A psychologist friend of mine used to prescribe retail therapy for depression and cleaning therapy for anxiety. Not a bad drug, really, that latter one, and it has precious few dangerous side effects to be noted in the fine print or by that reassuring voice on the TV commercials.
(Side note: does anyone know where I can get the results for that study that showed that the Restless-Legs Syndrome drug can lead to strong gambling and sexual urges?)
Anyway, now that I have the surgery scheduled, I am trying to think about other things. But still: having more that 4 hours notice this time means that I can do some planning ahead, so that the whole thing does not catch me with loads of dirty laundry or no clean presentable pajamas or no food in the house. Here is where the cleaning therapy comes in: let's make this house spotless, shall we?
First we reorganize my study. Perhaps "reorganize" is the wrong word, because it suggests that the items in question had some organization in the first place, where in reality mostly they were only participating in the Piles System, which only proves viable in the short term, in my experience. Anyway, now books are sideways on shelves, instead of in stacks, except for those that I am actively reading: Jim Longenbach's Stone Cottage, Brock Clarke's An Arsonist's Guide to Writers Homes in New England, Courtney Martin's Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, and Dave Eggers's You Shall Know Our Velocity. (This list does not count the books in process that live in my bedroom, but trust me that I am not the sort to be reading only one book at a time. Or only four.)
And I have admitted to myself that the stuff I was writing back in August is on hold again for a while, so all the appropriate xeroxes and library books have been refiled. Sigh.
And some of the books that I rarely conult (such as my Turkish-English dictionary...) are upstairs in another bookcase.
Now my desk contains only the things I still need to do (articles to evaluate for journals, papers for conferences, files to process) and the old dining room table that we are going to sell is free of piles of books and old copies of The Chronicle of Higher Ed and all those things that tend to collect in one's workspace when we are not looking.
Given that I am manic-depressive about my clutter, this is a process that I have to go through from time to time, and by the time I have to do it, I want to do it. But this time was a little different, because I suspect it is also the first phase of my Pre-Op. I am also beginning to think about what I might need to have around for my recovery. Books are covered, as in addition to those in process now, I have an immense collection of books to read, so assuming that I can avoid enough pain meds to focus, I am all set there. More urgently, I am wondering if I might need some reward yarn, and whether to buy it before the surgery or wait until I have made it through (probably the latter, though I'll have to bribe a friend to take me to the yarn store).
Phase Two of the Pre-Op comes next weekend (I hope), because I decided finally to get a new bike. Although I have gotten a lot of mileage out of my old one, it is too big for me (what happens when you buy a used bike from a guy...) and so I rarely want to buy it. The new plan is to try diversifying my athletic pursuits in order to prevent (or at least minimize) further overuse injuries, and because I HATE RUNNING, cycling seems the better choice. So stay tuned for details and photos of the pretty new machine.
I'll have to end this here: I have more laundry and swiffing to do.....