My room is clean. Finally. I could have marked this goal done a week ago, but I wanted to finish the paint job. I can move around without tripping over anything, and I can find my stuff more easily than before. I’ve been cleaning other parts of the house, too. Tonight, for example, I tackled the refrigerator—something I haven’t done in ages. (If the health department knew how long it’s been since I performed that little chore, I’m sure I’d be arrested.) My living room has been undergoing a slow metamorphosis, too. All in all I’m satisfied. The entire house is much cleaner. I’m marking this goal done, and I’ll be adding another soon. Thank you 43things.com.
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oldmanctriver has written 7 entries about this goal
Drum roll, please…I finished painting the walls in my room today!!! Three are white, studio white according to the name on the can; the fourth, which faces the bed, is a kind of warmed over gray, called “soho.” It’s a smashing color combinaiton that gives the place a loft-like feel. I also worked, cooked and cleaned some today. I’m tired. But it’s a good kind of tired!
Initially my goal was limited to “clean my room;” having achieved the desired results (except for a new paint job and some furniture) I’ve decided to expand the scope of my project. I’m taking on the entire house, room by room. I spent a few hours this past weekend picking up clutter, mopping the floors and eliminating the most obvious signs of my slovenly lifestyle. This is going to take some time. Serious time.
Last night I went to IKEA and bought some new bedding. (Sound the trumpet fanfare, please!) Finally, I can report that my room is fit for human habitation. Because I’ll be tweaking things for the next few weeks (principally buying new furniture and painting the walls) I’m not going to put a check mark in the “done” box, though I suppose I could.
I’m ashamed to admit this but for a couple of months I had been sleeping with a sheet thrown over my bare mattress and couple of blankets thrown over me. That’s it. Why such a Spartan existence, you ask?
The short, disingenuous answer is I stopped caring about “creature comforts.” But that’s not really the whole story. Really I had stopped caring about me. My divorce (after 21 years of marriage!), my daughter’s mental health/behavioral issues, the loss of my job – all these things propelled me into a Hellish depression. The instant I allowed myself the luxury of feeling good about some new development in my life, I’d suffer another blow upon a bruise.
Then, a few weeks ago, something like a miracle happened. I was as low as low could be just before Christmas 2006, so much so that I was beginning to hope for an early death. After wallowing in my misery for a time I was amazed one day to discover I felt better! The feeling was electric, like waking up and finding that during the night I had morphed into Spiderman or the Incredible Hulk.
Just before my “conversion,” I had been reading some Buddhist poetry, the discourses of the stoic philosopher Epictetus, various works of Nietzsche and Schopenhaur and some essays by the rabbinical scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel. I’ve never been big on “self help” books, but the words of wisdom in those pages were a healing balm to my wounded psyche. Oddly enough, the transformation seems to have happened on a subconcious level, without me having to think much about it.
Universal suffering, the first of the Four Pillars of Budhism, is the very essence of life. Rather than try to avoid it, or complain about it (which I’ve done more than my share of in the past), I’m learning to embrace it, to “build my house at the base of Vesuvius” as Nietzsche said. Coping with suffering has become a game. I “win” so long as I struggle nobly against the forces that are aligned against me. A truly daring concept!
Finding this website has helped, too. I don’t expect anyone is following my progress on 43things.com, but the simple act of writing down my goals and occasionally expounding on them, as I’m doing now, has increased my understanding of me. And with that understanding has come a kind of peace.
I’m proud to report having had a highly successful weekend. Boxed up some books, then took them to the book swap shop. Tossed out a bunch of junk that was lying in piles on the floor. (Why did I let it get so out of hand?) I can now move about the room without tripping over something in the dark – a true milestone. I’m proud and less depressed than I can remember feeling in some time. Amazing how doing one little can make such a BIG difference in one’s mood. New bookshelves and a paint job to follow.
Boxed up some junk today. I need book shelves. IKEA here I come.
My room is a reflection of my life – a complete mess. If I’m going to succeed in attaining any of these goals, I MUST rid myself of the physical clutter (to say nothing of the mental clutter) that has inundated my life for several years now. (Long story, that.) Boxes…ah, yes!