Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Thursday, June 16, 2005

In over my head (I KNEW this was gonna happen!)

Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into???

I'll be honest, it's been a good couple of years since I've done a seriously deep cleaning on this house, and in some parts, I never got to it once I moved in, which was during my severely challenging year of 2001. I don't know how I made it through that time period, but I've been living with PTSD ever since, whether I wanted to admit it or not. To manage my PTSD, I tightly restricted myself from anything I found to be stressful to me that I could, which was pretty much everything. Even something as simple as grocery shopping was a nightmare for me, causing high anxiety, but fortunately (if you like to think of it that way), I was too broke from the move to shop anyway. My only form of social interaction, outside of my job, was via the internet. Because my job was very much involved with the stressful events of 2001 (both personal and national, I work for a convention travel agency), it remained a constant, debilitating source of stress, further draining what energies I had left, far into the next year, and by the time that stress finally began to ease up a bit (though never enough until just recently), I had drained every last drop of reserves remaining and was merely running on adrenaline energy fed by the fear of not surviving (ie, keeping a roof over my head). Living alone, I had no one to lean on or to hold me up should I collapse, and so it has never been an option open to me. That can be pretty scary indeed, all by itself!

In all that time, there was virtually NO energy for simple, normal things like cooking and housecleaning, and so the chores would get delayed or done in a haphazard manner, and my eating habits deteriorated to the simplest and cheapest forms I could manage (I ate nothing but cold cereals for dinner for nearly two years straight, except for when Phil would come over and cook for me every Sunday). Fortunately, I am generally not a messy person, and I have always followed the rule of "clean up as you go" to minimize the amount of heavier cleaning that would otherwise result. Still, some cleaning is still needed on a regular basis, and I can't say I've managed to be too regular about it. Not only that, when I moved in here, it was in an unfortunately wildly disorganized manner aggravated by the fact that I just plain had too much stuff (and no time to reduce it before the move), and I was also hauling Phil's stuff along with me on top of it all, having agreed to store it for him, for a monthly "rent", which I desperately needed in order to make the financial ends meet - and he hadn't even packed ANY of his stuff until moving day, further complicating the move and making it the worst nightmare move of my life! For months after that debilitating move, which occurred the weekend after September 11, I was working so much overtime due to the events of that infamous day compounded with the near-fatal accident of my department's manager (which had occurred 4 days prior to the national disaster), that I had no time even to unpack, let alone reorganize it. When I finally had the time, I had no energy. When I had the energy, I had no motivation. And when I magically managed to get all three corralled together in the same room, something else would inevitably come along and totally derail my plans! It has happened with every blessed vacation I have scheduled in the hopes of finally tackling the bulk of this mess that has become my "box" for nearly 4 years now.

This vacation has been no different, go figure! I had finally gotten the magical 3 ingredients mixed together and fully loaded as I headed toward this week, and promptly had the balloon explode in my face in the form of illness which took the first 3 days away from me, and sucked the motivation to climb to the top of the heap and start digging right out of me! There is so much that needs to be done here, I honestly can't figure out where to begin. I am completely and totally overwhelmed by it. Not that I'm going to give up, mind you, but yet again I find that I am going to have to heavily whittle down my expectations of what I'm now capable of accomplishing, given the amount of time I have left in which to get it done. **SIGH**

Just to give you an idea what I'm talking about (a small one, so this doesn't turn into another typical novel! Okay, adding this on editorial review, and it's still a novel. Sorry about that, but I seem to be incapable of avoiding it!), here's what I started to do this afternoon and what I've discovered along the way:

With the thought that I wanted to inventory the yarn I have stashed all over the place, I decided the living room would be the best place to start my deep cleaning. I had noted that Meeps's sleeping cushion which had gotten parked on the couch on which I've rarely found time to use, due to the poor lighting, had built up a pretty decent matting of shed fur (it's one of the few things I've managed to keep fairly clean on a regular basis, but still not often enough), so I decided to start with a thorough vacuuming of that, followed by the couch. I got her cushion nicely cleaned up and moved it to the other side of the room, and then began to tackle the couch. As I vacuumed, I began to notice how absolutely dirty and dingy it looked, as well as the drapes over the window behind it, and decided now would probably be a good time to remove the custom covers to be washed, along with the drapes. When I removed the drapes, the absolutely filthy condition of the window - and the levered blinds covering it - that they'd been hiding was revealed. It had been two years since I'd even managed to reach that window, which is very old and extremely difficult to open and shut, especially while leaning across a couch. Contemplated washing the window while I tried unsuccessfully to improve the condition of the blinds with a quick vacuuming, and realized the only way I can do it is to move the couch away from the wall - but the rest of the room has to be totally rearranged to provide enough space to do that, as there is currently only about 6 inches of available floor space to pull this 6 foot couch forward from the wall!

So, feeling a bit frustrated, I turned my attention again to the couch itself, and started removing the covers from the 5 cushions that form the back of it. Despite their absolutely filthy condition, I can't remove the seat cushion covers because the contents are a deteriorating ancient custom-shaped foam rubber that I can't afford to replace. I've managed to get by with this by wrapping a woven blanket over the cushions, to hide them. I had, a few years ago, tried to buy one of those instant "one size fits all" kind of sofa covers, but they are made for sofas with stuffed backs, not the narrow ridge mine has (like I said, the cushions form the principle part of the sofa back). The couch had been custom-fitted a long time ago with the taupe-colored covers that were now so worn and stained as to be depressing just to look at! The sofa underneath is a reasonably clean (surprisingly) creamy-white color, so I thought I would remove the custom covers (except for those seat cushions, which I will find a way to cover over as best I can) and live with the white. Except, when I went to remove the pillows from the white covers so I could wash those, I found these also to be made of seriously deteriorating foam rubber, wrapped inside a weird polyester fiberfill-type "envelope".

I bought this couch used back in the summer of 1997, and it has seen alot of miles in the intervening years. These pillow forms are really bugging me, they feel really "nasty" to me and I'd like to toss them immediately. But the couch is practically unusable without the cushions, and I don't know how much it's going to cost me to replace all 5 of them, but I think it's safe to say it's more than my budget will allow at this time! These are 20 inch pillows, not usually a very cheap size. But in the meantime, I have to do something about them in order to be able to proceed to the next step!

Two hours has been expended, and all of it ONLY on the couch, with nothing like progress to show for it! And this is just a representative example of the entire project! EVERYTHING I've touched so far has revealed itself to be anything but simple in process and execution, it's exhausting just to try and plot my way through this interlocking puzzle called "cleaning my house"! And then I wonder why I'm always procrastinating over this!!!

It would be so nice if I could afford to hire someone to help me with this project, to do the cleaning part while I concentrated on the sorting and reorganizing, but that's just not possible at this time either. So I will somehow have to find a way to muddle along, and try to get something accomplished so I can feel good about myself and this so far unproductive vacation.

Guess I'll publish this little "novel" now, as Phil called and will be stopping by shortly, and I want to get back to my attempts at "progress". No matter what happens, though, I'm going to get at least some of that stash photographed. I need to pet some yarn to soothe me, even if it causes more work in the process...

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