Monday, May 9, 2005

Procrastination: An Art Form

I have had most of the inactive contents of my office sprawled across our King-sized bed since, well, November of 2005. That is six months ago. Where do I sleep, you wonder? My husband has enjoyed the softer guest room beds since last fall where we have an old suite of c. 1920s stained and handpainted bedroom furniture from my grandparents' house (and possibly my great-grandparents' house before them). For a while that set belonged to my father for his apartment guest room. But either way, whenever I walk into that room it smells and seems like I'm back at 425 North Portage Path in Akron, Ohio. Smell has a way of transporting us to another time in our lives and the scent of the old furniture with a faint hint of roses brings me back to a great and precious childhood. [And I'm glad to have a "time capsule" room from my own history within a house surrounded by my husband's--and our own together as a family.]

As we have few overnight guests, it was only natural that someone would soon claim that room. Sometimes I'll sleep in the second, parallel twin bed (but it feels too much like a 1950s sitcom when I do) but more often than not, one of our boys will have a campout in there. Besides, the mattresses are so soft and lacking side support that by the morning my sheets, blankets and half of my somewhat cumbersome self are approaching the floorboards. But I digress. This is merely a long way of telling you that while we may sleep in separate bedrooms on occasion, we are still married. Needless to say, I have been a nocturnal nomad for half a year. Lately I've taken to sleeping in my daughter's other bed--she has two full size canopy beds in her room and her extra is the most comfortable bed in the house--where it feels like I'm sharing a room with the sister I never had but always wanted.

So, why is my office on my bed and why am I in no hurry to move it? I suppose it is because the king-sized bed is not only a huge area of space on which to sort (that doesn't involve moving stuff off a dining room or kitchen table every day or so) but that it is just the right height for me to organize my piles. And as the bedroom is not being used, I can just close the door on it. But the whole process is getting old. My husband is threatening divorce or OCD/Time Management class for me and I am growing like a weary traveler who longs for their own bed again. [You have to understand that my husband is the neat one here--we have the reverse problem that most couples have: he is tidy, I am not. He will ask directions before even leaving the driveway and I'll refuse to stop and ask (as I pride myself on my map-reading abilities and instinctive sense of direction).] Now that it is almost summer I can throw upon the windows and enjoy the evening breezes and sounds of the season...but first I have to file all of the junk on top of the bed, and on the couch and the detritus that is spilling onto the floor. I'd take and post a picture but that would be too humiliating--describing it is enough.

In the six months since starting to organize my office there have been many accomplishments and setbacks: ill children, the holidays, and on a personal work-related level, I prepared a book proposal for IN THE PANTRY, shopped it around, and received an offer/contract. It hasn't all been a disruption to my work and life, just to my sense of organization.

But it needs to be done. On several days in the past two weeks, including this one, I have had all good intentions of conquering the clutter that has consumed my bedroom. And then something else presents itself. Lately, this blog has been a major distraction as have other writing projects. I hope that one day the amount of time I spend on my computer will make my husband and children proud. In the meantime, if they don't have the perfect mother I think they'll be ok with that.

My family certainly knows it but just to prove to my friend Edie that I do NOT live like Martha Stewart in any way, shape or form, I opened the door of our bedroom the other night when they were here for dinner. She giggled and nodded and seemed to understand immediately. I knew that she hadn't believed me at my dinner-table confessional. My husband can't believe I would even TELL anyone...but admission is the first step to recovery, isn't it?

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