My Room is a Mess!

29 May

Today I looked at my room and it is a mess. I really looked at it, for the first time in months. There is a paper sack sitting by a nightstand in which there are files that I brought up from Charlottesville. There is no telling what is in that sack. Unexamined by me all this time, it could be important; but let’s hope it is not.
Every surface is covered, more or less, with stuff. Considering the fact that I gave away all of my things to my children when I moved out of my house at Barrsden, where did all this come from? It really must be put away or given away– or rearranged, somehow. There is just TOO MUCH. And yet I never get to the bottom of my drawers because I wear the same clothes pretty much, day in and day out. More or less.
Then there is my place of work in the hall outside my bedroom. It, too, is full of papers: bills and unopened mail. When am I going to fix this? When can I do it? And how can I get someone to help me?
What is it about my character that makes it so hard for me to clear up things and put them away and handle them immediately upon waking?

The good side of my room

Lately, the thing I do upon waking is write my daily 2000 words. I am proud of myself for that. It is a lot of writing and some of it is useful in that way as a body of work. Other parts of the writing can be useful in determining things like the “Why” of my life. Why, for instance, am I so disorganized when I crave organization? Why can’t I decide which thing to accomplish at any given time and just do
THAT? When I was describing my spaces upstairs in Mother’s house, I did not even get to a description of the downstairs space. I have a sort of “office area” in the Garden Room, which is a very useful and lovely place to work. Actually, that place is not as messy as the others, but it is also newer. I have not had time to let everything spill out all over everything, as things are beginning to do in my bedroom and hall upstairs.
And then– there is the basement. That is a wreck. And moldy, besides. I need to go down there and start throwing out, right away…. those mildewed albums, which are ruined. And they should be gotten out of there. The spores are awful and, probably, harmful. This really won’t wait. I need to do it now.
But today, I am going to do something with the DAR at Mount Vernon. I am doing this for Big Pink, my mother- in- law. May she rest in peace. It is probably going to be a little dull, but on the other hand it will be interesting to me because I have not been involved for years and years with the DAR. While remaining a member, I am remarkably ignorant of anything they are doing these days. But it is always nice to go to Mount Vernon. And I will resign myself to quite a bit of walking today.
And then there is tomorrow’s dinner. I hope that Roberta and Arthur are coming for sure. I need to check on that and see if I can get another couple to come, as well. Maybe Ingola and John. I really cannot think who else. There are a lot of people I would like to entertain.
I would love to have a spring cocktail party, but I am not sure how far to go with that. If I have about twenty guests, it works. But then I need to worry about the garden and the flowers and making sure
the grass is mowed and hoping the weather is nice. Mother cannot help, but she does want to be involved in her type of worry over planning even three people for dinner. Her worry and her planning make me want to do the exact opposite. Where did I get this rebellious streak? I have always had it. I can remember, as a child, feeling that I wanted the exact opposite of whatever was IMPOSED on me. Especially, if it was done with force. And I am still the same way.
When I told mother last night that we were having three people for dinner on Friday, she said, “We must plan.” I immediately felt anger and resistance rise up inside me. Of course, I will plan a little. But it is not a big deal to have three extra people. Seriously. However, Mother has nothing to plan for these days, and planning used to make her happy, though stressed. The problem is that she cannot remember anything. So, she may plan but then forget that she did and agonize repeatedly about not planning, when, in fact, she did plan very well, already. It drives me up the walls.
But she, at age one hundred, is so diminished these days. Some days she is better than others. Yesterday, my daughter, Lilla, and her daughter, Delilah (my granddaughter), and Alex, her fiancé, came by to see Mother after their tasting experience with Occasions Caterer. She really did not know who they were. Lilla was familiar, but that was all. Mother was very nice, and she enjoyed it. But she was clueless. After they left, she could not remember it and then I was finally able to get her to remember that she had people over. But when I said their names, she just looked at me steadily as if she heard the words, but they did not penetrate her brain. It did seem that way. And in the course of our conversation (ha ha! You cannot really call what we had conversation), I mentioned their names and their relationship to her and to me over and over, in many different ways, but she did not grasp any of it.
I know I should be sympathetic to my mother when she does this, but instead I just want it to be over. I do NOT want to be like that myself. I will see to it that it does not happen to me if I possibly can. What about the possibility that I become incapacitated and cannot help myself. That is one unknown that is hardest to plan for. What could I do to get out? Well, there is still time to find out. My main method of planning is just to assume I will go quickly, from a heart attack or a stroke. You do NOT want to outlive a stroke, if it is a bad one.

Well, I am happy and healthy today, and I will cherish every moment. Time is one thing that cannot be replaced.

©Bonnie B. Matheson 2018

9 Responses to “My Room is a Mess!”

  1. Hope Wood Price 29. May, 2018 at 2:29 pm #

    Don’t be so hard on yourself Bonnie! You have taken on so much. Hire an organizer. There is an association of organizers who could suggest someone to come out and help you. Be patient with yourself. If you do invite Ingola and John for dinner, please give them my dearest love. xo

  2. Melissa gray 29. May, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

    Wow! I really enjoyed this. So honest and germane to life today. I am like bonnie in that I throw out and out yet remain disorganised. I always think the right purse, computer or file will prove the answer. The problem is me. My husband was very helpful about this. He said that organization is just not my forte and not to worry about it because I have other qualities that he values more. I doubt Bonnie’s loved ones would put her organizational skills or lack thereof at the top of a list of her most important qualities. Much more important is the discipline of wring those words every day. And love? Love is messy- maternal and otherwise. But it’s very important.

    Loved the honesty too of getting irritated with, for lack of a better word, the dementia of a loved one. I have same situation in my husband’s family. It’s human. Yes, we love them but they are exasperating. Forgive yourself. Many people throw the old away. The writer is not one of these. I think that’s the theme of the post: forgive yourself. Even saints get grumpy litter their night tables.

  3. Hope wood price 31. May, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

    I think that you are way too hard on yourself Bonnie! If the mess really bothers you there is an organization of organizers who can help you make order. Both I personally think you are amazing with all you do.

  4. Robin 05. Jun, 2018 at 11:16 am #

    Bonnie, bit much to absorb but let’s start small and then move on. Is any pile more important? Tackle it first. Rule is for correspondence. If you haven’t replied by now there is no hurry. Call AU or Mt Vernon College for an. Assistant twenty hours a week. Down here $12-15 per hour is usual. Then go pile to pile wacking away. Each pile reviewed is a victory. Stop and reward yourself then at it again next day. Bless you. Much love to you, your mom and Bucky. Robin

  5. Susie Aguirre 05. Jun, 2018 at 2:02 pm #

    I absolutely love your posts. So relatable! Looking forward to your next book.

  6. sara 05. Jun, 2018 at 2:03 pm #

    Bonnie I can hear your voice coming through in your writing.
    Feel as if I am there with you.
    Genuine balance of compassion and humanness.
    Keep writing!
    xo

  7. Rahel Crowley 05. Jun, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

    Sorry to hear this about Mrs. B. Much of what you wrote about the clutter of stuff could’ve been written word for word by me. It brings me down quite a lot. I battle the piles of stuff daily because they very much bring me down to a negative place. Big Rahel suffered terribly from this, so I’m afraid I’m hard wired to it. Susie had massive piles of crap in every room at her farm in Leesburg (except the dining room where she did entertain often) and literally threw table cloths over the messes so that it was no longer in eyesight or her
    consciousness——serious mental illness that was never addressed or acknowledged. But I digress!

    Morning pages are something I need to get back to … I think I’ve asked before, whether or not you have read Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”?

  8. bonnieb23 05. Jun, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    Yes, Rahel, I have read that book. But it was a long time ago. I need to take a look at it again, now that I have finally accepted the fact that I am writer and have always been a writer. Thank you for suggesting it.

  9. Melissa Young 05. Jun, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

    Fascinating read, appreciate the wisdom, humor and insight you so eloquently offer. Thank you for such an intimate view into the life you are courageously living.

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