So I’ve decided last week to try out this schedule of not working on novel on Mondays, but devoting it to cleaning. The house has so many things that need organizing and fixing, but I realized that I can’t think about major cleaning on days I need to work on novel, because that would just become the entire day’s focus and I’d get nothing done. The weekend doesn’t work either because I spend entire Sundays out shopping for the week’s groceries (this is LA, to go anywhere takes like 40+ minutes, and all the Asian grocery stores are very far from where I live), and on Saturday the last thing I want is major cleaning because I really want a relaxing day. Therefore, it’s going to be Monday. Maybe I’ll work a bit extra on Saturdays to make up for it, but devoting Mondays to clean seems to be the best route.
So this week I put it to trial. And you’ll never guess what happened. Well, no, I’m sure you can guess what happened, which was that I completely froze up on the sheer amount of cleaning I have to do and got very little done. Yep, apparently cleaning is also super anxiety inducing for me, who’d have thought? (Everyone. Everyone would’ve except I thought I could tackle it without a plan. Nope!) I pretty much did the most basic dusting and left all organization to rot. Considering that was like, the whole point of the exercise, essentially I got nothing of note done on Monday. But I didn’t give up! I tried again on Tuesday, but cut everything down to the smallest tackable size. Instead of grand ambition of cleaning every surface in the room I will only clean ONE bookshelf, so that was what I did on Tuesday. The hallway bookshelf is…emptied and a bunch of stuff is on the bed in the guest room, but the shelf itself is clean and I threw out all the garbage papers that had been sitting on there for, uh, a few years? So everything I have right now are things I want to keep. I will organize the keep piles later, but hey, progress!
I will now move on to the other bookshelf in my bedroom. There will be some shuffling of books between the two, and also more dusting because dust is just so goshdarn pervasive! But I won’t be doing that today. I’ll be working on novel planning because I’m almost completely done with the thing! Tomorrow I will see if I can do more with the books, but I’ve learned my lesson now. Everything will be planned out in tiny increments. If I can do more than one great, if not, then that’s it. Any large chunks would just freeze me out and be counterproductive. Just like writing, eh?
Our friend is coming over tomorrow to watch the Super Bowl with us. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had anyone over to my house, so the condition of the house is in an understandable (I hope?) condition of pandemic disarray. There’s masks everywhere, boxes from deliveries piled in the corner, mail on a lot of surfaces, a crapload of hand sanitizer bottles, you know, the messy stuff that just kind of accumulates when you haven’t had any company in the past, uh, six months? Longer? I don’t remember haha. I knew we had the same friend over at some point, but not sure when. Anyways, the point is that I’ve spent today and yesterday cleaning everything. I am so sore right now! Because my legs were not used to exercises such as crouching and bending over repeatedly as I vacuum the house, including the stairs. My s.o. went to Costco to get party food and came back with, of course, Costco-sized packages in Costco-sized boxes. I helped him move them upstairs and now my arms hurt because I’m weak sauce. These pandemic years of very little exercise is really cutting into our physique. At least the weather is warming up. We really need to resume walks around the neighborhood soon. Both of us really, really do need the exercise.
However, I do feel properly motivated to do work, just like I thought I would yesterday. It’s nice to know that I have come up with a way to deal with anxiety so it doesn’t interfere my work as much as it could have. So that makes me happy, even though I’m thinking of actually taking an Advil because my muscles are screaming from disuse.
I don’t know what is up with me this week. I’m blaming Super Bowl haha. Despite what I’ve written a few days ago I’m not really getting my motivation up. Didn’t do any work yesterday except some blogging and organizing. Just, my heart’s not in it. Which is dumb, because right now I’m still in basic outline phase, not even that, so I shouldn’t even be stressed about how bad my writing is going because I literally haven’t “written” anything yet. Anyway, reason is never in the equation when it comes to motivation, it looks like. In addition, I think having people over for the Super Bowl (by people I mean literally one person who’s triple-vaccinated and is super careful) makes me feel like my house is in utter disarray (it probably is, but I also might be too hard on myself. There’s no telling.) So I’ve just been thinking about what to clean, and planning to do it all tomorrow since today I want to work.
But here’s the problem: I can’t just leave everything to tomorrow. Why? Because I want to work more tomorrow, and just saving all the cleaning to Saturday not only messes up my Saturday work schedule, it also messes up my Friday work. I don’t know why, but I can’t just be like “leave everything for later concentrate on this one thing for now”. I mentally cannot. All that does is makes me think about all the stuff I have to do tomorrow and then obsess over it today, which means I don’t get to focus on anything else today either. So I’ve decided to just do some cleaning right now, before I even start writing. I’m going to vacuum later, and maybe dust the tv console. It means that I would have saved time tomorrow and that thought makes me more motivated to work today. I don’t know if that makes sense or the logic is super circular, but yeah. That’s the gist of it.
So now I’m going to work, hopefully, and also hopefully by Sunday my house is suitable for guests. Crossing my fingers.