I have always been one of those odd ball people who enjoys spring cleaning. I don’t know why. I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning in general, but there is something about the purge, of getting rid of clutter and making space for new things to come that really excites me. It’s the preparation of change, of renewal that excites me most I think. Unlike most people, I welcome change. Not that things are ever so bad, but it gives a person the chance to have a clean slate.
This year my spring cleaning has taken on a new meaning. I’m in the process of buying my first home, alone, which is daunting in and of itself. I went through a relationship change recently and my everyday life was altered more quickly than I was prepared for. You get used to living with someone, especially after 7 years, and routines become ingrained. I’ve never been one to like routines much, but for most people, it’s an occupational hazard of life.
For me it’s just one of those things that I loathe but must conform to. I have to wake at a certain hour each day and be out of the house by a set time because I have a 60 mile commute. Timeliness is something I am very conscientious about and one minor accident is all it takes to back up traffic for hours. My day job entails several tasks that must be done at certain times of the day, usually early in the morning, and of course, when I come home, I have pets that are fed routinely as well as myself and my partner. But there were days when I wished I could throw caution to the wind. Days I wished I could stop off at the bookstore instead of having to rush home to cook dinner. Days I wished I could go out with friends instead of… having to rush home to cook dinner. And now that I am alone and can do these things, it’s thrown me and it’s like I don’t know what to do with my extra time.
My first thought, of course, was to write. I would have hours to lounge about on the deck whiling away the moments as I filled page after page with new prose. That didn’t happen. The first day I had to myself was like a party and I made an extravagant dinner for myself to celebrate my freedom. Subsequent days were filled with laundry and other cleaning I was never able to get to as well as cleaning up the mess left after my partner moved out. The guest room is now filled with boxes of crap that need to be gone through and as I’ve been cleaning, I’ve been purging to prepare for my own move once the new house is acquired. And I realized as I purged how freeing it was. To not have to worry about clutter, about boxes of “things” that I hadn’t looked at in years. If I hadn’t needed it, and haven’t looked at it, it’s not important and it gets tossed. And as the space is cleared and my house is less of a reminder of what had been, my outlook changed. Slowly at first, but as I accepted my freedom and my new life and realized I wasn’t going to die or cave in being on my own, something miraculous happened… my writing came back to me. My creative muse came knocking on my door and now she won’t leave me alone, which is a wonderful thing.
I just hope that when I move, she figures out my new address.