As my seven year old was getting ready for bed last night I realized that I hadn’t made my bed that morning. So I made it. Then I realized that I would be getting into and messing that bed up in an hour or so. (Ya I go to bed that early sometimes ) Anyway, I wondered if that was weird. Wouldn’t most people just crawl into the bed as it was? If my husband had been home he would have rolled his eyes, shaken his head and left the room.
Is it possible to have a lesser form of OCD? It’s not so much about dirt or mess….okay it’s a little bit about the mess….but it’s mostly about everything having a place. I like things to fit into a spot and I like them to go back to those spots should they be moved. I love organization. I’ve said that before. But this is a bit more than just being organized. It doesn’t keep me up at night….much. I just like to know where things are should I need to find them. Who knows what could be lurking in that unmade bed?
I like my towels folded a certain way and when I put them on the shelf the round edges need to be pointing out. I don’t fold my daughters undies I stack them. Two stacks. Old ones and newer ones. When I hang up my pants they all have to face the same way. My Tupperware drawer is actually organized. All the time. There’s a certain spot for pasta sauce in the pantry. In my fridge the orange juice goes in front of the milk. On the right top shelf.
Wow, writing it out makes it sound even weirder.
I spent many years in a pretty controlled relationship. I remember once we had just had our walls painted and finding myself with some free time I decided to hang all the pictures back up on the walls. My then boyfriend came home shook his head and promptly took them all down and re-hung them. I was young and in my head I thought “well I must have put them up wrong”. The reality was that the pictures were just fine. Just not precisely where HE thought they should be. They weren’t in the spot he thought they should be. I don’t want to be that person.
But I think maybe I am a bit different. I’m not a “you can’t do anything right” kind of person. But I am a ” I like things my way” kind of person. No really I am. Ask my husband.
If I could go into my daughters bedroom after a play date and put things back in the proper place I would. Not because I’m upset that it’s a mess but because…..well just because. I see you shaking your head. I don’t actually do it. That would be weird. I just think about it. Because you have to let go. You have to accept that even though somebody does something differently, doesn’t mean that they do it wrong. No, really it’s true. I didn’t believe it at first but it really is true.
So The Best Thing in Life is that I don’t seem to be worried so much anymore what people might think of me and my odd quirky habits. I’ve made my bed and now I need to lie in it.
In the second installment of my Throw Back Thursday endeavor I chose a picture of my son sitting on the stairs in the townhouse we lived in for five years. It’s not the only picture of that time, or of that place, but somehow it always takes me back there.
When my son was three months old, I left my husband. I lived with my parents for six months but the reality was that I needed to start over and that meant finding my own place. With the help of a real estate agent I looked at, what seemed like, hundreds of apartments and condos on the North Shore of Vancouver. I loved this place as soon as I walked in. It was roomy and bright and just felt good. My son did not have such a great first impression. As we were leaving I had sat him down on the first step going up from the foyer. I was standing in front of him while I put my shoes on but somehow he worked his way around my legs and fell head first onto the tiled entryway floor. He cried non stop for the next hour. I bought it anyway.
When we first moved in I had very little of anything. I had borrowed a crib and a change table from my sister. I had a mattress and a side table in my bedroom. The kitchen had a folding table, four folding chairs and a high chair. The living/dining room had a cardboard box with a borrowed black and white TV on top of it. A few weeks after I moved in my brother bought me a love seat for the living room. So basically I had a lot of empty space. With a nine month old boy just starting to pull up and walk it was actually great. Lots of play space and room for building block cities and hot wheels race tracks. Great when he was there. Empty and lonely when he was not.
Part of the reason that I chose this townhouse was how close it was to everything that I would need. I could walk to stores, restaurants and a great park just down the street. That first year was made so much better with green space to enjoy a couple of blocks away. On the weekends I would put my son in the stroller at nap time and he would have a nice long sleep while I got some much-needed exercise exploring the neighborhood. The townhouse also had a great patio off the living room that my son could crawl out onto and not get into any trouble. We planted flowers in a big half barrel that year and spent lots of time chasing each other around it and enjoying the sun.
Every wall in the townhouse was white when I first moved in. Boring yes, but also a blank canvas. Coming out of a very controlling relationship, I can remember how great it was to be able to decide on whatever I wanted to do with this blank canvas. I could put up any artwork I wanted to and paint walls any colour I wanted. Freedom. Exhilarating, heady freedom. I couldn’t afford a lot but I bought what I liked and hung it wherever I wanted to. Some of the art was even hung a bit crooked. I loved it. And I didn’t have to ask anybody what they thought. A very new concept for me. And I bought fresh flowers every week. Just because I wanted to.
It was a difficult time for sure but after a few months I met someone and eventually he helped my son and I fill up all the empty space in the townhouse. I no longer needed to buy flowers to cheer myself up and welcomed a second opinion on where to hang the artwork. The Best Thing in Life is new beginnings.