Saturday, November 9, 2013

Living in a Volcano

It’s 9:30pm and I am alone in my new apartment, with only one floor lamp’s soft glow to light my surroundings, and the steady, melodic din of my entire Sufjan Stevens catalogue playing happily on shuffle through the stereo from my iPod. I’ve spent my evening cleaning and unpacking. David is at a youth event and so I took on the week’s unwashed dishes on my own, after finding a place for the new microwave, moving our two arm chairs, and flattening about a trillion newly-emptied cardboard boxes.

The downside to downsizing is obvious: space is precious and finding economy with how and where you place your everyday items is a challenge. Well that challenge has been compacted by the timing of our move coinciding with crazy-busy work weeks for Dave and I both, and trying to live out of boxes in the transitory times between sleeping and working. When everything around you is chaotic towers of boxes and strewn articles, your everyday tidiness habits decide to play hooky, along with the ability to find anything when you need it, the desire to eat off of non-disposable dishes, and the ability to cook. And that’s all before counting in the added fatigue of pregnancy.

I’ve had a few moments over the past two weeks of “living” here, where I’ve seriously asked whether we’ll ever be able to unpack and organize to a level of comfort/visual appeal so that I will no longer feel like I live in a storage closet. I’ve asked this rhetorical-but-not question of David a few times, and to my dismay, his optimism and complete lack of detail orientation, layered thickly with his enjoyment in my grumblings (he says they’re “cute,” and doesn’t really take them seriously,) causes him to dismiss my question with “Ooooh, yes, it will be better.” I don’t think I can adequately describe the tone of his voice when he says this. It’s like… like when a child asks you if a nearby volcano is going to erupt and destroy your home in the Midwest: “Ooooh, no, no, we will be fine. No volcanoes nearby. How cute of you to be afraid of that!”

David doesn’t realize that I am living in an active volcano. Nesting instincts + chaotic living conditions = potential for total destruction of my peace of mind.

Thankfully, this weekend we will have fewer obligations to keep us from home and David has promised to help me get things organized. But then I think about how much work we will have to do, and on a weekend, and I get tired just thinking of how never-ending this feels. I really believe God created Sabbath rest for people like me who would otherwise just keep working and never stop. There’s always more to do.

That’s probably also why God gave me a three-day weekend; I have Monday off, blessed mercy from heaven! So Monday will be my observing the Sabbath day—just rest and play, no work for me.

And, if David is right and my volcano paranoia that our new apartment will enclose on me like the hoarder lady’s house of creepy childhood memories in Labyrinth is as unfounded as he believes, we will have a much more relaxing atmosphere in which to Sabbath come Monday. (I like using Sabbath as a verb, with the arbitrary grammatical authority of my English degree.)

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