Today I am feeling fresh. Not in a ‘I just got out of a cool shower and powered through a productive morning slamming green smoothies!!!’ kind of way. More of a ‘ it is a fine day outside with just the perfect amount of breeze’ and I’m feeling a little optimistic -dare I say, peaceful? Happy?
Yes, happiness. This strange feeling of contentment that has been a foreign feeling for way too long. So, I am taking a moment to sit down, breathe, write and savour this moment. Many of my journals and scrap writing is so depressive anyway so this is a welcome change. This isn’t jubilant celebratory Joy, but as I type this, a lovely part of me is telling myself “Why not?” Which I guess, is a nice thing if my inner dialogue is becoming more positive, confident and speaking for my best interest. That is what all of us need I think.
Wouldn’t it be revolutionary of we had to contend with our inner voice being so incredibly, ridiculously positive all the time? It would be pandemonium! Just imagine the incessant happy nagging:
You are so fantastic you are! Yes! Look at you standing up straight and tall and positively beaming. Wow, you are smiling and it is so infectious, you better be careful or else it will catch on. Oh- just great! Now everyone around you is smiling back!
We would be an unstoppable force of positive change. Speaking of positive change, I wanted to write about my progress and achievements in cleaning. Keeping my home clean and organised is something I have struggled with for most of my life. When I was a child, my mum used to call me “Number One Junk Collector”. I think somewhere that stuck in my psyche and whilst growing up and in my teens – I was associated as being really messy and instead of getting the help or support I desperately needed I was often just scolded by my guardians that raised me. When I think back, I wasn’t really ‘taught’ or ‘shown’ or inspired to clean.
What have I done to change? Well, don’t get me wrong. I am still messy and things get put out of order because Life, right? But, slowly over the last several years – especially all that preliminary time living on my own and now with my partner of 3 years, I have improved significantly. The messy state of my living areas are reflective of my mental health and unfortunately the priority of cleaning and organisation falls by the wayside when you are depressed. It is a horrible cycle. When I am depressed my spaces fall into disarray and become cluttered. I look around and get angry and fall into a deeper depression when I see how I let my my surroundings get so messy. I berate myself and feel even more helpless, angry and depressed. It is a pattern and I see it now. I am so grateful for the wisdom and grace to take a step back and be kind to myself. I hope that if you somehow stumbled upon this and are in a similar situation that you are kind to yourself too. Now, ask yourself ‘do you have the ability to change this?‘ or, Can you reach out and ask for some help ?
I felt so overwhelmed just beginning but some of the best advice I’ve gathered is to just start making a list. It also helps to title your list with something like:
Small things I can begin now
I’ve posted today’s real life list that I have already worked on. I just labelled mine tasks. Use whatever works for you. The highlighted things are tasks I’ve completed. As a side note- I get a small thrill using a highlighting completed tasks over striking them out or ticking them off. I liken the highlight as a literal (one of many)daily ‘highlights’
It could be a short list or a long list it is up to you, but there is one important thing to remember. There is no pressure or need to finish everything today. Maybe today you could just work on one thing now. Just begin. Once you have done one small thing – relish in that good feeling of progress and achievement. Then, perhaps you are feeling a little like a challenge? Dare I say…adventurous? So, you begin the next thing…and another. On it goes.
I find it helps not to write huge tasks that take very long time to complete. My advice is to chunk it up into smaller tasks. For example. Something like :Clean Room can be chunked into smaller tasks like:
- Take dishes/bowls used cups and glasses to the kitchen
- Throw trash into a garbage bag
- Make the bed
I also find it helps to watch some videos on YouTube that may give you some instructions that can guide you and even inspire you.
I’ve let go of the idea of perfection. If you can’t finish it all in one day, that is OK! Progress and meaningful work takes time and practice. Oh and yes! Something as simple as a small task can be meaningful. Especially if you are like me and have struggled with mess.
I may not learn to Love cleaning but I am slowly beginning to love the feeling of tiny accomplishments and the confidence building. I appreciate the Small Things That I can begin Now. I hope you can too!
Much love and gratitude