Sunday, June 16, 2013

Early Memories of Cleaning my Room

It's funny how old memories re-visited can sometimes lead to insight.

My mother-- like most parents, I expect-- was eternally trying to get me to keep my room clean. Or, at the very least, trying to teach me how to keep it from looking like a bomb fallout area.

By the time I was eight or nine, it seemed like her frustration at my clutter-- and let's add here that my mom was a "neat freak"-- seemed to reach a peak. I remember her words, to this day "I just don't understand why something as simply as keeping your room tidy has to be SUCH a big production! WHY can't you just do this very simple thing?"

Retrospectively, maybe it was a fair question. I had a fairly good sized room, with a good sized closet, and we'd been to IKEA and had bought all manners of "organizational units." IKEA is really good for that sort of stuff.

And yet? My world was always a cluttered mess.

I remember responding to my mother-- on several occasions "Mom, I am just a FUNDAMENTALLY LAZY person."

My mother, of course, was horrified and insulted by that idea. She replied "What utter nonsense! No child in this family is lazy!" or something like that.

My point, though, is that it wasn't a "flip" comment, on my behalf. I'd actually thought about it, quite a bit. I loved my mom, and I didn't want to make her unhappy... and yet? Cleaning my room felt like... SO. MUCH.  WORK.

I distinctly remember how I would start off on a day of tidying up... and I would start to feel "heavy;" almost sleepy. I would get my Lego neatly put away... and I would feel so tired and groggy. Which was really weird, because I was "that kid" who could never take naps. It was so much "easier" to just stare out the window at the branches of the trees, moving in the wind.

My nine-year old brain reasoned that because I wanted to "sleep" rather than "work" it meant I was lazy. It was truly a genuine argument, not a "put off" answer.

Of course, 9-year old will go to some length to not have to do their chores. But looking back at the way I understood "not cleaning my room," it seems more evident that inattentive ADD was playing a part in my life, back then.

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