Thursday, April 9, 2009

Organizing Band-aid

'Three thirty. Oh, man' I thought as I stared alertly at the clock, 'What am I doing awake. I've had only five hours of sleep and I've got to get more rest than this.', but four fifteen came and I wasn't any more drowsy than when I'd awoke from my dream. To be aroused from a nightmare was understandable, but, this was just the old common, garden variety dream and the fact I'd awoken from such an innocent scene was a bad sign. It meant stress had taken over my subconscious and my body had posted a do not disturb sign. That included the sand man so I might as well get up. But, what can I do? I can't start the dishwasher or the clothes washer, or sew or anything else that I could think of that needed done because it would wake my husband. Disturbing Kirk this early just wouldn't be fair. He had to get up in an hour anyway as he leaves for work at ten to six, but, he wouldn't be home until eight pm from his twelve hour shift at the coal mine. I figured he needed all the rest he could get.

Maybe, chores weren't the answer. It wouldn't relieve my stress level as they would just need done again tomorrow. I knew what would - I'd organize. Several tasks came to mind but what I really needed was a spit in your eye kind of job. One that makes me feel that I've reinstated the fact that life doesn't control me - but I control life. Something that right now doesn't have to be done but that I choose to do.

Quite often, stress nearly paralyzes me and I simply shut down and can't make myself do the half-to projects. An additional assignment for church or a few appointments on top of chores needing done at home will do it. I've Autism and low cortisol levels to thank for that, but sometimes, I can wiggle my way out of shackling mind set by organizing. It isn't a cure but the band-aide makes me feel better. During holiday weeks like this one, I have to pick a small project like a cupboard or maybe I can get away with just doing a shelf. A whole room would really do the trick but I've learned that its not a stressed day project but a mildly depressed day activity because altogether avoiding the things that cause me to shut down isn't an option.

This need to organize is not to be mistaken for the same thing as the need to schedule everything. The most productive pattern of life for me revolves around the weather and the seasons as I decide what my tentative plans are for the week ahead by the forecast for temperatures and wind speed. On a day when the wind is blowing thirty or forty miles an hour, I'm not cleaning the goat shed or the chicken coop as from head to toe I will be dusted with a fine layer of manure and on a cold frigid day baking is a good idea especially, if I'm low on cookies and muffins for my husband's lunch box. In the winter, quilting and knitting become a more common past-time. Where as in the summer, the garden and caring for you livestock such as a bum calf or baby chicks takes up a majority of my day. This flexible schedule is soothing but time restraints of - do this, hurry hurry do that, you're running late - are nearly more than I can stand because my bread doesn't rise on any such restrictive time frame and canning tomatoes from the garden takes as long as it takes, just like a myriad of other chores I do each day.

My children say I can't tell the difference between work and play and maybe they're right, since cleaning a cupboard is classified as fun in my book. That's why the kids tease me that Monday is Mom's holiday. Not like Memorial Day or Labor Day but as in Garbage Day when the sanitation department picks up our small garbage dumpster. How much I'm allowed to organize depends on the amount of room left in the container, for there's always lots to throw away.

This week, with Easter, church assignments, and appointments on top of that, I'm needing a large organizational band-aid. When I was with our oldest daughter last weekend, her DVD storage system caught my eye and convinced me to adopt it. So, when I awoke far earlier than necessary and couldn't begin my morning chores, I crept into the living room and removed my DVD's from their containers and stored them in a CDs, DVDs or video game electronics case. The one I bought on our mother daughter weekend holds two hundred and eight. Into the garbage went the original containers. Aw...! I'm feeling a little better but not quite well yet. Let's see what else needs put in order?

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