The heat’s been out in my apartment lately, so I’ve been taking a lot of baths to soak some heat back into my bones. Today, though, I needed to get ready to go somewhere quick-fast so I took my first shower since I cleaned and redecorated the bathroom. And this might sound dumb but that shower made me appreciate the nice, clean surroundings even more, for two reasons:
1) The new shower curtain has a clear frosted background, so it lets in a lot more light than the old, opaque one – which makes a bigger difference in my mood and in the overall ambiance of the shower than I might have anticipated; and
2) Showering brought me face-to-face with the shower caddy, which used to be coated in a brownish crust (from minerals in the water, I guess?) and both shelves were buried under layers of old razors, half-used conditioner pouches that came with hair dye kits, and disused washcloths and scrubbing implements, all glued together with soap scum. Now it’s gleaming white and has three bottles of body wash on it and absolutely nothing else. It’s ridiculous how happy that simple thing makes me.
My mom used to complain that I “didn’t see messes,” and she’s probably right, but I definitely notice dirt and disarray on a subconscious level. I’ve noted this before, when I’d mop the hallway or something and suddenly become aware that I’d been getting a little wave of sadness/disappointment every time I saw the muddy footprints that were there before, and getting a little wave of “yay!” when I saw the clean floor now.
Maybe it’s not that I don’t see messes, it’s that I’ve always been too low-energy to be able to deal with them, so ignoring mess was a self-preservation strategy. I couldn’t afford to be distressed by the state of my living space because I couldn’t do anything about it so what would be the point? But it’s clear to me that my fucked-up habitat does have an effect on me.
Now that my health seems to be relatively good and I’ve realized I need to focus on cultivating tidier habits, I’ve been consciously trying to clean up after myself the minute I make a mess. And…it works! I distinctly remember trying to do that when I was a kid and giving up in the middle because bending/lifting/walking were too strenuous. I can’t believe I spent so much of my life feeling like shit and had no idea. I try not to think about it too much or else I start feeling bitter…BUT ANYWAY I keep cautiously pushing myself further and I keep on being able to do the work, and I feel weirdly like Bruce Willis’ character must have felt in Unbreakable when he keeps adding more and more free weights to the bar and realizes there’s literally no limit to his strength. (Yes, I just compared putting the clean dishes in the cupboard to lifting a thousand pounds, shut up.) I don’t think my energy is on par with a “normal” person’s yet, and it may never be, but I’m happy to be feeling better than I was.
Incidentally, I always assumed that Normals physically wouldn’t be able to sit around all day unless they were very sick or tired – that their unspent energy would make them feel twitchy and they’d have to get up and do something. So far, I’m finding that I’m still capable of sitting around – it’s just that if I want to get up and do stuff, it isn’t hard and doesn’t hurt. Fascinating.