Clutter, Chaos and Me
I was not sure if it was only me that this was happening too but then I talked to my niece and she told me the same thing was happening with her and she thought it might be a great blog idea for me to write about.
I woke up at 5:00 am this morning. I carefully got out of bed and went downstairs to not wake Brian. Downstairs there was not really any place to go, with the renos happening, we have basically the sunroom and one other chair to sit in. The sunroom was cold and I know this because I went out there at 5:00 am.
The one chair we have inside was not doing it for me, so I wandered up to the kitchen table and sat on a stool. I sat there looking around and asked God why I was having such a hard time hearing from Him and talking to Him or even feeling His presence at this time. This is so unusual for our relationship. I have had periods of time where this happens but I have been feeling like something that I am doing is keeping me at bay. It has been such a fog that I was even thinking of quitting writing because I could not gather thoughts together.
God was there and has always been there but He informed me this morning that lack of routine and lack of “clean” has been taking a toll in my brain.
Lack of routine – what routine? I have none, most of the world has none, stuck at home, isolating. That is the problem. Without routine, I do not function at my best. I had realized this about myself earlier this week and even applied for a job because I was feeling out of sorts. I had already come to the conclusion that I function best with a routine.
Lack of “clean”: face it renos are not clean nor are they organized. I have been without a functioning kitchen for well over a month, no kitchen table, dust, tools scattered wherever they may and fighting for the one good chair in the house is getting old. I imagine juggling home schooling, working from home and trying to keep the house and cooking that many other people are trying to handle is a matter much like my renos – nothing is as it should be for many people, all seems chaotic.
I set out to start putting some kind of order into the renos as I could. I made up a honey doo list of small projects we could tackle now, today, to help put a feeling of organization back into my life.
By the time Brian got up, I had cleaned the tools out of the kitchen, made a list of projects we could tackle today, and picked what was the most needed for my brain to function. I told him that I understood that his brain did not function the same way, but that I was not able to continue in the mess and emotionally be okay. My brain was feeling the mess all around me and it was like a twister had done a spin around the interior of my head, mimicking the disorganization of the house.
Turns out moving some cupboards that are going to be replaced back into the kitchen for now was one of those things. Brian told me they would have to come out again, but you know that does not matter, I needed a place to put my kitchen stuff IN MY KITCHEN (not the living room or the dining room). I needed to dig out my comfy fabric chairs and colorful placemats and center pieces - there needed to be life and order back in the house. I was not able to accomplish this in every area but I now can sit at my table in comfort, eat at my table, utilize my kitchen and know where items are located.
It has been an interesting journey and looking back I see the concept that lack of routine, organization and clean in my house, made for a lack of organization and clean in my brain. I needed to clean up the clutter and create a flow both in the physical and in the mental areas of my life. Once I had started in the physical, it was incredible how that helped with the emotional and mental clutter and along with that came my focus and clarity about God as well.
I found an interesting study from The Institute for Challenging Disorganization where they state five reasons to start decluttering your home and work environments:
1) Low subjective Well-being: living in clutter impedes your identification with your home, which should be a retreat from the outside world and a place to feel pride.
2) Unhealthier Eating: a study showed that people will actually eat more cookies and snacks if the environment in which they’re offered a choice of foods is chaotic.
3) Poorer Mental Health: clutter affects your mental health
4) Less Efficient Visual Processing: it is harder to see things clearly with clutter all around you
5) Less Efficient Thinking: Mental clutter is a state of mind in which you can’t inhibit irrelevant information and one of the prime suspects of age-related memory loss.
Turns out it was not a figment of my imagination, nor a weak emotional character trait, nor was I being a whiner because I could not handle it anymore, these were all things I had told myself, things I had believed. What I and so many others around me are suffering from is a real thing: lack of routine and lack of normal order and chaos affects you emotionally, physical and spiritually.
I am praying that this blog helps others who may be wondering what is happening to them, why can they not seem to handle life in general at this time and perhaps wondering where God is, in it all.
You are not alone and it is a real thing and God has never left - the journey took a detour and the way got a bit blurry - we will get through this and we know the one with the directions!
 Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D: 5 Reasons to Clear the Clutter Out of Your Life May 13, 2017