I did it.
Yup, finally and unequivocally I succeeded. It’s been a dream of mine for years now. And it happened.
I know to many of you it will seem silly and inconsequential. To me it is the first major accomplishment in a long list of successes to follow. At least I hope so.
What, pray tell, is this amazing feat I’ve managed?
My truck now fits inside the garage.
I’m sorry if you feel let down. Maybe I can explain why this is so amazing to me and why I’m so happy about it. Then, you too, can celebrate and feel the wonder and peace that I now feel.
I have always been a person who thrives on order and predictability. As a kid I couldn’t fall asleep at night if my room were messy. Some nights I’d turn on the light and sort, organize, dust, sweep and mop for several hours before I could finally and blissfully fall into a well-ordered sleep.
To a child the world screams chaos and lack of control. Everyone else holds the puppet strings of your life, everything else dictates your every waking moment. Planning ahead yields little results when you’re young. Keeping my bedroom orderly and neat gave me one aspect of life that I could control.
I suppose I could have inflicted my own chaos into my bedroom, like so many children do, as a way of saying “this is my space, my life, don’t mess with this.” I see messy children’s bedrooms as just such a ploy to have some control in their lives. Chaotic control. Odd, but effective. Most parents are powerless to keep their children’s rooms clean.
I was the opposite. I cleaned, shined, tucked, folded and sorted. I loved the sense of calm a well-organized room brought with it. Honestly, with all the siblings I had, it was the one area in my life that was peaceful.
I always dreamed I’d have a clean and orderly home. A predictable world, a calm life.
Then I got married to a man who owned STUFF. He already had a 5 x 7 storage unit full of boxes of stuff. Me? I owned two boxes, one of which was books. And then we had children who need all kinds of stuff, beyond belief amounts of stuff.
And, it turns out, real life as an adult runs differently than the one a person fantasizes about as a youth.
We seemed to spontaneously produce STUFF like rabbits reproduce. I’m still not sure how that happens, the stuff, not the rabbits. I feel like I missed an important lecture day at school once in fifth or sixth grade. Maybe they taught “How STUFF replicates and how to prevent it.” Wish I’d been there that day.
Anyway, fast forward to life beyond apartments to life with a garage to store all the stuff. Not many people realize it, but garages were originally invented to house vehicles, not boxes of miscellaneous crap and treasures.
So while our not so pricey and not so shiny vehicles have spent summers and winters, rain and dust storms outside in the elements, our cardboard treasure trove has baked and frozen season after season in the garage.
About once a year we attempt to deal with it all. We vow to downsize, we garage sale, we donate, we sort, we give away, we send kids home with boxes, we fill up the trash bin, we recycle, we even bring things into the house. But the stuff seems to continue to take up just enough space in the garage that a car, even a small one, just can’t squeeze in. (I chronicle this event in an earlier post here.)
I admit to coveting those garages with cabinets with doors and a pristine finish on the cement floor. Oh, and no oil leak puddles.
But no more.
A few months ago, after sending children and their own boxes out into the world on their own adventures, I squished and scrunched, sorted and tossed and made room for my truck to fit inside the garage. The door even closes! It sounds easier than it was, but I’ll spare you the details.
Why is this such a big deal?
Because it gives me hope that the inside of my house, especially the closets and cabinets, can also reach garage nirvana. One day I’ll be able to open a cabinet door and, voilà, what I need will be exactly where I knew it would be.
“A place for everything and everything in its place.” Peace will finally be mine.
Of course, there’s an awful loud quietness about the house now that the kids have moved on. Apparently that’s the price of order.
Perhaps I’ll leave a bit of chaos about the house after all.
Maybe I’ll just stand in the garage doorway and admire my handiwork. The rest of the house can wait for a bit.