Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What Moving Brings Out in Me

I'm OCD. I hide it well most of the time. I can let my house be messy on occasion, though it does make me cranky when it's that way. When we were first married I vacuumed our apartment every morning before I left for work. I cleaned the bathrooms twice a week, I dusted the entire apartment every Saturday, and did all the laundry and put it away every Monday. I adore schedules and control - adore it! My husband used to make fun of me for this constantly.

Then something happened along the way. That something called children. Oh, I tried to keep it perfect all the time, but I was just fooling myself. It was also making me more cranky to try and keep things clean with the children crawling around getting drool, gummed up teething biscuits, and occasionally snot on things. So, I relaxed a little bit and my husband decided that my OCD might not be a bad thing. 

My mother used to tell me that I mellowed out a lot when I met my husband and then she took that statement back after I had children. She laughed and said, "Now you're laid back Paula Irene."
Truth be told I really like being laid back. It's easier. With moving though, we had to keep the house "magazine ready" as my daughter calls it. You know what? I LOVE IT! It makes me feel calm on the inside when I walk into my house and everything is in place and there aren't toys all over, or sticky finger prints everywhere. Even though I know we can't keep it that way always (it's just not practical), there are certain things that have retained their order throughout.

 I file, I color code things, I have all my books in publish date order and by author - but that's just me. It's part of who I am. I'm trying to really embrace things like that right now. 
Now when things are still a bit hard emotionally. When I'm struggling to understand a daughter that has NO organization and seems to thrive in chaos. When I'm trying to understand why my son groups toys together a certain way and saves trash. I'm trying to let them be themselves. When I was little, I wasn't so neat. I probably made my mother cringe. She patiently taught me how to do it and make it easier. It stuck with me, by high school I liked it that way. It made sense and I felt like life was easier with organization - to me it is. 
So maybe one day it will stick to my children too. One day they will see the benefit and ease of that organization. As we are packing up this house - our first - and moving on to a new one, I'm trying to keep in mind what is important. The piles of things and boxes and chaos of moving surround us constantly. The clean makes me happy for sure, but things like grass angels for luck on the grass of the new front lawn are so much more important! :)

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