Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Work for Chocolate

This rosebush is in my back yard.

I think of “Sleeping Beauty” when I look at it. You can't tell from the angle of this photo, but I've actually spent a few sessions hacking away at it. It's massive, tangled, and intertwined. It has thorns and it uses them. So I clip away bit by bit, clipping longer branches into shorter lengths that fit into my recycling bin, working in such a way that I avoid the thorns. When it's full, I dump it into the “branches” part of my compost pile. Today I looked at the rose bush to see what I've accomplished. It's hard to tell any difference.

But I don't mind working on it. I get to be outdoors with birds and butterflies. I even enjoy the slugs and spiders. And the plants are so prolific! So much of gardening in Syracuse is deciding what you don't want and removing it to make room for what you do want.

And I do want the rose bush. I just want it to be a lot smaller.

Just like the rose bush, the inside of my house suffers from neglect. The mess, while largely compartmentalized, is a massive, tangled, and intertwined Rubik's cube. Its thorns incite anxiety.

I don't like working on it. I have to be indoors. I have to face fears and make decisions. Most of the decisions are whether or not to keep something, and, if I keep it, where to put it. That doesn't sound difficult, but it is for me.

I decided today that I will give myself permission to resort to chocolate as a reward for working on my house mess. So I baked some brownies. For a certain number of tasks or a certain amount of time spent on-task, I could eat a brownie. It's sad that a grown woman has to resort to such extrinsic rewards. But I did start. I clipped away at some edges today. I made a difference. I reclaimed my dining room table. Even better, I found a button that I feared was gone forever. This button goes on a dress that I love but have been unable to wear for three years … because the button was missing.

I'm encouraged to hack away some more tomorrow. But I will still need chocolate.

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