how they have the clarity of mind to look beyond simply making it through the end of the day, end of the pay period, and doing what has to be done right now. We have friends who seem to have their sh*t more together than we do and still manage to go out and support the adult beverage industry several nights a week.

My life is easy! It shouldn’t be that big of a deal to take care of my work, maintain the household finances, do some tidying up, make myself look reasonably decent, maybe get a little exercise, make and keep various appointments with the doctor, dentist, vet, DMV, etc., and then spend the rest of the time creating a wonderful life and enjoying said life. I don’t have to take care of any kids or parents. Our place is small, so it’s not like I have a different wing of the house to work on every day. There’s no long commute in my day–in fact, my commute is from the bed to the kitchen to make coffee and then back down the hall to my office.

And yet I feel like all we ever accomplish is putting out fires, never seeing past the end of the day. Brad and I still manage to be the people who bring the crappiest wedding gift because we don’t get around to looking at the registry until the only things left are a toilet brush and a designer fly swatter. Our important household documents are still “around here somewhere.” I still manage to be sitting in this office surrounded by a set of golf clubs, a dismantled pair of closet doors, several boxes of craft supplies with medical transcription books piled on top of them, a pink corduroy cowboy hat with a rhinestone star on it, and a bunch of high-school sports memorabilia on the red and gray walls my stepdaughter left when she graduated and moved out of this room over a year ago. Or maybe it’s been two years–I’m not organized enough to recall.

I think what we have in our home is a problem with infrastructure, physical and otherwise. Part of it is because we got together in midlife, Brad having been married before, his former life tossed up in the air to be redistributed, and me having never been sure of where I was going or what I wanted in the first place, with a life that had been basically floating in midair the whole time. I think we just never established good places for all the components of our life to land. We have a home and jobs and a marriage certificate, but our life is like a snow globe, with chaos and aimlessness clouding the water so you can’t see the pretty little scene inside.

We need to build a framework–some storage for the physical stuff, and, maybe more importantly, some dreams and goals for the mental stuff. Then maybe our little snow globe might experience a snowball effect, gathering us toward a more inspired life together. But how do we step beyond just getting to the bottom of the current day and then zoning out in front of reruns of The Big Bang Theory?

I know it can be done. Other people do it. Here’s what I think is the key:

Smooth, clutter-free surfaces = uncluttered minds = clear goals = doing more cool stuff = a richer, more satisfying life.

So we’re going with one cleared surface at a time. Brad stashed and/or tossed the jugs of detergent, basket of dirty dishcloths, inexplicable flower pot trio full of dryer lint, random garden implements, etc., off our washer and dryer. Ahh…one breath of fresh air.

Then we cleared the spare purses, case of CDs, obsolete softball schedules, and box of shoes to be returned to Zappos (cute, just not for me) off our extra dining table, which itself will in turn finally be removed. Yes! One calmingly empty view to rest the eyes upon.

What’s next? Maybe we can get another set of new shelves like the ones we use in the kitchen to corral pots, pans, and small appliances, and use it to consolidate some of this junk surrounding me in my office. Little by little, we will do this.

One surface cleared equals one area free of mental clutter….until we can see past right now into our new, improved future.

I don’t think I can throw out that hat, though. It’s got FUN written all over it.

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4 thoughts on “Seeing Past the Pink Cowboy Hat

  1. I’m in the process of this right now! I wonder the same thing – my other half comes home from work, we have dinner and then collapse on the sofa in front of the TV for the rest of the night.
    We’ve just moved, so we’re working through unpacking a little bit at a time but our problem is books. We’ve filled an enormous bookcase, but as we’re in a rented flat we can’t make any structural changes (so no shelves!)
    Also, I wrote a book of date nights – things that we can do as a couple that range from fun and free to expensive holidays. Might be a plan to get something like that so you have ideas because that’s the hard part!

  2. I am currently de-cluttering my life (and house!) at the moment too. Seems to be in the air, many people are trying to get organised.
    I think you are right on the spot with having plans and goals to work towards, as well as physical framework for the household ‘stuff’. This is something we should all work towards, but rarely seem to do.
    What is something that you would like to achieve? 3 years ago, I decided I needed a new kitchen. It took me 3 years, and I had to give up some other things to finance the project, but every time I look at (or use) my new kitchen I am filled with self confidence and pride in the work I did, and the job I completed. I actually completed something as big as a kitchen renovation! Yay me 🙂

    • Congrats on the new kitchen! What a great feeling. The list with our house is so long I’m not sure where to begin, but new floors and renovating the bathroom would be nice. It’s true–having a specific goal helps a lot. Thanks for the encouragement!

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