A few days ago, I was talking to a friend. We’re friends . . . even though she’s normal.
She’s one of the few real-lifers that knows about the blog. She’s the friend who had kids first and used to have hubby and I over all the time when we were newlyweds since she needed to keep her kids on a schedule, while we were footloose and fancy free.
So I’ve watched her. I’ve watched how she cleans the kitchen right after dinner and has her kids pick up their toys before they go to bed.
I know. So bizarre.
Anyway, I told her about the blog pretty early on because she’s a true friend and I knew she would be glad I was tackling this struggle. Although she claims that I hid it well and she had no idea how bad it really was. She’s a good friend, but lives far enough away that she doesn’t come over often, so she’s still in the “clean-for-two-weeks-before-they-get-here” category.
She likes organizing. Likes housekeeping. Gets joy out of throwing things away.
But because she loves me, she reads the blog, and cheers me on. She is fascinated seeing that there are those of us out here who think so differently than she does.
All that to say, she gets that my slob-brain is different, and she accepts me for it.
But when we were talking, and I was sharing how my kids rooms were stressing me again, she said, “Yeah, sometimes I’m so shocked when you show something that’s totally cluttered, but I thought you already worked on that spot.”
There you go. Reality.
I used to, and sometimes still do, watch the reality shows where they declutter and organize someone’s home. They’re inspiring. I get jealous of the people on them. Pre-blog, I totally could have qualified to be on one.
Some days, I could still qualify.
That’s the problem. On those shows, they only let you see a limited time period where the person has professional help, every single organizational resource available to them, and a designer to come in and make it look pretty before the big reveal.
The show ends with smiling faces and promises to keep it that way.
Through this blog, I’m accepting that my brain works differently from my “normal” friend’s brain. My house didn’t get this way because I “let it go” for a week. My house got this way because my natural tendency is to not notice the stuff, and let it take over.
If that’s my natural tendency, then every time I make my bed in the morning, start the dishwasher before I go to bed, or pick up the toys off of the living room floor (even when no one is scheduled to be ringing the doorbell anytime soon), I’m going against what’s natural for me.
It’s effort. Yes, it becomes more natural the more I do it. Yes, doing it more consistently helps me see the logic and the necessity behind it. Yes, the more I do it, the more likely I am to think to do it the next time.
But I’m changing my brain here. And changing your brain is difficult work, and doesn’t happen overnight.
I’ve seen a look in the eyes of some of the people on these shows. There’s fear and guilt in their faces, even in the moments that are supposed to be filled with joy over their new and changed lifestyle.
My friend had no idea that I was a slob. That’s because I did know how to make my house look nice. It was keeping it looking nice that I couldn’t do.
I still have messes. Big ones. Overall, my house is light-years ahead of where it was a year ago. But I’m sitting here typing this post at a very cluttered desk. A desk that was a Tackle it Tuesday project almost a year ago. A desk which I still have pictures of in my camera for another decluttering post which I never wrote.
This a blog of my journey. Of my deslobification process. At this point, it’s nowhere near the final chapter. It began with a home out of control, but I’m not sure that it will ever end with a home that is a showcase.
If a decluttered counter top automatically stayed decluttered, it wouldn’t have needed decluttering in the first place?