My daughter had a birthday yesterday and her birthdays are always hard for me.
At one point in the morning, when I was feeling particularly sad and tearful, I found myself straightening the placemats with exact precision, moving each one to be perfectly positioned on the table.
It suddenly hit me that I was creating physical order as a way to manage the clutter of my feelings about the birthday. So now the table looked great – and I did get some satisfaction from that. But the fact remained that my girl is growing up very fast and I feel really sad. Did I think the tidy table would make me feel better in some significant way?
I’m not a tidy, orderly person by nature; I have to work hard at it daily. I love the peace of mind that comes with feeling organized and having less stuff strewn around, but somehow I fall back on old habits all the time.
So, I’m wondering . . . for those of you who are naturally organized: do you feel like your need for physical order is an attempt to conquer messy feelings? Does it work?
And what about those of you who are striving to create more order? Are you hoping that you’ll rid yourself of unwanted feelings along with unwanted stuff?
I’d love to hear from you!