I spent the entire night last night cleaning my apartment and listening to podcasts. It was one of the most mundane evenings I've had in an incredibly long time.
I loved it.
There is something very refreshing about getting things back in order after a prolonged period of chaos. I see it akin to hitting the restart button on your computer. I did dishes, folded laundry, went through papers, and all the other domestic goings on that no one ever talks about, because it's too plain. But in the vanilla of last nights evening, I learned a few things.
T-Shirts are Destroying the Earth
When I was in high school and college, I received a t-shirt for every activity, event, and experience. Marching band, soccer, FFA, quiz bowl, ZBT, theater, Boy Scouts, blood drives. You could look at a persons dresser and see a time line of their activities. As I was organizing my clothing last night, I realized that I have a stupid amount of commemorative t-shirts. I never where them, as I am a professional who no longer shows his extra-curricular involvement through 100% cotton.
So I cast off a large portion of my shirts. It was initially a painful thing to do, as they brought back memories of homecoming festivities, opening nights, and losing seasons. Then I realized that I have those memories, regardless of what woven fibers sit at the back of a drawer. Sure, running across an unworn t-shirt from 1998 helps jog those memories, but the memories are there regardless.
So I kept a few of those memory laden shirts, and put the others in a box labeled “GOODWILL”. And it is good, for both me and the punk high school kid who will pick up these shirts because he thinks they are vintage.
Socks will Never Match
I washed every sock currently residing in our home. All but the pair that sheathed my own feet yesterday, as well as the pair that I assume my wife wore to work. I scoured the apartment for any renegade sock, looking under beds, dressers, stoves, and couches. Satisfied with my investigation, I washed, dried, and began the matching and folding. And this is where I floundered.
Socks that were obviously from the same factory were different sizes. Socks that were the the same size had different markings. And one in every four or five were single and looking for love. My sock drawer is like an internet dating site. Only these singles can't connect to the internet.
Accomplishment is Exponential
When I got home, I was beat. It'd been a long, dreary, soggy day, and I wanted nothing more than to spend the evening watching movies in a horizontal position. But then I took Ellie, our Basset Hound for a walk. As we wandered the broken sidewalks in our neighborhood, I got lost in the music that was pumping through my ear-buds and wound up taking a much longer walk than originally anticipated.
When I got home, my legs were tired, but I felt good. That additional exercise got me re-energized and, upon seeing the pile of laundry sitting on my couch, decided to tackle it. Listening to The Sound of Young America podcast and NPR's All Songs Considered, I moved from the laundry to dishes. Then I repaired a broken household appliance that I'd been avoiding, packed away some winter clothing (I'm being optimistic), and filed some old bills. When I was done, I felt great. I looked around with a sense of satisfaction from the work I'd accomplished. What did I find?
The apartment is still a mess. But a lesser mess. And there's always tonight.