Friday, 28 September 2012

Cleaning and Stuff

I am a bit skittish these days - find it hard to concentrate on doing anything in particular.  I am usually a really good sleeper, but over the last week I have not been sleeping brilliantly, which is probably a large part of the problem.   So for the last couple of days I have been making a huge effort to eat completely healthily (no sugar, no gluten) and drink plenty of herbal tea and water - things that slip if I am not strict about them.  As expected, things have improved - last night I slept much better.

I have been neglecting our home a bit - I had a mammoth tidy out in the summerhouse several weeks ago, after basically forcing Paul to sort out a lot of his clutter so that I could reclaim the place, and after that I was inspired to carry on and get the whole house organised.  Since then, though, I have just been doing the basic maintenance (which still takes several hours each day).  My little boy asked me this morning why I hadn't brought in all his Lego from the summerhouse yet (I promised he could have it back in the conservatory for the winter) and I said I have been meaning to sort it but just haven't had the time.  The truth is, I have been putting it off, because I knew I would have to tidy the conservatory first, to make space.  And I knew it was a big job.

So this morning I looked around my bedroom, which was heaving with disorder, and moaned to my son, 'I wish someone would come and clean up this mess for me' to which he said nothing.  Clearly, there was nothing to be said.  So I pulled myself together, as I usually do eventually, gritted my teeth and set to.

I think mentally I resent having to clean when I could be writing - even when I don't then sit down and write.  I tend also to think of other things I could or should be doing - which often involve getting out of the house to walk the dog or do some shopping.  I am not brilliant at staying in one place for any length of time. 

Anyway, I set to with the cleaning wipes, broom, dustpan etc, and started shifting things from the conservatory to the summer house and back, from the kitchen to the bedroom, and so on.  I got the conservatory and the front room really clean and organised in about three hours, which feels very good, although I am now very aware of the other areas which are not quite up to scratch.

Especially the bedroom.  I knew it was messy, but as I was getting tired by now I had only intended to tidy my bedside table and sort out some of the papers and stuff that I have been storing along the wall on my side of the room.  Then I decided I might sleep even better in a clean bed, so I changed the bedsheets.  Before putting the new sheets on I turned the mattress, and realised that there was a lot of dust under the bed.  So I decided to clean under there - and uncovered a nest of worms (not literally, but not far off).  Oh, the dirt and debris - the sheer horrible clutter that has been sheltering under my husband and I as we slumber.  Yuck! 

I got as far as clearing most of the dust and dirt and evacuating the stuff that has been harbouring it.  The clutter is now all on Paul's side of the room - he will not be pleased to come home to it.  Paul, bless him, is a hoarder (although he maintains that all the things he keeps are potentially useful).  He only cleared his stuff from the summer house after two full years of nagging - but hopefully now that the recent purge is fresh in his memory (and it must have made him feel better on some level although he denies it) he will sort out this latest lot straightaway.

There turned out to be several good things about cleaning this morning.  First, I had the radio on and was able to hear Goldie Hawn on Desert Island discs.  She spoke about how she had suffered panic attacks and immediately contacted her doctor and gone to see a Freudian psychologist and how much this had helped.  How wonderful to be so self-aware - to know when you need help and not to be ashamed to seek it.  She seemed like such a lovely person, and I enjoyed listening to her while on my hands and knees cleaning the grime off my floors. 

Then I had a phone call from a friend - which is always nice - we chatted about this and that for a while. 

And finally I received another phone call - from an independent publisher of mental health books.  I had sent this lady my book a while ago, and although she had only called to say that it was not suitable for their list she was really complimentary about it and we had lots to talk about on the subject of mental health generally.  She gave me some ideas of how I could branch out with my writing, and pointed me towards some organisations I can contact which undertake recovery-orientated work.  I was really pleased that I had been home to get that call - although I did think of a lot of things I could have said and asked afterwards.  But that's ok, because she said it would be great to keep in contact by email.  So I will.
So, there you go.  There is a reason for everything, and to every cloud there is a silver lining, even if the cloud is cleaning...

Oh, and BTW...
I had an email this morning too while I was cleaning - from Torsten Shaw, the director of 'Making Waves'.   He has linked to my blog on his site, so I will return the favour here - they look like a good practical bunch of people doing a decent job.  Here it is:  I will add it to my sidebar later. 

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