Sunday, January 13, 2013

In The Closet ...

It was one of those days.

The kind in which one seemingly benign act is in fact not at all benign but rather the spark that lights a fuse that you hadn't at all intended to light.

I stepped into the closet off of my office to put my camera away – I keep it stashed in a certain drawer so I always know where to find it, because with a life as scintillating as mine, one never knows when one will need to grab the camera and snap off a few shots; hell, some days, I even leave the house – and so it began. I left my closet only to accomplish things that could not be accomplished inside the closet, but were all closet-centric at their core.

I stared at the array of wine bottles that covered the table just inside the door. I'd grouped them by vintner first, then varietal, not because it made sense to do that but because my obsessive need for order saw no reason not to arrange them that way. I had started saving them some years ago, with designs of using some of them to recreate a chandelier I'd seen in a Pottery Barn catalog and with designs of toting others to a glass shop and having the necks cut off on an angle and the rims polished smooth to turn them into water carafes like I'd seen online. Perhaps I'd give them away as hostess gifts. Perhaps I'd start a shop on Etsy. But I never did. And yesterday, I finally admitted to myself that I never would. And so I made several trips out to my large recycling bin and set them free.

My recycling man is going to think that I am a massive drunk. Which I am not. I probably poured out as much wine as I drank, maybe more. But even if I were a massive drunk, at least I could comfort myself in the knowledge that I am also environmentally minded. I'm sure all those bottles will end up being recycled into something lovely.

It felt very freeing, though, to clear that surface of all those bottles, to clear my mind of the "I really should do that someday"-ness that they represented. Perhaps I should. But I won't. The end. And anyway, my most recent wine purchase involves a spigot.

And from there, I set about organizing other parts of my closet. I pulled in a chair and grabbed a bag of rubber bands and plopped myself down in front of the two boxes of rolls of wrapping paper that had gotten out of hand. Christmas paper had migrated into the non-Christmas paper box. Rolls were jammed in at all angles. It was quite the bad scene. So I tidied and sorted and now everything is in its place and I can admit that I have no business buying wrapping paper until at least 2017.

I went through my boxes of Christmas and birthday cards, not cards sent but received, and divvied them up into piles to keep and to shred. The shred pile was far larger than the keep pile. And my shredder now sparkles with glitter. Why, why, why must there be so much glitter in the world? I dislike crunchy glitter cards. Please, send them to "Twilight" fans instead.

I organized my secondary ribbon and trim drawer. Well, really, it's my primary ribbon and trim drawer because the drawer above it is solely devoted to ribbon and the drawer below it, the drawer I was organizing, holds overflow spools of similar ribbon along with other kinds of ribbon and tags and more paper and twine. I stand ready to adorn packages or tie up tomato plants, whichever need should arise first.

I organized some piles of old statements that I have to keep around for seven years. I grouped my office supplies more logically. I moved my stash of voiceover stuff from one shelf to another, well aware that that is something I should get rid of but my psyche isn't ready to throw in the towel on that one just yet. I spent a few minutes getting adhesive off of the bottom of a wooden bowl. What the hell is that adhesive made out of? An asteroid could plow into the earth but I bet it wouldn't be able to smudge that adhesive off of that wooden bowl without an extra bit of effort.

I removed shipping boxes from Christmas now that I know that nothing has to go back. I fastened electrical cords with twist ties. Almost nothing in that closet went unmoved or untouched.

And now when I walk into it, I feel a sense of relief, not a sense of claustrophobia. Which is a good thing, in this first month of a new year. A fresh start.

There is still more to do. (It's time to get rid of that subwoofer that I've never taken out of the box.) But it was a good day's effort.

And then I left the closet and watched "The Bridges of Madison County" because I love that movie. I love that Meryl Streep was so fantastically awesome and entirely believable as an Italian housewife in Iowa and I love remembering that Clint Eastwood was rugged and gentle and handsome and not the crazy old man who will now forever be known for grousing at a chair.

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