Something has changed. I’ve started needing less sleep for the past couple of weeks. Now I am sleeping 8-10 hours a night instead of 10-12. This is freeing up time in my waking hours to get things done. And another change is that I am far more productive with the time I have. And when I work a productive day, I don’t wake up the next day exhausted.

Maybe it’s the fact that our days are getting really long. I live pretty far north and we are nearing the summer solstice. It is still light out at 9:00 pm.

Maybe it’s a fluke.

Maybe I’m actually recovering and healing. I’m afraid to even write this in fear of tempting fate or that I will start relying on myself to function at a higher level than is possible for me to sustain.

Whatever it is and however it happened, I am happy about it for as long as it lasts. I have started to be able to work in my garden again. I am thinking about projects. Actually, I am thinking about one project in particular and I’ve already started it. I am working on reclaiming my house. By that, I mean organizing it and rescuing it from the cluttered mess it has become in the last two years. It wasn’t pristine before, mind you. Cleaning and organizing has long been a struggle. I can be very organized but my house can be like working against entropy. I am the neatest in the family, which makes me the neatnick. For the past 3 years, I’ve hired a house cleaner to come in two hours every two weeks to clean our kitchen, living room, and upstairs bathroom. This helps me from going totally insane. But truthfully, it stays clean for about 10 minutes. I make sure the kitchen is clean and organized because that is my creative space. I am the one who uses it the most.

The reclamation project, now that I think about it, actually started last January. My husband had to remove some kitchen cabinets in order to make room for a new stove. I got rid of a lot of kitchen stuff that we didn’t need and reorganized some of the cabinets. There’s still work to be done in there but I am now able to do a little at a time. It’s so much easier for me to do things once I get started.
For Mothers’ Day, I asked for the play area of our living room be turned back into living room. Our daughter is 15 and doesn’t need this space, any more. But a lot of her stuff was on the shelves and some of it hadn’t been sorted through in many years. And there’s no room for it in her room. Now it is cleaned up. I moved the art table out of there, moved John’s grandmother’s platform rocking chair there from my office and voila, we now have a reading nook. There’s a china cabinet we don’t like and I am going to go through that, move the contents to other locations and get rid of it. This will open up some space in our dining area.

Last Sunday, I started taking on the bathroom cabinets. We have a medium sized vanity with one sink, two small drawers, and two cabinets. People, there were still baby toys in there! And a ton of empty boxes and bags. I found three pouches of instant coffee. Why was that in the bathroom? (I have also found an open box of powdered sugar in there, in the past. I’m just trying to give you a glimpse of the scope of this project.) I sorted through everything and got rid of a tall kitchen bag worth of stuff.

If you haven’t noticed, the theme of my reclamation project is getting rid of stuff. We have waaaay too much stuff and some of it is ridiculous like empty boxes in case we have to return something. Or bags full of things cleaned out of our car that are placed in the garage and not sorted through for years. I found a bag full of unopened boxes of crackers in there once! Why were we storing five year old boxes of crackers in the garage?

I have asked John to help me take on the basement after school is out. (He is currently spending lots of time helping our daughter with her homework.) There’s a rec room, John’s office, a laundry room, and a bathroom down there. The rec room used to double as a guest room. We haven’t been able to have guests stay there for the past two years because it is too awful down there! I avoid our basement as much as I can because the level of mess down there made by other people, who shall remain nameless, overwhelms and angers me. But I have a plan.

Watch out world, I’m getting my mind back and I’m going to use it for as long as I can.