Truth be told. Sometimes I lie.
For example, there have been times in my life if you’d asked me how I’ve been and I would have looked at you in the face and said “Good,” and it be a lie. Straight up, bold face lie. In my head I try to lessen the blow of said lie by finishing the statement with “if good means I’m not dead and no one is in jail….yet” or “If good means I feel like I’m basically failing at life right now then heck yeah I’m doing flippin’ fantastic!”
The Martin world has times when it is totally topsy-turvy, our ups and downs are more downs and there are days I feel any moment the thread might just give way. Recently, a precious one asked me how I was and I could only answer with a vague “We’re good, just having some struggles right now.” The Precious One began to name a few of the many generalized topics one potentially struggles with and I said, “Yes.” Yes to which one? Yes to all.
Recently, I asked the King for a little order, some straight horizontal and vertical lines in a world full of diagonal ones. I asked Him If He wouldn’t mind to do that for me. In my memory I was taken back to a time when He used His people and had done exactly that. It was one of many Martin moves when some Dear Ones organized my entire kitchen. I came home to cabinets lined and labeled, filled and readied. It still makes me smile when I think of it.
Some mornings ago I awoke unsettled. That is how I often awaken and through a series of unplanned and unorganized steps I found myself staring blankly at a minuscule diorama of what life sometimes feels like. I’ve about decided every home has one, like the families they represent they are equally different yet like those families they are the same. Truth be told, if I’m ever given the opportunity, I like to survey the ones in other homes. Over the years of informal research I’ve found that it is often the most distal and aptly named of places, The Junk Drawer. As I pulled open that rectangle of chaos I surveyed it with equal feelings of disgust and apathy. The feeling of frustration, the knowledge it needed to be remedied and the lack motivation to do anything about it left me standing and staring down an unnatural length of time, so long I had, in fact, forgotten what I was looking for.
What happened next I have entitled, “Lessons from the Junk Drawer.”
1. Survey the Damage. I stood there in a state of shock. Despite daily opening of the Junk drawer I could not figure out how it had gotten so bad. Truth be told, it was a gradual decline I hadn’t junked it up overnight, tossed in something here, thrown in a random thing there. I had rummaged around repeatedly so much so that everything in there couldn’t help but be displaced and disorderly.
2. Resolve to take a step forward, get a plan. Make a pile or two, or in my case 12.
3. Sort through. Process it, but for the love don’t be so stuck on the piles of rubbish and disorganization that you lose sight of the goal. Don’t try to understand why you’ve actually saved for an unknown length of time the netting from a bag of lemons, approximately 146 Hanukkah candles….One hundred and forty-six!!! I’m not even Jewish! One as in a single ONE soda pop tab, a single key to who-knows-where and various and sundry stationery items. No wonder I can never find a pen when I need it. They are all held hostage in the Junk Drawer. Take a moment to pause and evaluate the progress. Document it so you won’t forget when the drawer gets really junky again next week. This is one of the single most important things. I like to journal the progress, my memory is short and I can not deny something written in my own hand reminding me I may not be where I want to be, but I’m sure not where I was.
4. Shed the baggage. Get rid of the unnecessary burdens weighing the drawer down, the decades old band-aids that have no sticky and yellowing absorbent pad that is not in fact infused with antibiotic ointment but discolored from age. The things and thoughts that have cluttered my mind which serve no purpose but to weigh me down. I’m ditching those even as I speak.
5. Start again. I saved all 146 plus Hanukkah candles, I have a menorah or two and I plan to use those, they’ll serve as birthday candles in a pinch and despite the knowledge that I’m not actually Jewish, My King is, so I am by proxy. Those candles make me smile so I’m hanging on to them. The lemon bag made its way to the trash, as did the band aids. The end results are not HGTV worthy but they are indeed satisfying. I know that the process of sorting through the metaphorical junk drawer of life can be painful and tedious, but the end result, that is what I must stay focused on. I am thankful that I woke up unsettled, had I not I might’ve missed such an amazing life lesson from the chaotic Junk Drawer.