Week 25 | Seek Out Simplicity


…simplify your life.  Downsize.  Recycle.  Re-purpose.  Give yourself a few chances to live without something that you really think you can't live without.  Take a photo of what you are simplifying and share it with us!

-Shawn @ AA/P52

My sister and I occasionally share pictures of the laundry piles we have on the weekends.  I won last weekend (she had done most of hers during the week, to be fair).  

This pile you see, however, is not something I'm proud of.  

It is probably a month's worth of clothes {gasp, I lie, even longer}, that I have had in piles, have re-piled and re-located, off our guest bed when guests came, and finally last weekend, out of laundry baskets and onto my bed.  I was fed-up {with myself}, I was ready to deal with the reality {I created}, head-on. 

The hubbs occupied the girls wile I sorted, and growled and folded and festered.

Why do they have so many clothes?

Why can't we just fold and put them away on Sunday each week.  

Why do I let them pile up?  

What sort of denial-born gibberish have I been telling myself and believing?

The inevitable correlation always applies: the higher the pile the greater angst I feel. And when the girls can't find the clothes they are looking for because they are in {massive} piles on the bed, they naturally start going through them.  And there is just no way to ask a 3 and 4 year old to do that neatly.  But I do anyway, only, I beg.  Please don't mess up that pile {I created}, please don't make a mess {out of that organized mess I made}.  And while they do their best to adhere to their mother's requests, the piles of clean, flattened and organized-by-kid laundry, is always a topic that will cause their mother frustration.  They are beginning to understand it.  They've started to avoid mentioning to me, just where they got their clothes from.  They scurry when they notice the piles aren't as neat as they were before they oh-so-carefully tried to grab some underwear from the bottom, worrying some crazy person was watching them while it toppled like a Jenga tower, though thankfully without the sound that might alert that anal woman downstairs who is anal enough to spaz over the piles of laundry but not anal enough to keep the piles from happening in the first place.  

And I have total control to stop it.  

I created the helplessness, the frustration, the avoidance, the angst.  

And while it is bad I take it out on them {"who made a mess in here?"}, what is probably worse is that it provides a means by which I take it out on ME.

Why can't i just get it together?

What is my problem?

What is wrong with me that I put off the inevitable and can't just deal with the cotton reality.

And while this might be a HUGE and somewhat dramatic leap, it is this sort of self-induced-self-deprecation that causes me to pause too long when my oldest asks me "Do you even know what you're talking about, Mom?". Why would I know what I'm talking about when … 


On that Sunday morning last week I pep-talked my way through the laundry.  I could no longer let it weigh me down, metaphorically, literally, mentally.  I was taking it personally, because, well, personally, it was was pointing to and exacerbating my weaknesses.  

I not only finished it, but I took the opportunity to sort through their mostly empty closets and filter through them.  Anything that didn't fit, was too worn out, caused me frustration when they chose to wear it, or was from the season prior got put into storage, into hand-me-down or donation bags.  If they miss it, too bad.  But my guess is, they won't and so far they haven't.  

So it is Sunday now, one week later, the laundry is done cycling, and I will hold true to my vow to put it away before the day ends.  

And when my daughter asks me again, if I know what I'm talking about, she'll just have to deal with the puzzlement when I answer, "I put all the laundry away, didn't I?"

 © Houseman 2013