I am back. Sorry for not writing on Saturday but I really needed the time off to reflect on things. Loss in the family, mental stressers, things I needed to do at home. This last week has been really trying for me. I have felt overwhelmed, sad, and a little apprehensive. My writer's block came back and well, I just decided to wait until I could form my thoughts on paper better. So I am back and I thank you all for being patient with me.
I am hating this weather. The ice and snow has made it almost impossible to do anything or go anywhere. The salt used to melt the snow is tracked all over the place, mainly through my living room. It is almost as if everyone in the world has stepped in rock salt and took a quick once over in my home. It is slowly driving me insane. I sweep. I mop. I vacuum. I sweep. I mop. I vacuum...you get the picture.
Then there is the dirty baseboards that are the thing of my nightmares. They are old and marred. Covered in decades of bad paint choices. No matter what I do, they refuse to clean up or even to remotely appear that way. I know that most people don't look at baseboards but I am not most people and I can't look away from their ugliness. It haunts me like a bad B movie. It is just like a horror flick except instead of Freddy Kruger waving around his glorified razor glove, it is a dirty baseboard flailing it's dented arms at me laughing in high pitched creaks and pointing at me accusingly.
I am planning to fix my dining room into a formal dining room. Something that I have always wanted. A nice table to sit with the family and discuss the day over spaghetti and meatballs or homemade chicken noodle soup. A beautiful pace to have Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving at. A place that makes me feel proud and not embarrassed. You see, I have a tendency to only see the imperfections. I notice what others do not. I can not simply enjoy the meal I have with family when I see smudges on the wall or a dirty wood floor that is desperately crying out for carpet. I can't truly be present in the conversation if I am subconsciously thinking about all of the unfinished things in my home.
And it has become quiet a double edged sword. I love to design interiors. I love antique and vintage pieces, mixed with some newer pieces. I love bold paint colors and warm reds and soft grays. I love everything about designing a room in my home. And because I have OCD I get caught up in it. I end up ruminating on it over and over and over and over again. Do I want this paint color or this one? I search google for images of the look I want to achieve. I greedily read articles about whatever aesthetic I am going for. I am constantly obsessing over it.
In a way I find it helpful to have this as a distraction. If I am obsessing over paint colors and baseboards then I do not have time to obsess over intrusive thoughts. I am not able to think about my deep sadness of a loved one passing, or listen to my OCD trigger about germs and contamination in the middle of flu season. If I cant quiet my mind enough to sleep, I can go through every change I want to make in my house, in minute detail until I fall asleep. It allows me to block all of the bad and hold onto happy exciting things, like making the improvements I have always wanted to do.
Then again, my constant questioning and rumination over such minor things can be irritating and annoying to those closest around me. I can end up talking about the same paint colors ten times before I realize what I am doing. I can debate over which rug to use or where to place the furniture for hours. Because OCD is very much a disorder that just can't let anything go or let anything rest, I am almost always ruminating about something. It is the ravenous beast that must be fed constantly.
I am excited to start painting and fixing the things I have obsessed about fixing for the last few days. I can't wait to do it. I can't wait to see the finished project. In fact, unlike the negative things I have ruminated over, I find ruminating about these things quiet nice. I like to plan, after all, and rumination allows me to plan well in advance and in great detail. Being creative has always been an extremely important outlet to release my anxiety, my doubts, my fears, my emotional stability, and to create the peaceful moments that I so desperately need in times like this. I need to get my hands dirty. I need to change something around me to break up the monotony. I need to escape for a few minutes into the creative side of my brain and abandon the logical, hardwired, unforgiving OCD side of my brain. If only for a few moments.
I have been feeling so down lately. Not a depression, just a numb kind of acceptance. I am happy to finally be excited about something again after a week of feeling lethargic and hollowed out. Excited that I am finally coming out of the fog and back into my original spunky self. I mean, I am still sad at the passing of my Aunt and am still dealing with that but I am no longer an emotional zombie walking around with my mouth agape and my eyes droopy with exhaustion from crying.
Tomorrow I paint, and then new carpet, and then new baseboards! Yay!!!! I am hoping that this excitement will help keep me away from the negative feelings and depression. I have already started to clean with a gusto like I used to. Which is a good thing, because you can't let yourself get too far behind living with four cats, a man, and two boys. That's a recipe for a cat hair covered, bomb of toys going off in the living room, dirty laundry on the floor that failed to make it to the laundry chute kind of disaster. And trust me, no one wants that.... I am hoping that by replacing my sad ruminations or painful intrusive thoughts with ideas on how to improve my dwelling, it will help save me from the funk I have been in and keep me from plunging down the rabbit whole any further. I am hoping that a couple of Valspar paint cans and this nifty and thrifty chandelier I found to jazz up the place, will help keep me occupied while I am at this vulnerable state. I am hoping the new carpet will allow me to quit seeing every imperfection of my unfinished hardwood floor. That new baseboards will let me finally concentrate on the things that matter most, like family. I am hoping that the antique dining table I got for a freaking steal will ease the worries about not spending enough time with my kids and husband. Ease the anxiety that we may have become disconnected somehow between all of the computer games and cell phone texts. That I can finally let go of the fear that I am missing out on their daily events because we don't eat together at a big table and talk, like I did when I was their age. I am hoping that all of these small improvements will make our house feel more like a home. Our home. And that we will feel peaceful and safe and at ease because we have taken the time to make it as comfortable as possible. Maybe it is silly to think that way. Maybe it is unhealthy to obsess over paint colors and carpet textures. Maybe it is, but then I would rather ruminate on something that doesn't involve me feeling tons of guilt for something I didn't even do, or can't help, or don't want; than on something harmless like house improvements. It may very well be silly. It may be odd. It may be just be the proverbial putting lipstick on a pig, but right now it is what is keeping me functional. You know, dreams and wishes, and what have you. Hope is a powerful thing. You have to have hope to dream. And having and believing in your dreams can get you through almost anything.
Creating, designing, and crafts have always helped to calm me and keep me focused. I am hoping that this will do the same. Here's for hoping anyway....
Until next time,