Thinking Out Loud…….

Yep, this is about clutter……

I have heard it said that there is good clutter and bad clutter. I wonder about that.

I am good at arranging clutter. I am good at organizing piles of stuff into neat stacks of stuff. I do this a lot. I think this may be akin to my tendency to make lists, which I also do a lot. I have frequently made a list just so I can cross off a thing that wasn’t even on a list. Does that make sense?

Tidy space, tidy mind…….

What about the clutter of ideas. Sometimes there are so many ideas whirling around in my head that I am overwhelmed, and I can’t settle or make up my mind. My inner critic butts in with a negative response to all the ideas, and the only thing I get is…tired.

Hint to self: take a break. Have some protein, go outside, take pictures of whatever, go in close and SEE. Make a list! Yeah, that’s the ticket–make a list of the ideas, whether they seem stupid to my inner critic or not. It is like saying it out loud–“I am thinking about this, and this, and this.” It clears the space without trashing the ideas, then it makes room for something else.

One of my favorite ways to work–back when I couldn’t wait to get into my studio–was to take an idea and squeeze every bit out of it that I could–working it from many different vantage points, over and over, change after change until it pleased me. It was easy to work like that when the energy was good, and I wasn’t achey or tired. Trying to force something when I am tired or discouraged is just plain depressing. It is the same when I am trying to finish something–when with dogged determination I wrestle with the thing through aches and pains, through fatigue. It sure isn’t fun at that point. I have learned (the hard way) to stop–though I have to repeatedly remind myself. I often regard this as the ugly stage, and the only thing to do is to come back at it when I am refreshed. Stopping at the ugly stage never feels good, it is frustrating, but I know my “tired” is talking. (I do the same thing with cooking and other tasks, and I am finding strategies that help by breaking jobs into segments, and working on them in short bursts throughout the day.)

Funny thing is, I need to remind myself that I KNOW this or that all the time. Funny how often I do not trust myself. Funny that I need to remember to DO what I think I know how to do.

OK, back to clutter. You should see the clutter on my design wall. Well, maybe not….

This is where I put ideas that have actually made it to substance. And here they have been waiting for the past year or more while I have coped with my arthritic hip. Having a new hip is great, and I am gradually finding my energy and spirit returning. But that is mitigated by the fact that I have other arthritic joints, fortunately mild to moderate at this point. As my surgeon told me early on, “we can fix this hip, but you will still have arthritis.” Well, dang!

The tricky part now is that I have to pick up the threads, reach back for what I was thinking about and working on nearly two years ago. Or do I? At first I looked forward to a post surgery resurgence of energy, clarity, and purpose. I thought it would just BE there. My expectation is there. The rest of it, not so much. At least not yet. Though there are glimmers… notes going up on the wall. I guess it really is a process after all. Wait, don’t I know that already?!

So, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, clutter–mental or physical……

Tidy space, tidy mind…..ah baloney. For the time being, I’m keeping my clutter. I’ll just arrange it neatly…..

6 thoughts on “Clutter”

  1. I feel like all those things I know but keep reremembering all hide in the same blind spot! It is reassuring that yours might be hiding there too.

      1. Also, arthritis is my nightmare. My heart goes out to you.
        I imagine it would be like loosing the ability to talk.

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