Monday, August 23, 2010

A Secret Revealed

Two years ago I stumbled upon Niecy Nash and The Clean House crew. Last year I got hooked on the darker and infinitely more interesting Hoarders. The genre-topper this year is Animal Planet's new show about animal hoarders.

Watching these shows has forced me to accept that I, too, am a hoarder. It's not animals. Vet bills for our two little chihuahuas are bad enough. Never is a word I rarely use but I know for sure I could never get used to the smell or the noise.

My thing is not hoarding collectibles, clothes, or crap from my past either. In fact, once you know the signs, my nearly spotless and clutter-free home betrays my hoarding like a house full of cats or old pizza boxes. I can't hide the truth any longer.

I hoard routines, habits and expectations. Over the years I've piled them up to the point nobody but me can maneuver through the narrow and treacherous pathways without getting hurt. I can't get out of bed without tripping over them and spend all my waking hours trying to stay on top of them.

Just like the people on the shows, if you drag something out from anywhere in the pile I can tell you exactly how I got it and why I need to keep it. Try to take it away and I'll get teary-eyed or throw a temper tantrum. It's who I am, dammit!

The winds of change are blowing. The time has come to clear out all the expectations. I've been told they're just premeditated resentments anyway--harsh words for any perfectionist to hear.

I've run out of excuses. I have to replace the bad stuff with healthy habits and routines. Never mind how much I love sitting on my ever-widening ass on the sofa watching anything but quality television. Never mind the heat, the rain, the shorter days, the cold, drive-through-windows and delivery drivers.

These routines, habits and expectations didn't accumulate overnight. Nope. They go way back. Making changes that stick will take time. I'm hoping my habit and routine hoarding tendency will work in my favor. Until then, count on me remaining...

The Crotchety Old Man

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