ROW80 Self-discoveries continue

My goals for the Round were to bring some order into my life, whether that be words, clutter, mental disorder, or whatever.

One of my major faults is, although I prefer to have spotlessly clean spaces around me, I fold immediately at the “broken-window” stage.  “Broken-window” is the idea that one broken window in a vacant house will lead to more, since the first step toward disorder has happened.  In my home, that means that I lose the impetus to clean when faced with a mess–mail thrown carelessly on the kitchen counter, magazines piling up on the bathroom shelf. I sigh, give up almost immediately, and add to the mess.  Such behavior means that I have to overcome an amazing amount of inertia to clean up the kitchen counter or the bathroom shelf, especially since I have found that some other residents of Testosterone Palace can ignore the piles of mess far better than I can, so waiting them out is futile.  A further hurdle is that it is clutter, not dirt, which everyone is pretty good at attacking when it occurs.

I had a flash the other day, realizing another hurdle.  We live in a rental house, a smart choice because we didn’t know in what neighborhood we would want to live, whether we would get tenure, and to build up a down payment. However, while the house has a lot of potential, we have neither the time nor the inclination to fix it up the way we would if we owned it.  There are no curtains anywhere except the sunroom, where the orange curtains scream against the mint green walls.  Someone liked orange here, because the stairway and upstairs hallway is orange faux plaster, which is probably my least favorite home decor color and method, with the topper of an outdoor wrought iron banister, painted, you guessed it, orange.  We have permission from the landlord to paint, but painting that stairwell and hallway would be a bear. So, I have to admit that part of the reason I have trouble keeping up with the clutter is that no matter what I do, the place will still be ugly.

At the beginning of this Round, I realized that I would throw myself at the door to prevent anyone from coming into the house, which is not very neighborly.  Thus my goals coalesced.  I’m saving for curtains, because this house has a ton of windows–a nice, but expensive, touch.  I have a handful of paint chips that I refuse to test against the orange, figuring I will just live with the colors jostling each other.

The upshot is that I’m still finding out things about myself, even at my age.  I guess that is why life continues to be interesting.

Are you one of those people I admire, who can move into a place and have it showroom ready in a month?

My check-in: 


One hour three times.  Still on target, just barely, but holding on.


Visit my assigned blogs twice a week– I am still behind, and the time I carved out last week disappeared into putting out fires at work.  I’m hoping to hide at lunch breaks this next week.

Reply to all comments–No.  Sigh.  Maybe during another lunch break.


One hour three times a week at home going through paper detritus of modern life–10 hours going through papers and paying bills.  I feel virtuous!

One hour three times a week going through electronic files–rename, delete, archive. I concentrated on the paper monster, but hope to get back to the electronic this week.


Walk. Seriously. 30 minutes a day. Only twice this past week

Follow-up on all the health issues.  Still waiting.

Family day, no working and time with family, one day per week–Yes. I managed to spend only a short period on the internet on Saturday, despite the siren call wafting to me to play games.  Again, I feel virtuous!


List and report on what I’m reading, even the dry, academic stuff.

Run Rosie Run, C. C. Mackenzie

The Trouble with Coco Monroe, C. C. Mackenzie

Aphrodisiac, Alicia and Roy Street

I’ve read several samples this week, too:

The Corpse Reader, Antonio Garrido

A Train Through Time, Bess McBride

Sketchy, Olivia Samms

True Detective, Max Allen Collins

There’s my week for you.  Please go visit some of the other ROWers here.

10 thoughts on “ROW80 Self-discoveries continue”

  1. Hey, I live in a testosterone palace, too! I had to get two female cats to try to balance things out a bit. My oldest boy (that is, my husband) hates clutter but doesn’t do much about it, and the kids are just mess machines. It doesn’t bother me, so I’m probably in a worse position than you are as far as keeping clean. I want the house to be clean for company and for my husband, but it just seems like a never-ending job that I hate. I am trying, though (talked about that in this week’s goals, actually!).

    Oh, and we’ve lived here for a year (renting) and only got living room curtains back around Christmas. The bedrooms are still waiting. 🙂

    1. Ah, Kate, it helps so much to hear about someone in the same situation. I grew up with an incipient hoarder, so I veer between not even noticing it, and being driven crazy by it. I hear you about hating cleaning–true cleaning I don’t mind, but the constant fight against clutter and having the house look nice for less than 24 hours is maddening.

      I adopted a female dog from the shelter to have another female in the house! Thanks for dropping by, and have a great week.

  2. We still don’t have curtains! We don’t have orange walls, but they’re antiseptic white! Thank goodness we have lots of colorful junk to get up on those walls. But I sympathize with you. I too like order and sometimes find I can’t write if my office has mounds of papers, books and projects everywhere. So, I can spot at a glance when life is heading to the overwhelming. What can I do? Down size, crack a joke, and decide — on some days — that messy is just fine. PS Re those curtains? We have blinds. They work fine. I love your goal of reducing electronic clutter. May you not lose the bytes you love — and write on!

    1. Ah, Beth, the antiseptic white! My mother-in-law had the paint store create a white for her, because the pre-mixed ones were not white enough. I lived for years in apartments with off-white walls, so they still cause me to shudder–it’s almost enough to make me appreciate the orange!

      I have been dealing with multiple electronic copies for years, out of fear of losing something. It turns out that multiple copies make it harder to know which copy I want. I finally created a file-naming system that makes it clear; it goes against my messy artist heart, but I’m happy I’ve done it.

      Have a great week, Beth.

  3. Orange walls…. Hmm, Here’s a bunch of ideas, but they all seem to accentuate the beige or white: I was going to suggest some soft blue (it would cool the overwarm orange a bit); a bolder touch would be to use a very deep blue like a royal blue or navy. It depends on the orange–you should let me come in your house and see… I have an eye for this sort of thing,… really.

    Don’t even want to talk about curtains though, since we own our house, and after ten years there are still rooms without curtains…

    Other than that, it sounds like you’re making some of these negatives into positives… You’re still learning and growing–that is vital.

    Have a good week, and don’t panic about the comments. You’ll get there.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Eden. I’d love to get your in-person thoughts on the place.

      I’m learning to be kinder to myself, which may be the best lesson of this Round. And I’m finally getting to the comments! Yay! Have a great week!

  4. It takes YEARS to get our house fully put together. I have many friends and family who move in, and within weeks, the place is perfectly decorated and presentable. I don’t even know how to do that. It takes me a long time to decide where to put things and what I want to have hanging on a wall that I look at every day. But the curtains idea sounds like a lovely one. Best wishes with that!

    I’m in awe of 10 hours of decluttering. I need to do that. I tend to spend 1-2 hours sorting through the paperwork on Saturday. That’s probably not enough. Great job with the writing and reading too! Have a lovely week.

    1. Your comment makes me feel so much better, Julie. I always have a vision of what I want things to look like, but it seems to take so much tweaking to get there.

      My hubby credits a marathon of Hoarders for my hyperfocus on going through paperwork, and he may be right. I’m so claustrophobic about clutter on the coffee, the thought of climbing over things makes me hysterical!

      Thank you for the encouragement, and have a great week, Julie!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Joe. I have to resist getting frustrated by the pace of plugging along, but your point is a good one–motion is positive, no matter the pace. Have a great week!

Comments are closed.