Writers, especially those trying to write at a desktop in the middle of the livingroom in a houseful of people, know you have to learn to tune everything out around you. And anyone who works from home and hopes to accomplish anything at all has to learn to ignore laundry, dishes, dust...
I've developed both of those skills to an extraordinary level. From dusty furniture to photos I've promised people... I can procrastinate them all.
But there's a time for everything - a level of, um, "dirty house" that just can't be ignored anymore. Mine reached that level weeks ago. I just didn't know it until my focus began to blur.
It was like those nasty mosquitos that have taken over the Hollow near the creekbed lately, buzzing and biting until finally there are so many you can't enjoy your walk because you're too busy slapping them off your shoulders and legs.
So I cleaned my bathroom yesterday.
Yeah, it's just a drop in the bucket, or, well, one room in a whole house, but hey, it's a start! And getting started, for me, is the toughest part of anything.
And when I say I cleaned it, I mean I scrubbed the shower and the floor... I took all of the rose plates off the wall and washed them in the kitchen sink... I dusted my little vases and photos (although I didn't go so far as to dust each separate spiral Mexican shell sitting in a blue bowl on the counter.)
I shouldn't admit this, but I spent hours on just that one room. When I was through, I lit a candle and relaxed for a few minutes, savoring the clean-ness. I love that room - next to the library, it's my favorite. I truly owed it an apology.
I also annihilated the overflowing piles of laundry and scratched several unrelated things off of my to-do list yesterday. It felt really, really good.
I have too many deadlines and projects and jobs right now to spend a whole week cleaning and organizing like I need to, so I'm not completely mosquito-free, but I'm promising myself I'll spend at least a day or two each week swatting the rest of them until the buzzing in my ears stops. I know that, until then, I'm going to feel a little out-of-balance and out-of-focus.
Does anyone else have this problem? How do you find time to stay on top of everything?
I’ve learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time. Timing is everything.