I’ve never claimed to be a huge Martha fan. Her penchant for perfection strikes me as somewhat misdirected masochism and seems the perfect way to stress people out. I’ve got enough stress in my life and am very skilled at self-flagellation for not meeting my own expectations. I don’t need some doyenne of style to lead my down a new road of crazy. What I do like, despite appearances to the contrary, is organization and well-hidden clutter. The applies to my mental and physical well-being as only Martha would probably understand. Such is my conundrum.
At the other end of this anti-clutter stance is my ability to over-look the clutter for extended periods of time. This has a decided negative impact on my mental well-being. Things pile up, paper flutters to the floor helpless to make its own way to the recycle bin, juice-box straw wrappers drift on gusts of wind from the air conditioner and dust bunnies reproduce in numbers to rival their furry friends. As my physical world degenerates, so does my ability to focus and create. For someone who is a writer, photographer and job seeker: this is not good news.
After a solid two-hour clean the other day involving broom, green cleaning products, a decent sized pile of recycling and the attendant grumblings of my two teen-aged children (who contribute the said juice-box straw wrappers in the first place), my equilibrium is restored. What struck me on that particular day was this question: what finally did it ? What made my inner-Martha, who I keep deeply buried, finally rise up and demand to be heard ? While my home in no way resembles some horrific hoarder episode, something about the clutter finally got to me.
This is what I hope to discover. What do I need to do in order to keep Martha active at a level to provide balance ? What level of “perfection” will allow me to enjoy my home without requiring mind-numbing medication to keep it “just so” ? This, my friends, rivals the age-old “meaning of life” struggle as far as I’m concerned. The discomfort of clutter: when is enough, finally enough ? Perhaps once I have my fantasy house, I’ll have the impetus to keep it in a perpetual Martha-esque state.