The middle of things


Funny how you set out to do things, big goals, little ones, odd tasks, and maybe someday you eventually get there. But along the way, you run into unintended consequences.

I read recently that projects are perfect when complete, but look like total chaos in the middle. That must be why I love publishing so much, because the end result is the next day’s edition or that month’s magazine.

But during, it’s a mess.

I’ve been putting myself on the right path this year. I’m eating better, getting back to doing the household projects I’ve put off for various reasons.

And I’m continuing to do the little things I’m supposed to do. Awhile back, my dentist fitted me for a mouthguard to wear while asleep. I hadn’t realized it, but I had been grinding my teeth (either awake or asleep or both) and wearing down the enamel.

When I went for my routine checkup in March, the hygienist made a disturbing discovery. Plaque was building up under my upper gums, where I wear the mouthguard. So while I had managed to stop grinding my teeth during sleep, I had also built up this lovely residue.

New solution: Wear appliance, then brush extra under gums.

This solution may be worse than the problem.

My food panic has abated a bit, but it was pretty shaky for awhile. I’ve essentially stopped buying overprocessed food products and stuck with the basics of recognizable food. Out: breakfast bars. In: big tub of raisins. Out: boxed pasta mixes. In: regular pasta, plus veggies and cheeses to mix in.

I cook more, so I know where my dinner is coming from. I’ve inadvertently joined the slow food movement, if only one night a week.

Thinking about each bite and shopping choice left me dizzy. And hungry. And while I don’t feel immediately healthier or taller, I do know that this long-term investment, like my other long-term investments, will pay off.

I buckled down to finish reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen, a guide to organization and productivity. We’ll talk more about this great book, eventually.

I’ve been able to clean up my house bit by bit and even my cubicle at work. My laundry room has new shelves and hooks, with most junk cleared out, either donated or trashed. My dining room is passable again, though without actual dining table or chairs.

Next up will be the closets and the home office, while my cubicle remains a temporary shambles. This week, I’ve dug through files trying to find one document and ended up finding a long-lost birthday card for someone else. Not good.

This may sound all “you go, girl” rubbish, but the real consequence has been a tension in my jaw. As I’ve worked to de-stress about adopting this new organizational syatem, my stress has increased across the board all the time.

My brain races. Is this the right way? Am I changing too much too fast? How is this helping me? And so on.

I’m a mess. I’m in the middle of things, headed in the right direction.

But still, a mess.


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