Wednesday, February 24, 2010

They call me Mr. Clean

Cleaning up is a broad term when you get right down to it. Spic-and-Span doesn't always help to the job (well, unless you inject it or something), as not all things require a sponge and a bucket of water. Sometimes, what you need is just an unstoppable drive to get things done.

I am a self-called Cling-on, that is, I have a tendency to not only gather, but keep stuff around, for all kinds of reasons. Its not so much hoarding, as I can very well not pick up things, and I like to be able to walk around on the floor without having to step on and over piles of unknown material. Its not to say that I'm a well-ordered man, but I'm working on it.

Part of the motivation with my current drive has to do with the unplanned break that I was obliged to take this summer. Given the circumstances, stuff piled up, more so than usual, so that by the time I was able to start dealing with it, well, I had my work cut out for me. And even then, the primary motivation was just to return things to normal.

But normal isn't good enough.

I started being more aware of my creative limitations, that is, how little I had been creating in the last few years. I noticed that when I was quite a bit poorer, I could produce more, my output was better in quantity (the quality I'll leave to others to judge) and I was far more driven to create. So I started asking myself, what's stopping me?

And the answer is... stuff. I had lots of stuff. Way more than I needed, way more than was necessary, way more than was rational. I had been accumulating stuff of all kinds, because I could see some possibilities in them, because I figured that they would come in handy, because they were cool toys, because... well, I made up a lot of reasons to gather all that stuff, and then keep it.

But there was no real need behind it. I had already learned a related lesson, in the one creative field I had kept active all this time, in the kitchen. I had learned and hardwired a lesson a while back, about failed dishes: if its screwed up, throw it away. While it still be edible, it doesn't mean that you have to eat it, I dont care what those green folks are saying. So why not transfer that lesson to the rest of my existence?

So that is what I have been doing, in increments, in small dosages, one little bit at a time.Its not necessarily an easy task; you have to put your mind to it. But once you do, you'll realize that all you were doing is holding yourself back, and making due with what you have, which is well enough if your finances or your situation restricts you, but not good enough if you are not restrained to the same degree anymore. And once you kick it into gears, not only are you skimming off the unnecessary gear, but other more efficient solutions come up in your thought pattern and you end up not only better off than before, in a slimmer package, but you have a more efficient way of life too.

I thought that I needed a bigger apartment; I was wrong. I need a better apartment, and I have to rearrange my mind to fit into it.

And get rid of the mountains of... stuff.

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