Tidying

To say that I like tidying might not be totally true, but I definitely get some satisfaction from it.

I’m a cluttered person. I have a hard time throwing things away — especially things that may someday be useful — which is pretty much everything. I mean, I may need that receipt to return something. I may sometime be looking for that random screw that I picked up on the kitchen floor because I finally figured out what it went to.

I may need a black pen that barely writes because that’s better than a pen that doesn’t write. I guess I could throw away the pen that doesn’t write anymore.

And that free temporary tattoo that I picked up somewhere? Surely someone will want that.

What about candles in glass jars? Is that recycling? Or garbage? Or is there one last light and fragrance I can get from it?

You see my problem.

I tidied yesterday. I threw away so many old shopping lists and store receipts. I gathered the loose change from all the different places I had emptied my pockets and put it into a jar. I threw away a bunch of random notes from work and other reminders for myself.

I shelved books. All my Thomas Merton books are in a row, as well as Howard Thurman, Brian Doyle, and John Steinbeck. The Gaelic books and the books on Scotland have their own corner. I have somehow ended up with three copies of 100 Selected Poems by e.e.cummings. I suppose I could get rid of two, but I love that book so much that I would want them to go to good homes.

Uncluttered, semi-ordered bookshelves

I found so many quotes I had written down on slips of paper. Here are a few:

  • Henry Nouwen: In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness.
  • Nothing changes if nothing changes. — from a counseling session. My counselor told me to write this one down.
  • Face the worst. Discover the best.
  • Montaigne: The mind that has no fixed aim loses itself, for, as they say, to be everywhere is to be nowhere.
  • Thomas Merton: Every moment is rich in happiness.

I saved all the quotes. I even had quotes from television shows. Seriously. What kind of person does that?

I suppose I like tidying after all.

I just don’t like throwing things away. What if someday I need that thing?


On a side note, two Gaelic words that I keep getting mixed up are the word for tidying (sgioblachadh) and the word for writing (sgrìobhadh). It’s the “sg” at the beginning and “dh” at the end and the rest of the too-many-letters in the middle.

For me, writing is a way of tidying my mind, so I kind of like the similarity between the two words. Funny, isn’t it?

4 Comments on “Tidying

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