Cleaning the slate for 2018 + the days designed to do it
At the end of 2017 I had a revelation
I finally understood the purpose of those weird days sandwiched between Christmas and New Year. That realisation even managed to transcend beyond the traditional pursuit of finishing a wheel of brie. (Better than brie - is that a thing??).
The hamster dismounts the wheel
These are the days when, although farm life continues oblivious to cultural festivities, most other businesses sensibly shut down, surrendering to a welcome disruption in the daily grind.
The visits of various agents cease, the flow of relentless emails stem and everyone loses interest in your business activities in favour of idle days in the sun.
We stayed at home and carried on business (almost) as usual. Calm settled over us in the absence of the daily hubbub. In that new peace, I noticed the other noise that had become a growing presence. All things prioritised far below the standard demands. All things put down and forgotten. All things purposefully ignored.
Purge, cleanse and address
I took stock of the impact and energetic load that the all-round disorder was having on me. I became aware that the low-level noise of it was a constant disruptive niggle. It was limiting my focus and nudging me off course. The days to address it had arrived and it was time to clean the slate.
Nothing was safe. Emails - unsubscribed. Toys - sorted, matched, categorised or culled. Clothes - tossed, donated, sold or returned neatly folded to their proper place. All socks found their mate and remaining undies sported only the three official openings. Expiry dates - checked, offending items of historic nature retired to the bin. Chairs repaired, book rebound, stains removed, dozens of oopsies rectified.
Every cupboard, drawer, box, file, folder, nook and cranny - scruitinised and addressed. Each item challenged to prove its right to exist in the sanctity of our home. The dead weight was cut. The fat was trimmed. My hands were washed.
A little OCD never hurt anyone
Candid accusations of OCD were bandied about but slid off me like the teflon warrior I had become. I felt frickin' fantastic! Reborn into the crisp air of a new day. Tripping the light fantastic, feeling fleet of foot and clear of breath, spinning revolutions in a fresh and worthy home. Basically, getting totally carried away. Who needs recreational chemicals when you can get this euphoric on order alone, I ask you?
As a final gift to myself I carried out a 'zen office makeover,' complete with reading chair, air-purifying plants and enough floor-space to roll out my yoga mat.
Ready or not, here I come
This was a cleansing ritual that worked for me. I opened my eyes on the 1st of January 2018, looking squarely at its infinite figure and thought, 'I'm ready for you.' I threw open the doors to let the story of the year flow in, unchecked by the irrelevant remnants of the past.
And in she gushed! It turns out, I didn't just open the doors but opened the flood gates as well. Changes, challenges and choices turned, twisted and tangled, forging a course through the second half of summer.
I was ready. It feels different than before. No longer a sense of bailing water out of a sinking life raft, instead, riding the rapids and kind of enjoying it. I'm finding it easier to handle the intensity of the jobs at hand, and able to do it with more clarity, energy, determination (and almost zero) procrastination (there's always a place for Pinterest breaks).
Normal is only a setting on a washing machine
Whatever cleansing ritual might work for you, I invite you to block out 27 - 30 December 2018 and make space to clean the slate. For me, it's now an annual fixture.
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson