On Clutter

Hat for Travis

I’m a cluttery kind of gal.  There.  I said it.  I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true.  I love to leaf through Better Homes & Gardens and gaze longingly at those minimalist living rooms with their wide open, completely dust free expanses punctuated by maybe one stark, modern vase filled with a sprig of bright flowers.  But a home like that could never really belong to me.  Because – deep breath here – I’m a cluttery kind of gal.  This used to bother me a lot, and to be honest, it’s gotten worse now that I live with an equally cluttery guy (you know the type, right? pretty much every male of the species…).  But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized a couple things about being this kind of person.  Having clutter means 1) I’m sentimental, and 2) I’ve got better things to do.

Being sentimental can’t be such a bad thing.  It means I care about my past, about the people and things that have shaped me, touched me, in ways I want to remember.  Sometimes the physical bits of those events need to be taken out, dusted off, appreciated and savored to remind us how far we’ve come and how full our life has been so far.  I don’t do this every day but sometimes, when I need to, it’s there.

I read once somewhere a quote that I use to remind myself what it’s really all about when I start to feel overwhelmed.  It goes something like this: “Women with tidy houses lead boring lives”.  No offense to those of you who effortlessly hold down a full time job, keep the house spotless, and are all around superwomen, but for me, that’s just it: I’ve got better things to do than sit around cleaning all day or worrying about having a spotless house.  The people that know me and love me don’t care if my house is a disaster.  And frankly they, and I, would be worried and saddened if all my life boiled down to was keeping a tidy house.  When I’m on my deathbed I can guarantee I won’t look back on my life and wish I’d cleaned house more or tried harder to let go of my “junk”.  I will wish I’d spent one more day in the park with R. Darling and the puppies, taken one more motorcycle trip with R. Darling free and unfettered, strolled one more time down memory lane, knitted just one more row, and stopped to lift my face to the sunshine.

The hat is Debbie Bliss’ Cable & Moss Stitch hat in turquoise blue Bollicine from Cascade, which turned out to be a good substitute for Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino.  I made it for a co-worker whose wife just had a baby boy.  The directions were a bit fussy and I didn’t enjoy the finish work, but it turned out great and I’m planning on making another one for another friend who just had a baby boy too.  That is, after I finish cleaning the house….  Because….well….it needs it.

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One thought on “On Clutter

  1. I am so in agreement about the clean house = boring lives. In fact I had that discussion with Monica (rocker chick) a few years ago when she was in hausfrau mode, and ended up telling her, yeah, I could be scrubbing the toilets and sinks right now, but I chose to hang out with you instead! (Basically, give me a break!)

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