The Illusion of Control

bowl of ornaments

Some things in my life right now are so far out of my control, it’s laughable.

For a Type-A control freak like myself, this is discomfiting.

I don’t know when we’re moving.

We had carpet installed yesterday, and in doing so emptied the dressers, bookshelves, and closets for six people and piled all that crap in the room dead smack in the middle of my house.

We already had a large and anxiety-inducing pile of boxes in that room—stuff we intend to put in storage once we get a moving date.

So now ALL that stuff is just sitting there.  And that one room (dead smack in the center of my house) looks like…well, a dump, to be honest.

pano of blue room

Plus, it’s Christmas, which means my house is already more full of stuff than normal—garlands and wreaths and stockings and a tree that we had to move furniture to properly position.  In case you hadn’t noticed the pattern, stuff-out-of-place causes me to feel anxious.

I don’t want to put all the items from the bedrooms back upstairs until I purge the crap we don’t really need.  The only stuff going back up is stuff we’ll be taking to Europe with us, dammit.  So I have to sort through all those boxes of miscellany this week.

I can’t even move the boxes for storage until we rent a storage unit, which we can’t do until we have a move date, so they’re just there for the holidays.  Maybe I should just decorate that stack of boxes and make it look more festive and less depressing.

In instances like this, when I can’t make everything exactly the way I want it to be, I react in one of two ways:

Sometimes, when there are things going on that I can’t control, I latch onto the other things in my life that I can control and then I control the crap out of them.  (Den is a literal dump, so full of boxes and stacks of crap that you can’t walk in there?  Guess what?  The kitchen is freaking SPOTLESS.  I will clean that kitchen to within an inch of it’s life.)

Other times, when I’m feeling unable to control things, I just sort of surrender to the chaos and let everything go.  I basically give up, allow chaos to reign, and then when I am back in the driver’s seat, I attack everything at once.  (Den is a literal dump, so full of boxes and stacks of crap that you can’t walk in there?  Guess what?  Kitchen looks like crap too.  So does the family room.  Whatever–I’ll clean it all at once when I regain control of everything else in my life.)

Today, I’m leaning toward the former method, probably because the den has only been full of piles for just over 24 hours now.  Eventually the effort of maintaining sanity in the face of such disarray will wear me down and I’ll give in and let everything go to pot for a few days.  My house will be so cluttered and messy that I’ll be short-tempered and snippy and yell at everyone for everything.  Then I’ll attack the pile with a vengeance, clean the whole room out, and be fine.  And have three carloads of stuff for Good Will.

Embrace the chaos.  That should be my new motto.

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3 thoughts on “The Illusion of Control

  1. Mish

    Sooooo. . . you get it cleaned up yet? LOL

    Its got to be driving you insane. It was hard enough just KEEPING my house tidy over the holiday weekend.


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