A New Leaf

Blah, I don’t know what that means. I’m always aspiring to turn over a new leaf. Always resolving to do something better. It’s very ADD of me. The resolutions rarely work out. I’m learning that this is my life. It’s part of what drives my depression and anxiety.

Yes, I know I haven’t blogged here in a very long time, probably over a year, and maybe I won’t actually continue on a regular basis like I plan to. We’ll see. I had the big idea to make this the blog where I ranted and said whatever I wanted and gave my completely uneducated opinion freely. But I don’t do well with consistency. Or self-discipline, it depends how you see it. But, for now, this place will serve a different purpose. I may publicize it and try and build a readership, I may not. I will, however, be writing as candidly and honestly as I can.

In the last year, since Dee’s birth, I have learned a lot about myself. I have had some of my lowest lows. Obviously, Dee’s birth being one of the highest highs of my life, but it’s been pretty downhill since then. With help from my counselor, I’ve come to realize this is depression compounded by postpartum depression, with a little anxiety and some ADD markers mixed in. Like, for realz. I have never ever viewed myself as mentally ill, but there have been times of intense anxiety, I guess you might call it, where I’ve literally felt like I was going crazy. It’s not fun. No, I’m not on meds. Many times I wish I was, but I’m afraid that I’ll run myself out of cortisol (apparently, one way that antidepressants work is that they keep a constant stream of cortisol running through your brain and your body does not manufacture that stuff. That’s your lifetime supply. At least, that’s the way I understand it.) and then where will I be? I am, however, on a bunch of herbal and vitamin supplements, but still waiting, hoping they kick in. I hope I know when they kick in. My counselor says I’ve been depressed for so long, I’m afraid I don’t even know what normal feels like anymore.

But anyways, part of what’s driving this depression is my need for perfection and the fact that I have a very difficult living up to my own standard of perfection. A big part of this shows up in my surroundings. When my surroundings are cluttered and messy, so is my brain. It seriously drives me nuts! Like, um, literally. My depression seems to be the situational kind. You can tell how I’m doing by looking at my house. Unswept kitchen floor, dirty dishes stacked next to the sink (and I do mean stacked), dining table cluttered with bills, sticky from PB&J? It’s been a bad day. Or week. And it’s not likely to get better until JD Man helps me get it back to a sorta sparkling clean. Tidy, anyways. Once in awhile, I can push myself to get things back in shape myself and with some help from the FlyLady and a timer and some other tips from around the interwebs, I’ve been able to do that more often lately. But once the visible areas are kind of pleasant to look at, I’m good for awhile, I may even be able to maintain it for a week or two, but always, slowly (or not so slowly sometimes), things always slide back to the haphazard. I think, I hope, part of this is because, once I get the main living areas decent, I begin to notice all the places I haven’t yet touched. The desk, the bedrooms, the bathroom cupboards, the coat closet, you get the point. The areas that fall by the wayside while I try and stay on top of the laundry, the cooking, the main parts of the house that are really noticeable and, oh yeah, taking care of my 3-year-old and 11-month-old. And not just taking care of, but mothering them. Ya know, crafts and reading books and playing toys and all that? Yeah, that’s been falling by the wayside too, pushed there by my craziness. And I want to *try* and fix it. Or at least build some coping methods so my brain isn’t constantly in shambles because I’m surrounded by a mess, so I can be a better, more attentive, more FUN mom to my little dearies.

So, a big part of my plan is to tackle these areas of untouched clutter, to declutter and simplify, to employ the philosophy of, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” And then, hopefully, build some habits to maintain. But even if those maintenance systems break down, I think merely having a spot for everything in this relatively small house will go a long way in getting back on track. As long as I can get my ass in gear and actually put things back where they belong. But, that’s my plan. And I plan to blog the progress of my little projects, just as a way to keep myself accountable. And maybe because I love encouraging and understanding comments and I hope that incentive will drive me forward. Not sure how I’m going to get comments if I don’t plan to publicize, but that’s beside the point.

Don’t go expecting anything as pretty and streamlined as IHeart Organizing–mostly because I can’t afford to go to Target or anywhere else and buy pretty little baskets and crates and totes because $5 is a lot of money in this house–but I will be trying to make things attractive and nice to look at. Because the artist in me craves beauty and order like nothing else and plain cardboard boxes simply won’t do.

So here’s a photo of a project JD Man helped me accomplish last weekend. This truly does make me so happy.

My craft table. With all my crafty, creative materials nicely organized. Seriously, it’s like a balm to my soul, a sigh of relief, a breath of fresh air. So very inspiring.

We may put something like this up above the table to hold some more baskets, but just one of those simple, but elegant plank shelves.

Lovely, no? We’re doing a bit of a remodel on this basement room, turning into our master bedroom/office/creative space, so something like this shouldn’t be a big deal. Not with my handy JD Man to help me.

Yes, I do feel bad that my husband has to help me out so much sometimes. Very, very guilty. He has a job that he works very hard at and I’m a SAHM that should have my act together. And I don’t. And he’s amazing. But a big reason I’m trying to make things better is him. And myself. And us.

At the moment, I’m procrastinating on finishing a organizing project that I’ve finished halfway. I’m really good at that, by the way. Procrastinating, that is. Organizing and decluttering seriously wears my brain out. I work myself into a frenzy where I can no longer even think straight. It’s really annoying and I hate it, but I’m hoping once I get some of it done, I’ll get better at it. Hoping. It’s a big theme with me. Knowing I have failed often in the past, but seeing potential in the future.

I hope.



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