I make my bed every day now. I don’t eat breakfast. Or lunch. I put away errant things that are still out from dinner last night. I wipe down the countertop and the table, not just every day, but every time I walk past them. Every time I make coffee. Every time I wash my hands.

For a lot of people, these things are, I am sure, quite normal. A lot of people make their beds every day. A lot of people pick up after themselves every day, and not just the day before the housekeepers come. Or the day before company comes. A lot of people don’t spend their lives in barely-controlled chaos.

I am not a lot of people.

I spend my life sitting in the eye of the storm. I rarely try to bring the storm under control. Instead, I focus on finding a quiet place in the middle, a place where I can exist with the chaos.

Once, a long, long time ago, I was looking for the remote control for the television, and, as one does, I was looking in the couch cushions. I did not find the remote, but I did find an unopened three-pack of Rolaids. Huh, I thoughts. There are Rolaids in the couch. That’s interesting, I thought. I looked at them, acknowledged them, and put them back into the folds of the couch.

Several weeks later, my husband asked me if we had any rolaids. Yes, I told him. There are some in the couch.

He asked me WHY there were Rolaids in the couch, and I told him that I didn’t know WHY there were there, just that they were and that I had noted it for the future.

And this is why it’s weird that I make my bed every day, because I am not the girl that makes her bed. I’m the girl with Rolaids in the couch.

Except when my life is out of control. When I feel like I can’t control anything, can’t keep any of us from danger, can’t keep anyone alive with the power of my wishing, can’t manage to exert influence over anything…

Well, it’s at times like that that I make the bed. Stop eating. Wipe down the counters. Sweep up the cat litter. Vacuum the laminates. Take out the trash.

These things, you see, I can control. And when you can’t control the important stuff, well…you control what you can.

Bookclub is in three days, and I can’t concentrate well enough to read ANYTHING. I dopamine-mine on the Internet for hours, and I clean. And I don’t read and I don’t think too hard. Just swipe up on TikTok and swipe left and right on the counters.

Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.

I am not in danger. I have forty pounds I could stand to lose, and so I am not starving. I do drink water all day, because my housemate would kill me if I didn’t. And I get one good meal a day. So no worries. I just think it’s interesting that while some people are stress-eaters, I seem to be a stress-starver. A stress-cleaner.

A stress bed-maker.

So, think happy thoughts for my book club selection, and my ability to read it, and be good to yourselves this week.

4 thoughts on “Control

  1. And I am stuck on “I put away errant things that are still out from dinner last night”. “Errant” says so much, not just simple things that need to be cleaned up, but so much more, so much crazy, so much that needs to be reeled in, so much more. “I put away errant things … “ and then find the more concrete as much as ya can and as you do. Nice. You know I am going to steal a reference to “errant” at some point right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m the same way. When everything feels out of control, I clean because you re very right – feeling like you can control something helps make what you can’t control just a smidge less scary and disconcerting. Lots of hugs, Lori!


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