My post title today is nothing I literally did, but it is a figurative representation of something I have done today literally, and might do with other things, as well. Have you ever just wished that stuff you needed to do was just “Poof!” done or gone? Or that a specific time just passed without having to live it? That’s kind of how I’m feeling today.
I’m not exactly feeling unwell, and yet I feel a little overwhelmed despite not having an excessive amount of work to do, especially compared to others. I remember at my last job I was fanatical about keeping my e-mail inbox empty. I would delete what could absolutely be deleted, or I would drag e-mails into one of the many folders I created. That was my system, and it worked well for me. Then hubby reminded me that there was no need for all of the folders, and that MS Outlook had a good enough search feature that I could find anything I wanted with relative ease. He said that he just keeps read e-mails in his inbox, and that his inbox had thousands of e-mails sitting in it. That seemed scary to me. I rather liked it empty, like a visual “There is nothing there and nothing to do”.
Over time, I stopped the whole folder idea and e-mails seemed to accumulate in my MS Outlook inbox, too. There’s over 5,000 items in it right now, probably fewer than many peoples’, but what happened was I’d receive some e-mails and think “I’ll look at them later”, but never did. So my “unread” e-mail count went up and up. Today it just seemed too much, so I decided to mark them all as read. Maybe I’ll never get to some of them. And that’s…OK!
I’m not an especially messy person by nature, but I’m also far from being a neat freak. My work desk and house usually looks neat and tidy, save maybe a few dishes during part of the day. But I learned a trick from my mother that I’ve used most of my life. That is that “What can’t be seen doesn’t look messy.” Are there others out there that hide their dirty skillets in the oven? Perhaps your bedroom looks tidy, but if you open the walk-in closet a very different story presents itself? How many of you have hidden a pile of papers on a desk with a lovely silk scarf, or at least created a special “To Do” box that has several papers in it, and yet the rest of your desk looks completely clear? Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I organize my secretly hidden messes, but it doesn’t take too long for them to crop up again.
There are some days when I do an incredible amount of writing. I have a tendency to be what an old college professor called “wordy”. Maybe that was his view, but I rather thought I was highly descriptive and enjoyed sharing as much information in the most elaborate way possible. As a person with bipolar disorder, hypomanic and manic episodes bring on floods of thoughts and words in the brain and flowing out of the mouth. During depressions, the flood ends and figurative “waters” disappear and a drought results. Though I’m not depressed today, I just suddenly feel like relief from the many things I’ve been doing. It’s almost like I wish to sit with the lights out, just listening to my breath and feeling the wind on my skin with few other thoughts. Maybe you guessed this is like a “Calgon, take me away!” moment. I guess it is.
In a little while I have an appointment. I know that I’ll need to do a lot of talking there, but deep down I wish I could just utter a few sentences and either just listen to the other person, or take my leave early. I can see myself driving a bit under the speed limit. Skipping the errand I thought I’d run. Maybe just do the very minimum possible.
Actually, there are some dishes waiting to be put into the dishwasher as I write this. When I finally go to tackle them I think I’ll stand there for a second and imagine myself pulling out the trash can, and sliding them all into it with a sweep of my arm. Of course I won’t actually do that, but the imagining will give me a moment of satisfaction. If you haven’t done such a thing, consider giving it a try. It can be liberating. Or maybe tonight, use some paper plates and cups. Just for a night.