Yesterday I was reduced to tidying the kitchen cupboards. I’m a neat person so there isn’t much fodder for satisfying spring cleaning urges. I mean, I’m not going to attempt anything labor-intensive like painting, so I was forced to make do with lining up all the cans of tomatoes so that their labels matched perfectly, and getting rid of those things that accumulate over the years. For example, the cubeb berries purchased by my husband about five years ago. Sorry cubeb berries, your time has come.
In addition to being tidy, I’m also afflicted with an almost pathological fear of having too much stuff. In an ideal world I’d be able to fit all my belongings in a suitcase (like Cordelia Grey, the PD James character). And not that long ago I could–I once moved house via a trip on the city bus. Good times. Not so possible anymore, what with the multiple sofas. This fear makes me freak out occasionally, and I think I’m having an episode now. Makes sense–there is a definite scent of spring in the air. And I keep thinking about BFB moving across the country and how great a cross-country move is for shedding excess crap. Plus it’s been a year since my life started to really suck, and that realization is making me want a fresh start. I yearn for everything to be clean and new and orderly. I wish I could just empty the entire house and scrub everything. I want to return to those blissful days when instead of having a lovely house that is slowly filling up with detritus, we just had a lovely house. I feel Oppressed by my Belongings.
Okay, I know this is not really about belongings. It’s about trying to exert control and to recover a sense of hope and energy like the one I had when we moved here. It’s about ridding myself of the Cobwebs of Grief, the Dust of Despair, the Cubeb Berries of Thwarted Dreams. I know that if I tear my entire house apart I’ll just end up overwhelmed. And my husband would not actually be psyched to come home and discover me sleeping on a nest of torn up newspaper shreds in an empty house. So I’m trying not to let these impulses have their way with me. MUST STAY CALM. MUST NOT GO CRAZY. Perhaps I will alphabetize the cleaning products tonight.