Cleanup, catharsis, clarification. (Or, Spring clean-up ain’t just for basements)

The mess starts small.

The mess starts small.

Yesterday was a big day for cleaning. On a couple of levels. My best friend and I made a deal this March Break – to keep our activities local and explore the messy parts of our city, and to help each other purge the contents of a messy part of our houses. I helped her out with her office, which she will transform into some sort of creative space. Creating comfort out of chaos. She helped me clear out my storage space in my basement, which resulted in the pile of junk above being removed from my space. Whew, right? With her help I was able to lift furniture upstairs, rearrange my living room so that we actually want to live here, take away two broken vacuum cleaners, because it would appear that my house is where vacuum cleaners come to die, and create some order in my storage space. Everything in its place. Matching storage containers, labelled with words that actually match their contents. This may seem like simple child’s play to those of you who are by nature organized, orderly and innately neat. Those of you who always have someone nearby to help you lift things don’t ever have to glower at a large chair sitting, useless and unused, in the middle of a storage room. Count your blessings, folks. The chair that I am now blissfully sitting on in my living room spent a couple of sad years in the dark in the bowels of my house, longing to be brought to the light. But such is life. I digress.

Something happens when you start to purge spaces of junk. The mess gets bigger.

Well. While I'm at it... I suspect this pile will continue to grow over the course of my weekend. Hurrah.

Well. While I’m at it…
I suspect this pile will continue to grow over the course of my weekend. Hurrah.

And that’s what happens with messes. Once you clean out one space, you look around and notice others that need cleaning. And it’s a long process, and the process seems to get longer as you go, but the light at the end of the tunnel gets a little bit brighter. There are cleared surfaces to shine and polish.

Which brings me to yesterday’s session. I showered, got myself dressed to go to my EMDR therapy session. Felt compelled to tidy up my living room and kitchen before I left. Needed to make some space in my head before heading to work on easing the trauma from the surgeries that happened, wide awake, almost exactly two years ago. Clean up that mess.

Well. That’s the thing with messes.

‘So. What are some discreet moments that we could come up with to work on in our EMDR sessions?’ (Or something to that effect.)

‘Discreet?’

‘Like traumatic?’

‘Like anything?’

Oh boy. Well. That’s messy, now isn’t it? Talk about needing to clear out some spaces. I guess when you look back on the past fifteen years of my life there are a few ‘discreet moments’ that could probably get pulled out of the basement of my brain and thrown out to the curb.

Well. While I’m at it.

There are surfaces to shine in my house. There is room; there has been space created. There is a place for good things to happen.

And now it’s time to create some space for positive things to happen in my head. Time for cleanup, clarification, and just maybe some cathartic change. We all have our own ‘discreet moments’ – piles of memories and messes that get pushed into the corners of our brain to be dealt with later, or not at all. And sometimes, those piles get just a little bit too big, or there are just too many of them, and we have to steel ourselves for the messy clean-up process. Brace ourselves for what’s under those piles. Prepare ourselves to deal with the messes we’ve forgotten. And clean them up. Get rid of the trash we don’t need.  Organize the messes worth holding on to, label them appropriately, and put them up on shelves, and make some space for good things to happen.

Here goes.

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3 thoughts on “Cleanup, catharsis, clarification. (Or, Spring clean-up ain’t just for basements)

  1. Tanya I wish for you only…health with a clear head, like spring …..promises of new growth, empty shiny places to store fun new adventures & happy memories always…….xoxo Pam MacD

  2. Well…your last paragraph made me get a little misty..somehow when you are dealing with a mess or a pile of messes…it is comforting in a rather selfish way to know that others have the same issues..thank you for your honest and inspiring writing.

  3. I am slightly amazed with the situation of this post. It seemed eerily perfect that you decide to ‘clean up’ and ‘make space’ in your house only to stumble on that exact process for your own life. I’m not sure Netflix show writers could’ve planned that set up any more perfectly. Here’s to clean houses, clarified memories and a few ‘dirty’ thoughts. Never know what might ‘spark’ from a simple greeting and an emoticon (winks face).

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