Regarding today’s post, all I can say is the only details remotely connected to the theme of this blog are the two every day constants: I continue to be a femme d’un certain age (though barely, ahem. . .) and I’m sitting in front of my computer in the countryside outside Paris.
Since as I predicted (and you may have noticed), I’ve been “away” for a few days — figuratively, not literally — I thought I would share my adventures with you. I also mentioned at the time my daughter would be home, a detail highly relevant to today’s post.
I don’t know how many of you put credence in astrological signs, but I’m going to assume you do to make the telling of this tale more trenchant. I’m a Taurus; Andrea is a Virgo. For the uninitiated let me simply say: These two signs have wildly different attitudes toward order, organization and general every day maintenance of a certain level of sanity.
(For those of you who are experts on rising suns, falling moons and shooting stars, I know nothing about the nuances of the zodiac. I’m only into the basics and in my experience certain inalienable truths consistently repeat themselves.)
A Taurus is more laissez-faire, while a Virgo is faire tout de suite before a mole hill turns into a mountain and one starts to suffocate under the detritus and obligations of the quotidian.
It all started when Andrea realized I had transferred my detritus from her room into the library making the opening of the door a tricky affair. After greeting the dogs, setting down her perfectly packed bags (you know, everything rolled with tissue paper, folded garments, cosmetics in travel size containers, lingerie arranged in special envelopes, shoes in shoe bags — it’s nuts) she started to take a tour of her home. I seriously thought we would have to call in the medics.
Without boring you with the sordid details, let me tell you: I have not had one moment’s peace since she walked through the front door, which btw I scrubbed free of muddy paw prints and straightened the wreathes before her imminent arrival.
She has arranged every one of my shelves, closets, ironing, desk, filing system, spice shelf; she’s made massive giveaway piles divided into designer clothes destined for vintage boutiques and good clothes for charity and she has begged me to never ever, ever buy another pair of black pants or sweaters of any sort for the rest of my life. Clothes are now arranged by type and color. She has put the items I wear most often up front; center are the less often worn and at the back evening clothes, as in black tie get-ups, which rarely get an outing these days.
The library is now a library again. Her room is clutter-free, my desk top has work space (!) liberated of layers of papers, books and magazine pages. The stacks and stacks and stacks of magazines have been handled in two efficient procedures: sorted and kept, tossed.
Each step along the way to my personal sanity and future efficiency she asked me what “system” I wanted in place pointing out that unless it works for me it won’t work. I explained the basic definition of the word “system” worked for me and merely asked that she explain it to me. I do know how to follow orders, particularly when they are in my best interest.
At my request she will prepare a notebook to keep me on track.
Since “according to studies” by whom heaven only knows, new year’s resolutions last until February 17th (you’ve got to ask yourself who came up with that exact date and hope your tax dollars were not paying for the study) I hesitated about writing a blog on the subject.
But getting my life in order, as in the “stuff” of my life was my major resolution. Being a Taurus and all, it never would have happened without the Virgo. Now I feel so liberated as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me — well actually it has.
The next weight will be the famous regime of which I will regale you in the future.
All of this is to say my new year is starting off swimmingly (oh, yes I’ve re-signed up for my aqua gym classes). Junk removal has put me in a euphoric frame of mind.
That ethereal state is primarily due to spending non-stop quality time with Andrea the way we always did in the past.
That unfortunately can’t be neatly arranged on a shelf where I can reach it every day.
Ed. Note: Picture of the closet is from the late, great Domino magazine and for the record my birthstone is diamond (April), green is not my favorite color and Andrea’s birthstone is peridot (August). Voila.