Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Too Many Things

It's my favorite--and I mean favorite--whine. Naturally, I arrange my life so that I can indulge in it, frequently and legitimately.

The house is cluttered (and a mess), and there's just too damned much stuff. Everywhere. It's particularly easy to look at it and see everyone else's stuff that's strewn, abandoned, not put away. Or that is either part of the cause, or simply a symptom, of too many things that don't have a place they should be. Of course, there's mine, too.

Not, of course, that I purchased or permitted the purchase of any of that stuff. Or failed to purge my own.

The rest of life seems that way, too. The fellowship wants all the time I can commit. Not consciously, of course. It's in the form of "one more thing," and "since you're in charge..." (in charge? The idea that anyone is 'in charge' of a group of UUs boggles my mind. Leads, yes--that can be done, with a clever and idiosyncratic blend of goad, bait, humor and vision)... "could you...". Then there are all the good causes; all the things that I'd like to encourage to flourish, or just take root. New programs, special interest groups, and the like--some of which are things I might have committed myself to seriously a few years ago, when I (I like to tell myself) had more free time. Or things I might, in a few years, when I (I like to imagine) will have more time. Of course, I excuse myself. I have lots to do, so I'm making my presence known, showing that there's board approval (as if I embodied that...) for such things--and that's not really false. It's not necessary; none of these things require approval. In fact, the board's approval should be a moot point; as long as there's nothing that the board needs to formally disapprove, all's well.

So come July, I'll be able to withdraw from being a presence, because the new governance model is explicitly "permission-granting."

Right. Yeah, sure.

I have miles to go, before I sleep, as the poem goes. And a house I should really clean. No, more than that. I should make jihad, a great, personal struggle against the infidel clutter that's in my way, and the myriad projects I really need to complete.

But first... a meeting.


lj said...

Well, then, the "27-fling boogie" might be an honorable weapon! (It's a concept from the FlyLady website, which I got interested in for about two weeks when the baby was still sleeping most of the time and I had time to clean!)...anyway, she advocates selecting a day of the week to randomly pick up 27 unwanted items off the floor, counters, tables, etc. and "Fling" them into a trash bag and away from your lives. 27 is an arbitrary number, of course.

The funny thing is--that, just like with UU'ers--having several people in a more-or-less democratically-run home means that there are several strong opinions on what constitutes "trash." (Don't tell M to get rid of his boxes and boxes of comic books. And I'm not sure what to do with "my" piles of receipts downstairs, my work stuff stacked at each of the three computers, my library books mixed in with our books spilling out from under the coffee table over the living room floor, my own half-started projects that sit for years and become forgotten, and all the toys little H is able to throw/slobber on/drop)

IOW, we have a high level of disarray here too at the J-C residence. In fact, when my college kid arrived home a couple of days ago (after an exhausing 1000+-mile drive in the rain by herself!), she started deep-cleaning the kitchen early the next morning in disgust. "What's happened to you, mom?" she snarled :D Ah--to be a righteous young adult again.

I'm slowly getting the picture about UU self-governance. It's awesome and yet, sort of like a freshman college course "group project," where everyone is responsible, yet one or two people end up carrying most of the weight. But the process seems ideal for fostering leadership in people who might not have been inclined or confident enough to lead in the past.

In our small group last night, I learned about the structure and mission of covenant groups. Will be interesting to see how those work in practice. They sound great in principle. Meetings of the mind; discussing ideas; I think these activities can really help someone begin to articulate or expand her/his own spiritual values, no matter how long they've been involved.

Wish I had more time to help out with fellowship activities, but work is ramping up and will take most of my evenings for the next couple months, and I have to try to fit in with the intensive baby parenting, and what little housework I'm already doing.

Good luck with the jihad. But hey, everyone knows that to make the streets sparkle and the trains run on time, you need a dictatorship! Hey, maybe you should grant yourself unlimited executive powers to smoke out and bring to justice all infidel household items, detaining them permanently in a secret dumpster without "judicial" review...if the family doesn't like that..well, you're either for trash or against it!

ScottMGS said...

I hear ya, Ohg. I had a... dictatorial day last Saturday. Cleaned out a bunch of stuff but, overall, had little effect. I'll have to look up the 27-fling idea, lj.