This year my resolution is to clean things.
Because everything is a mess in my life. Everything.
And I’m not trying to suggest that my family life is turbulent or we are financially stressed or in poor health. No, I am not talking about that kind of a mess.
I am talking about a messy mess. Yes, plain old-fashioned disarray.
I am a true master of clutter-hiding. If it were a sport, I would be an Olympian. Now, at first glance, my house is relatively neat, considering it is the dwelling place of six people and four cats. But I know the truth. Behind each closet door, inside every blanket box, in all of the kitchen cabinets, true disorder reigns.
So while some parts of Mia stand proud in regard to the apparent tidiness of my home’s main floor, my inner self is burdened with the awareness that my recipe cards are not cards at all, but instead are ripped-out scraps of notebook paper that can be found in one of 18 places, ranging from inside the large royal blue bin beside the kitchen island to beneath the bathroom sink.
It gets worse…
If I had to find a black skirt to wear to a funeral, I would need three weeks’ notice to search for it in my closet. Or in my storage room. Or in a plastic trash bag in the garage. You want to make a soufflé? Good luck finding a whisk. And locating the eggs will be a challenge, too, as the refrigerator is a total disaster.
I will confess, our family no longer sorts the silverware. It’s all right, we make a game of it—we reach in and eat our bowls of cereal with whatever utensil we happen to grab. You should really try it. It’s fun and challenging, too!
So, yes, the drawers, closets, bureaus, cabinets, and really anything in the house that can be opened and closed, need a thorough sorting through. But some other things in my life need a cleaning as well…
My computer. It takes me twenty minutes to find my most recent screen shot. I have literally thousands to look through. And my first rough draft of Beggars in Choosers (written thirteen books ago) is still in my documents.
My car. It is not part of the house, so I’m going to call it a separate challenge. Mom’s Volvo, however, suffers from the same “it can be opened and closed and therefore is used to conceal clutter” syndrome as all storage devices in my house.
My diet. Seriously, I need to stay away from all things processed and do a little more with things that grow in nature.
My language. It’s not that I swear like a rapper in my everyday life, but some of my characters sure as shit, I mean, heck, do. I want my books to be relevant and realistic to teens who read them, and teens swear, but I think I need to tone it down. Some reviews of The Red Sheet actually discussed my liberal use of profanity, and honestly, I just wrote what I thought. So it seems that my brain isn’t squeaky clean either. Maybe I’ll clean up my act in this area just a bit.
But you know what? Despite the mess we live in, my kids are awesome, my marriage is happy, my books get written, and the cats can find the litter box, although it probably needs to be emptied. Maybe this outward disorganization houses something very streamlined—a family life that actually works, a professional life that ain’t too shabby, and (be prepared for cheesy) a lot of love.
I really love my kids, my hubby, my cats… and if I could find my red Sharpie marker in this freakin’ mess I’d write “I LOVE YOU GUYS” on a napkin and hang it on the refrigerator for all to see.