Nobody who has been in my house would ever believe it, but I'm a neat freak. Really, I swear! However, I'm the absolute worst kind of neat freak-- a completely and utterly incompetent one, ADD, and a pack rat to boot. I like tidiness and organization, but I have no clue whatsoever how to create or maintain it.
I've been totally bloody stressed lately, and that stress manifests itself in an inability to focus on anything I'm supposed to be doing. I have a bunch of balls in the air right now, and I've felt like they're all just crashing down around me because I have no ability to control them. My email is building up, blah blah blah. The eighteen betrillion LJ entries from the last week or so are a symptom of this-- rather than focusing on anything I need to be doing, I distract myself by tossing off quick notes about whatever. (If you've been around me, you wouldn't think I was stressed even if you knew me pretty well. Don't be surprised that you didn't pick up on it.)
I know from experience that a messy house is both a symptom of and a contributor to this particular flavor of stress. I can deal with untidiness up to a certain point, but beyond that it just makes me feel like my life is careening completely out of control and there's nothing I can do about it. Worse than that, feeling that way is the first step in it actually happening, and it can become a really fucking nasty death spiral. At least as I get older I'm learning how to break out of it earlier.
Enter the loft bulldozing project. I've been making slow but steady progress, and at some level I knew that, but it didn't really look like progress-- a lot of what I'd been doing was in getting crap out of storage so I could organize, and that actually made things seem worse rather than better. Unfortunately, this was just not contributing anything positive to my mood. It may have actually made it worse, because I felt like I'd been doing a lot of work and yet the visual entropy was increasing.
Tonight I damned near snapped at a dear friend. I never do that. I gave him as much information as I could about the pressing issue and then said, "I need to walk away from this computer right now, or I'm going to something. Putting things through expensive flat panel monitors is not a good idea." I put the entire Queen library on shuffle play, walked away from the computer, and attacked some of the chaos.
Suddenly I had floor space. It wasn't a ton, but it was in a critical place. I found a broom, swept up the remaining detritus (god I love concrete floors), and surveyed my progress. And then I started doing pirouettes across the floor... no kidding! You may now go floss your eyes to get rid of that mental image. :-)
Now I feel like I have traction, and that makes all the difference in the world. I can feel the pieces falling into place in my head, and plans are forming.
And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go conquer the fucking world.