If you break your neck. If you have nothing to eat. If your house is on fire--then you have a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience.
~ Robert Fulghum
Reading Lolita in Tehran
BOOKS READ THIS YEAR
The Maltese Falcon
Breakfast: Peanutbutter toast
Getting to know me....
22 February 2004
I think Ive mentioned in this journal before that one trait of Aquarians appears to be that we have "selective vision."
I became aware of our "selective vision" years and years ago when my mother-in-law was telling me she had read that Aquarians are the kind of people who never have cupboard doors closed, because they just dont "see" them as open. She had called her daughter, another Aquarian, to tell her that and the daughter laughed because as her mother was explaining this, she looked around and suddenly became aware that all of her cupboard doors were just slightly ajar. (And shes a neat and tidy person!)
There are times when I become embarrassingly aware of my own selective vision.
One time was long, long ago when the kids were still in school and living at home. One of them was having a tantrum because he couldnt find his red sock. I still remember clearly saying "Its under the chair in the living room. Its been there for a week."
Now, a normal housekeeper would have seen the sock, picked it up, and put it in the kids room or at least in the laundry basket. Apparently on some level my eye saw the sock and stored the information away in my brain, but the part of my brain the Aquarian part of my brain that processes information like that and translates it into cognition just never fired up until the information was needed like the kid asking me where his sock was.
Its this Aquarian trait in me which has permitted me to live in this house, surrounded by piles and dust and clutter and mess for so many years.
But, as Robin Oakapple says in Ruddygore, "my eyes are fully open to my awful situation" and I have slowly but surely begun to rectify it.
Now that I have lots of time on my hands again, Im taking up where I left off in January and returning to my "clean up, clean out, throw away" routine.
Recently I discovered an old roll of shelf paper. When I say "old" roll of shelf paper, Im not kidding. This came from Gilberts house. Gilbert died in 1986 and he had remodeled his house at least three years before, so its safe to say that this shelf paper was purchased in 1983. However, its still perfectly good.
Armed with the shelf paper, I decided to put new paper on some of the drawers in the kitchen. (And in using it I managed to kill two birds with one roll of shelf paper--got rid of the 20 year old shelf paper, and got myself fresh, clean shelves.)
Thats when the veil over my "selective vision" disappeared and I suddenly became aware of what Id been looking at for years, and never quite registering.
This is how the shelves looked:
And this is how they look now:
Im now starting to look at other parts of the house, trying to concentrate on what Im seeing and not what is registering itself in the back parts of my brain. If I can get this house even halfway decent looking I will be a very happy person.
As I keep telling people, this is never going to be a showplace (well, the new bathroom might be eventually!), but I have at least reached a point where when people drop in unexpectedly, I dont die a thousand deaths.
Olivia called me from San Francisco on Friday, saying she was going to be stopping by and spending the night before she flew out for Boise the following morning.
In years past, this would have evoked a frenzy of cleaning, straightening, hiding, and other tricks of the incurably sloppy. Instead, I spent the day working on a report I was typing and didnt do anything that I wouldnt have done in the normal course of my day anyway.
Somewhere I read that it takes 37 days (or something like that) to make a "habit." Ive been at this housecleaning jazz for about 2 months now, so have passed the "habit forming" stage. Maybe Im home free on this one. Maybe Ill keep the progress Ive made and make further progress as the weeks roll by.
At the worst of my cold this past week, I staggered upstairs to bed without cleaning the kitchen first. The first time since I started all of this by "shining my sink." When I came downstairs in the morning there were dishes on the counter, and a dirty frying pan on the stove and I couldnt believe how appalled I was. I cleaned it all up instantly, and have not gone to bed since without cleaning up the kitchen first.
When this all started, I used to ask "who is this person and what has she done with the real Bev." Now Im hoping that this is the real Bev. I sure like this one a lot better than the old one.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Weight Lost to date: 45.8 lbs