Sometimes when we’re running late and Aaron is waiting in the car with Clara-Muffin, I am inside supposedly to get the diaper bag but am instead indulging my addiction: cramming as many unnecessary tasks that I can into the three minutes allowed before Aaron gets out of the car to see what the hold up is. So, even though we’re five minutes late, I still feel it absolutely imperative to change the laundry, put Aaron’s old-man slippers by the door, put the clean dishes away, place the triangle puzzle piece in the triangle puzzle spot, open the curtains in the bedroom, align the chairs at the table, and check my email one more time. I can’t adequately confess how naughty this post-haste bustle around the cabin feels, like I’m sneaking out the window of a house made of time.
While I’m at it, I’ll just make it known that any article of clothing not in its proper place enjoys an average of 3 minutes of relaxed sprawl on the couch before it will be confiscated and hung. And, so, it was with great chagrin that I assigned Suzanne Britt’s Neat People vs. Sloppy People to my class and we discussed the superior morality of sloppiness.
It is true that I will walk into a colleague’s office or a husband’s vehicle and think, wow, how can you just leave that there? I’ve always admired messy people. I like that I’ve got cleaning the cabin down to a single morning nap, but I hate that I get the shakes if the newspaper isn’t in the recycle bin by the time the breakfast dishes are cleaned.
Add to that my recent fear that our brains resemble our desks. I’ve heard that some people go on walks or karate chop fake humans in order to clear their minds. My mind, however, always feels a little too Windexed. A little too tidy and shiny and clean, and I find myself inputting ideas just to output them–reading something just to have something to write about. Ideas, like Aaron’s t-shirts, have a three-minute shelf life until they’re gathered, folded, and put in their proper place.
I’m not sure where to go from here, but a good start might be leaving the newspaper on the table for a whole day and repeating to myself that socks are not little monsters who will spawn rabid sock-children if left unattended at the foot of our bed.
For now, here are some pictures of Clara because she reminds me that change is inevitable and every day is different.