Submitted by megan on Thu, 10/01/2009 - 21:44
I've developed a new nightly routine that I'm finding very satisfying. I make sure the kettle is filled with enough water for coffee. I measure out my oats and currants, I fill the pot with enough water to cook them. I wash the dishes so that when I come down in the morning the counters are cleared and pleasing.
You wouldn't know this from looking at my house now, but when I was a kid I used to get in so. much. trouble. for being messy. Everything in my room was everywhere, all the time.
My dad, who was an angry man and a yeller, would go on rampages every once in a while. Why was everything always on the floor? It was his house, why did we always make everything a mess? Why couldn't we put anything away?
The pattern went like this:
- Dad would ask us to clean our rooms before he got home. Not nicely.
- I would do other stuff, typically watching TV and reading.
- Mom would say "Your father will be home soon, have you cleaned your room?"
- I would run to my room and shove everything either under the bed, or in the closet, or both.
It's not like there was one time where he forgot to check the bed or the closet, so I don't know why it took me so long to figure out that wasn't going to work.
I'm not entirely sure when that changed.
My bachelor apartment in Toronto had a lot to do with it. That's when I started making my bed every day, because it depressed me and stressed me out to walk into a space where everything was all over the place and all out of sorts.
It wasn't the apartment, was it. It was because I moved into that apartment to heal, when my depression and anxiety were at their peak. I made my bed, I folded everything, I lined up all my canned food. Neat neat neat, this here, this here. Some misguided intuition that if I could keep the outside in order, maybe things might be okay.
I wonder how much of that is inherited and how much of that I learned?