I Survived the Lion’s Den
Yesterday I entered the lion’s den, totally transformed it, and lived to tell about it. Okay, so I really entered the junk room over the garage (a.k.a. Lacy’s room), cleaned it out, and survived the experience with no ill effects beyond aggravated sinuses and some sore muscles.
When we moved into this house, we believed it was a four bedroom house. Turns out that the fourth bedroom, the FROG (finished room over the garage), is poorly insulated. Therefore it is too cold to for sleeping in the winter and too warm for sleeping in the summer. So naturally it turned into the junk room.
When Rookie joined the family two years ago, Lacy, our old lady cat (now 15) decided that she deserved a room of her own. She had no patience for unpredictable, hyperactive puppies. So the junk room became Lacy’s room.
So imagine it – two years worth of boxes of seasonal and/or outgrown clothes, bags meant for Goodwill, children’s toys that were outgrown or confiscated, extra “supplies” (i.e. stuff that is too good to throw away, but apparently not really needed because we never use it) . . . junk, junk, junk. Throw in a couple of cat litter boxes (Lacy is sometimes visited by one of the other family cats), forget to dust or vacuum for, well, a couple of years, and you’ve got a horrible mess. I would have taken a before picture, but I was too embarrassed to record such mess for posterity.
The kids are home for spring break and I’m taking some needed post-Easter time off. Yesterday, the junk room was my project – a 9-5 nasty project.
The thing about this room is that is has a nice little nook with a window that would make the perfect writing nook. I’ve coveted that nook since we moved here. You see, I don’t have a writing spot. I’m usually propped in the bed, or sitting on the couch, or sitting uncomfortably at the dining room table. Each place has other purposes and other distractions. Oh, to have a room of my own. Or at least a nook of my own. Needless to say, with two years’ worth of clutter and dust, that wasn’t happening.
Now. . .maybe it can. But first I had to sort through the stuff: my junk that I didn’t want to deal with so I pushed aside and forgot; my kids’ junk, most of which is either trash or no longer age appropriate; decorations that I’m too exhausted after the holidays to put away properly; the mess made by living things that share my life. So much to sort through, organize, deal with, clean up, or discard.
Isn’t that the way it is with writing itself though? There are so many things that get in the way. You know, stuff that we don’t want to deal with that ends up crowding out creativity. Things from the past that are no longer useful. Physical and emotional energy that you burn parenting and working. All the stuff that comes when you let other living things into your life and space. It can get as messy and cluttered inside our heads and hearts as it is outside in our junk rooms.
Sometimes you just have to enter the lion’s den and fight through all the junk that you find there. Once you’ve sorted through it, organized it, cleaned up, and discarded what really needs to go, you find there is room to breathe. And where there is room to breathe, there is room to create.
Or at least one can hope.