Today I am thankful for… clutter

My home office had devolved into a life size junk drawer. It became the destination for random pieces of paper, bills, boxes, cards, decorations, pictures, notes, “ooh I should save this” type items I couldn’t be bothered to better assess in the moment. And so the piles grew and the floor and desk became a distant memory. Until I watched a video about procrastination. Until I realized the clutter was preventing me from other things I really did want to do, in a space I previously meticulously created for solitude, writing, blogging, reading…

So today I am thankful for… clutter. And the subsequent eradication of it.

Finally putting procrastination aside, I began to attack the clutter. I made a spot on the floor, sat down and started to create piles. Piles of pitch, donate, file and explore later… (preferably explore later with a bottle of wine, but I digress.) Eventually I found more of the floor. Eventually the shelves made sense. Eventually the light in the fan worked again. Eventually I had a usable desk. Eventually… I reclaimed my space. The process sucked; not going to lie. If it’s possible to be thankful for something and dread it in the same breath, that’s what it felt like.

I conquered the clutter! But I am more thankful for what I rediscovered in the midst of my disorganized corner room.

Through a mash up of random papers with scribbled to-do lists, journals filled with anxieties and prayers, books I never started, faded photographs, and an old address book I rediscovered the previous versions of me.

  • old lists of dreams and someday maybe ideas
  • an address book with the names of people I haven’t seen in a decade
  • previous bible studies with questions I asked and attempted to answer
  • my college german textbooks and flashcards
  • a book I wrote but never published
  • notes from work conferences and too many business cards
  • journals and journals and journals
  • pictures when friendships were just beginning

Stumbling across these relics slowed down my cleaning process, as I stopped and read and relived moments. I fondly remembered people. I was surprised at the sadness in my poems. I laughed at dreams I had forgotten. It was cathartic. It reminded me how much I’ve changed and grown.

I can’t lie, I searched for the names of a few people from my address book who I’d somehow never reconnected with online. The boyfriend that dumped me before prom because I wasn’t attractive enough. And the boy I met in the Bahamas one week later who told me I was beautiful. A quick search and I found them both married happily, and I smiled. Genuinely happy for them. Happy for me. And I wondered if they were extremely different, too. But there were other names, women who were best friends that are now acquaintances and acquaintances that the internet has brought me closer to. The scratched out addresses reminded me of the actual room numbers from my dorms and and the room number of the facility my Papa lived in before he passed away. Funny how an address can put you right back in a doorway with time in a freeze frame. And yet I smiled at the memories I’d rediscovered. The happy and the sad. They surprising and the hard. They were all a part of me and my journey.

With the piles removed. And the momentos organized and boxed away I look at the procrastination that is now behind me. Time for the finishing touches. Cleaning a ceiling fan (gross) and replacing a burned out lightbulb, means I can finally rest comfortably in my place of solitude, and see.


IMG_8213Sitting at my cleaned off desk I look…

  • at the art on the walls from a trip to Asia in college. I smirk, having not thought about that adventure in so long, and realizing how that first journey shaped all of the rest of my travels and catapulted my desire to know God
  • at a favorite bible verse I tacked to a bulletin board several years ago, “…but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do…” ~Romans 12:2
  • at the space I plan to use to read each morning before work and jot down my “meeting notes”
  • at the space my laptop will occupy so I can pick up and blog again

I am thankful for the clutter that became too much. I am thankful for the reminder that procrastination was holding me back. I am thankful for the things I never threw away so I could reach back into my brain and smile at what was and what is.

I am thankful for a clean space where I can think, so God can keep changing me, and hopefully get me one keystroke closer to the woman he needs me to be.


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