Under the kitchen sink and other musings…

My dear friend Cindi spent most of Friday and Saturday at my house. This is how it happens. She comes by just to peek at something (in this  case, the rearrangement of our kitchen due to a HUGE chalkboard we inherited) and she stays for days. Much to my great delight. It generally happens once a summer and I love it!) One Summer we did this and the next Summer we did this.  Earlier this Spring we did this.  It has to be said that Cindi is the one and only person outside of my family who I have absolutely no hesitation throwing open every dark corner of my home and life to. I am completely devoid of self consciousness or embarrassment around her, I fear no judgment with her and I have nothing to hide or prove with her. She truly is like family. It’s a great blessing.
Anyway, this time Cindi’s marathon visit basically took the form of cleaning, purging and rearranging.  Fun for some. (In this case: ME! maybe not so much for Cindi). This is how it goes. I say to her, “hey before you go, can you rearrange the stuff on my mantel? It doesn’t look right to me.” And then 10 hours later she is wiping gunk from underneath my kitchen sink.
When I am with Cindi, I experience ADD in its finest form. I call it Team ADD. It is actually very effective. We flit from one project to another (at one point we were simultaneously cleaning out the coat closet, wiring paper leaves to the light fixture in the kitchen and…clearing out under the kitchen sink) but in the end we get SO much done and it does not feel like drudgery at all.  It. Is. Awesome.
Back to the kitchen sink (there’s that ADD again).  One of my many bizarre phobias is a phobia of the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink. This is closely linked to my fear of rodents and the time I got my hand caught in a trap while cleaning out under the kitchen sink which our pest control guy in California had kindly set without telling me. When I pulled out my hand there was a dehydrated mouse in the trap. Ok. How does this even happen?! How was it in there and still managed to thwack my hand with the trap? I still can’t figure that one out.  So really, now my phobia of under the kitchen sink doesn’t seem quite as weird right? Right.
Moving along. When I was married for a couple of years, Aaron and I visited the apartment of a friend who had just got married. When I checked under the kitchen sink I was astonished to see that there was nothing there. Maybe one lonely bottle of dish-soap. I instantly felt a major pang of envy. This clear space represented a simplicity and order that I craved. I wanted it to be empty under MY kitchen sink. But alas. It was not to be. I couldn’t. I had too much stuff that needed to live under my kitchen sink. Over the many years since this revelation I have peeked under many kitchen sinks and found several of them to be much more empty and orderly than mine.  Each time, the pang of envy…the feeling of resignation to my cluttered under the kitchen sink lifestyle.  Until yesterday. As I watched Cindi bravely pull out the myriad of rarely used cleaning products (does that rusty can of oven cleaner really need to be easily accessible?) it struck me. This could be my new life! Why COULDN’T I HAVE AN EMPTY ORDERLY space under the kitchen sink? Why not?  I instructed Cindi not to replace any of that stuff . She objected. It was silly she maintained. It was the perfect spot for the cleaning products. I could pare them down but why did I need to have it empty? She has a valid point, it’s not as though I am swimming in storage space here.  We compromised on a tiny basket filled with essentials. (I think it is going to go though, sorry Cindi. I am just in love with the possibilities of my new life.  My new spacious lovely empty under the sink life.)
I know this might (probably does)seem so ridiculous to anyone reading this. But it was such a huge revelation to me. What else about my life have I sadly resigned myself to? Which could be changed with the smallest effort and change in perspective? What else do I put up with even though I hate it?. Because that’s “just how I am”, “how things are”?  My eyes have really been opened to the many limitations I place on myself and the lack of fullness in my life because of them. I’m going to be looking to clear out lots of “under the sink spaces” in my life from now on. From my living space to my relationships.  It is liberating and exciting even though my forehead is getting a bit sore from all the “well D’uh why didn’t I cotton onto this sooner?” slapping it has been taking.
In other news, we took our nifty new to us thanks to a screaming deal from a friend, bike trailer onto the trail tonight for a quick spin. I was able to snap a picture of the kids that I used to take every Fall. It’s been a quite  few years since the last one in this spot (awww click on that link. sniff!!!)  and it was fun to have the addition of Shemly and Ella. (Yo Bike helmet police, chill, they had taken them off for the photo.)
I also snapped this picture of Ella on my iPhone today. It perfectly captures her personality lately. She is so cute and happy, social, loving and just SO MUCH FUN. Even though her arrival has completely obliterated my very “together” life as I knew it before, and I do sometimes mourn aspects of that life,  she is completely magical.  Nothing I had before could compare to what she has brought into our lives.
happy angel

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Anonymous said...

You are SO RIGHT!!! I had an aha moment like that a while ago, but can't remember what it was about, so obviously I did not clear out the under-sink cupboard that I should have, but I remember being SO liberated! Good for following through. You are a star and Cindi is a saint! Do you ever do days at her house, or is she just too organised to need it?