Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Until It Shines
I suppose when the day starts with a very nicely worded and very frank email from my boss telling the staff that personnel cuts are likely by the end of the first quarter, it's perfectly natural that I would be vacuuming lint from between the washer and dryer at 10:00 p.m.
The email came early, maybe 9:30ish. By 10:15a.m., I had dusted my desk, wiped my phone down with alcohol, packed up something to be returned to our computer distributor and reorganized my to do list. Which, I think, I later threw away as I was sorting papers and tossing things.
I can't really blame the email. It was just another trigger for my Windex addiction. I've felt this bout of undiagnosed OCD coming on for a while. Over the long holiday break, I did some company cleaning. The Dancer's friends came over for New Years Eve and heaven forbid they go home and report dust and refrigerator grunge to their mothers. I don't even want to think about the repercussions of having the other ballet moms know that I didn't get all the cat hair out of the window sills.
What started as company cleaning last Wednesday ended yesterday with me on my knees, spray bleach bottle in my hand, commanding the gunk along the shower door track to be gone or get up and lend a hand. There was a dusting to be done.
I guess I expected this as we get closer to the date when we'll have to move from this house. Every time I go into the basement, the toys and stacked Rubbermaid boxes remind me that we have a lot of things that need to be sorted for giveaways, carted off to the dump or packed. Things don't feel wildly out of control, since we've made the conscious decision to give up the house, file bankruptcy and start over. I guess I still have some innate need to make order of the chaos.
It's not just personal chaos that's working on me. I listen t the news and things seem so out of control. The economy, the Middle East, the change in Administrations. Even the weather seems to be all discombobulated as the Southeast is drenched, the Midwest is iced over and the Pacific Northwest is buried under snow, snow and more snow.
I'm sure that the little Polly Pockets that accidentally got sucked up into the vacuum tonight as I sought out all those furtive dust bunnies hiding between the treadmill and the toybox won't mind giving up her plastic life so that I can rest easy tonight about the economy. Every time I stand in the pantry and reorganize the snacks and things, I feel like the weather will get right again. It's got to, right? Gaza will be tougher. That's going to require more elbow grease. Maybe washing the car or pulling the refrigerator out and cleaning behind it.
As for that email. I responded the best I could. I thanked my boss for his candor, told him as his friend that it must have been a hard email to write and asked him to give me a heads up if I needed to start looking. Until then, I'd give my best to the organization. What else could I do?
Thankfully, he came out of his office after reading the email and saw me taking a stack of travel magazines off the top of my bookcase and tossing them into the trashcan. No one else was around.
"Pssst!" he hissed to get my attention. "You can stop cleaning. Your job is safe," he whispered.
Okay. Good. Phew! Still, I caught myself later picking up the curled, dead leaves that dropped off the half-dead poinsettia in the conference room......