Interlude: My Kitchen…

I wanted to take a moment to interrupt the flow of the blog for a second.

First, before I do and do that, I want to say that I hope you’re all safe and well out there and you’re all doing the best you can.

And I realize that’s not going to mean the same thing for everyone. “Doing the best you can” is a sliding scale and not everyone is going to be at the same level as everyone else. Indeed, I know that it’s not going to be at the same level from day to day.

That brings me to the title of this post.

You see, I’ve noticed something about myself during the plague times. Looking back on it, it should be obvious, but when you’re in the middle of it, you’re too close. Eventually the evidence stacks up to where it becomes impossible not to notice.

As I’m fond of saying, when enlightenment hits, it hits like a brick to the head.

First a little bit of backstory.

I love my kitchen. It’s my favorite room in the house, and it sets the bar for any other places I might live in the future. I have spent more good times with good friends in my kitchen than anywhere else.

For me, the kitchen is the center of it all.

It is also a pretty damned good barometer of how I’m feeling mentally.

There have been days – sometimes several days in a stretch where my kitchen has been an absolute wreck.

It comes and goes. Some days I’m on top of it, and some days I’m not.

Sound familiar?

What finally brought on this revelation was a low day – a really low day – a little over a week ago.

That day, it seemed like everything too way more activation energy than normal. Even making the morning coffee was more of a chore than sacred ritual.

Naturally, my kitchen was a wreck. As bad as it had been for a while. I struggled with the say-to-day, until about noon when I had to stop. I just didn’t have it in me to pretend that everything was all right.

I admitted to myself, and my family that I was a wreck (I suspect that they already knew. I had already gone through my hallways to make sure all the light switches were pointing in the same direction), and that the rest of the day was officially cancelled.

After dropping that weight, the first thing I ended up doing was…cleaning up the kitchen.

And I’m not speaking metaphorically. I was standing right there – not really thinking about anything – and suddenly I couldn’t stand the clutter. Without the load of everything else distracting me, I realized that something had to be done. I took care of one thing, and that opened the floodgates.

And I started to feel better.

By the time I was done – don’t get me wrong, the day was still cancelled – I was in a much better place.

Now I’m not saying or proscribing anything for anybody else. I don’t expect (in fact, I’d be kinda surprised to find) that anyone else reading this is going to find cleaning their kitchen in any way useful to clearing out the mental gunk. I’m not a doctor, or a psychologist (I’m not even drawn that way).

All this really is is a record – perhaps even a reminder for Future Me – of what might help me in the future.

And maybe it’ll spark the same revelation in someone out there who’s struggling.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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