Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't bother asking me how I'm feeling, it's written all over my dining room table

I don't know if you're like this, but I can gauge my mood by looking at the condition of my dining room table. If there is a bunch of crap piled on the table chances are good I'm cranky, depressed, anxious, or deathly ill.

There are mornings that I come down the stairs and look at the dining room table and realize I can't see the surface of the table at all (which makes me feel like I should be on Hoarders) and think to myself "Oh no, that won't do at all..." and immediately spend my pre-breakfast pre-coffee morning cleaning, and sometimes whistling a happy tune.

There are other mornings when I come downstairs, take one look at that table and think "Oh Phuket, Thailand." And proceed to ignore, if not add to, the mess all day long. I find myself throughout the day glancing over at the table and thinking how several of those items are clearly my husband's problem... or how they're all my problem but I can't bring myself to do a darn thing about it.

Really, my husband and kids shouldn't ask me how I'm feeling, even my mother could just ask me how's the dining room table. 'Cause even if the crap piled on the table is organized into neat little piles those piles are just one step away from absolute chaos.

Bad mood.
Good mood.

The table is my insect reflection... or something like that. It's practically a physical manifestation of my aura. But here's the coolest part- if it looks like crap, and I feel like crap (for one reason or another) and I'm somehow able to choke down enough caffeine (or Zoloft) so I can muster the motivation to clean the thing. It makes me feel better! Like cleaning the table somehow cleanses my aura.

Life with tiny humans is like controlled (or uncontrolled) chaos and that's generally hard for me because I prefer to control everything. When I regain control of my dining room table I'm able to let go in other ways, and that helps me be a better momma.

My little revelation isn't exactly breaking news. I've heard before that having a clean home is good for mental (and emotional health). And housework isn't fun. Not even a little bit. But it's satisfying when you've completed it.

I suppose the real question is: "Do I feel better because my dining room table is somehow connected to my emotional state? or Do I feel better because housework sucks and it feels good when it's done?"

How about you? Do you have a spot in your house that is your litmus test for crazy? (Or that drives you crazy?)


Kate said...

Kitchen counters, with the dining room table coming in a close second.

Gail said...

Kitchen counter to left of sink (things that must get done ASAP), spilling over to kitchen island (things that can wait or may take awhile). Second place is my desk (includes the to do lists and sticky notes to myself)!