June 24, 2014
January 16, 2012
“ You should have predicted this,” I heard a voice inside of me say as I opened the linen closet to put away another set of recently laundered sheets. This was the third set of sheets I’d laundered that day as I cleaned up after having company for days on end. The linen closet was cluttered, crowded, and in a state of disarray. It didn’t happen recently. It happened slowly, over the course of the year. But for some reason, it is always January when I get wholly irritated by things being out of order, and here it is, January again.
Every drawer I open, every cabinet, cupboard, and closet I go to is irritating the heck out of me. They are all a mess. They all need attention. Last night, while I was looking in the spice rack to find the dried dill, I accidentally pushed off the misplaced jar of fennel seeds. As they spilled all over the kitchen floor, I uttered my mother’s all time favorite curse, “Damnittohell”. She said it wasn’t a curse because it was all one word, which never made any sense to me but since we weren’t allowed to curse in the house I grew up, I was grateful to have at least one way to express my exasperation.
The need for order is a normal thing. There is a natural order, a design to the universe that I believe is built right into us. There is a rhythm and a flow to life that is predictable. I remember reading a children’s book one time in which a young girl was being mentored and initiated into a way of living. The elder commented to the girl that keeping order was a reflection on the way the natural world was designed. I liked reading that. There is a reason that some semblance of order is good.
The need for order I am talking about is not the compulsive cleaning or orderliness that keeps people prisoners of their homes or lives. It is, in fact, the opposite. A basic sense of order frees us up to do the things we need to do and to be who we really are. When we don’t have to waste energy trying to find things or cleaning up messes, we have more time and energy to do what we really need to do. When we know what to do, what comes next, our energy is freed to be creative and spontaneous. It sounds counterintuitive, but it isn’t. It is a both-and.
I know even if I clean out the closets and order the drawers and cabinets this month, next January they will need some reordering. It’s just the way my life is. But if I am to move forward in 2012 with a clear mind and much energy, I am going to have to tackle that linen closet and the spice drawer sometime soon.
Is there anything in your life that needs ordering so that you are able to move forward with more freedom and creativity?
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