Hm, I can relate!

I often use the term “depressed lifestyle” with my clients. It is hard to feel good when your house or apartment looks like a bomb went off, your friends don’t call anymore, you’ve gotten fat and you look like hell.

Dr. Amie Ragan, Psychology of Clutter

Yesterday I drew the line in the sand. I crawled around with the swiffer and dirt devil, I picked up the little bits and bobs off the kitchen counter, I tossed out grocery receipts and coupons, I broke down shoe boxes and amazon.com shipping boxes (and the bubble wrap, and the little air bags inside, oh my god I hate packaging materials!), I made quite a few runs to the trash room and I do feel much better for it. My place is clean, but still cluttered. There are some things I can’t really do anything about, or more am unwilling to do anything about, such as my comic book longboxes, or boxes with VHS tapes. Those will be on the back burner until I have more floor space and room to move.

I’ve been reading some entries over at Unclutterer and have been thinking about ways to do just that. It may be a little thing, like buying a pack of new pens so that I am justified in tossing out all of the lingering pens around the house that maybe kinda still work, but I have to scribble with everytime I want to use one. I tend to find that uncluttering can go hand in hand with shopping which satisfies two needs at once! For instance, I consider buying the Apple Bluetooth headset for my iPhone. In doing so I get a new dock that accommodates the headset so I remove the need for a free plug outlet and that’s one less wire behind my desk, and I have a spare dock for the office! (Ok, I was planning to buy a new headset anyway as my Motorola is starting to crap out more often than not, but a justification is a justification!) About the only thing that I am still unwilling to part with is my cache of moving boxes. Eventually they will re-open the storage area and they can go back down there, but if I manage to clear everything else up and I can’t find a spot for those boxes, I might have to put them out. On the up-side, if I can divest myself of a good portion of junk, I won’t need that many boxes to purchase when I next move anyway!

How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it’s not a choice. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s an orientation. Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don’t say “What’s the matter?” or “Are you all right?” Third, don’t say anything else, either.

I bookmarked this on del.icio.us ages ago, but I’ve been reading it again lately and that first paragraph is totally me and I ain’t even ashamed to admit it. It also helps pinpoint behavior that some people may take for depression that is actually one’s introversion making itself more evident. It’s interesting in looking at my brother’s and my relationship that he is definitely more extroverted where I am introverted and many of our arguments stem from me seeing him as an asshole while he sees me as a jerk and when you examine our reasons for this applying our points of view, we’re both right.

It’s a quick trip to the mall tonight for iPhone accessories and maybe a swing past Yankee Candle for some housewarmers. I am looking forward to having the windows open and getting fresh air in the house, but a little bit of scent in the air never hurts. I will stand by my febreeze outlet air fresheners, they work wonders, but I keep those scents pretty neutral, and most YC candles never even need to be lit, just left open. I also found a duvet cover I like at west elm, but it’s “catalog/internet only” so taking a trip to the 10th and G location won’t do me any good. The one I want is $99 which seems pretty reasonable. I should also check out CB2 as it would be nice to be have more options. If I get home in time and the laundry room is free, I’ll put a load or two in. There’s no new episode of The Closer to worry about and I’m still working through the farmstand picks from Saturday, fresh tomatoes and cantaloupe, so dinner and dessert are under control.

While I was picking stuff up over the weekend, I had an idea to start up a shared Google calendar for events taking place in the DC area, trying to spotlight free/cheap ones, but all sorts of stuff. There’s always something happening around here and it’d be nice to have options that were more than just bars. Not that ending up at a bar isn’t a bad thing, just not starting at one. 🙂 It’s pretty sparse at the moment, as all of the pages and notes of events I plan to add are at home, but it would be fun to embed it in my blog on the sidebar or the “inviso-bar” that the homepage links open and close. Also since I now have a PDA of sorts, having the calendar everywhere is a good thing.

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3 Responses

  1. shin says:

    I can definitely relate to Jonathan Rauch’s article. I wrote my own response to the essay, mainly because it reflected a lot of my experiences as an introvert. I felt one of my issues as a teacher was validated – people can be draining, and teaching involves a small amount but significant amount of interaction with people.

    Regarding clutter: Don’t let pens become part of your pocket clutter. It’s a habit I’m trying to break and I’ve ruined enough clothes over the years. Ballpoint pens and rollerballs leave the worst stains. Gel pens are easier to clean, but it’s not good to rely on this. Pens are dangerous to your clothing!

  2. Great post! Thanks for the pingback. I enjoy the Unclutterer also. I had not seen Jonathan Rauch’s article before. Thanks for sharing it. I loved it.

  3. Jan says:

    Pen stains: use hairspray….stain will dissolve as if by magic! (It’s the alcohol. But I didn’t have any of that…!)

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