So here I am, a mom on a mission, rampaging through my kid’s room with a single-minded determination to put things in order. Let me make clear that I’m notoriously scatter-brained, so single-minded anything is a stretch for me at best. But on this day, and into the future (stupid adulting goals) I’m determined to go through my life with more focus. You know, start something and actually finish it?
Good parenting 101 says that I shouldn’t be cleaning the room at all since it doesn’t belong to me and being potty trained makes them old enough to do it themselves. But here’s the thing: a lot of my stuff has found it’s way into their room, so I’m part of the problem. In clearing out my own room, I kind of made theirs the landing place for a lot of my stuff. So now I’m sucked into this vortex of Legos, laundry piles, and loads of books.
As I go about the business of straightening up and throwing away, I keep coming across books. Books on dressers, books on beds, books on the floor. Over and over again, I keep ending up at the bookshelf. If I thought the room itself was a big job, the bookcase put it all in perspective. My kids’ bookcase is giving me anxiety.
The books are “arranged” without rhyme or reason. The cat encyclopedia, a book my son bought before we even owned a cat, is next to a Beverly Cleary trio which is next to a Guinness Book of World Records which is next to a copy of The Bernstein Bears. Every time I walk over to the bookcase my heart starts racing and my body yearns to take every book down and start fresh, to instill order, to make it make sense.
My kids love keeping books just like I do. Some months ago, however, I gave them the task of thinning out their bookcase. Not an easy task as you bibliophiles well know. But I made it as easy as I could on them. Any books that they loved for content or nostalgic reasons could stay. There was a period of time when I was buying them books in hopes to introduce them to new genres and/or encourage their reading, and it wasn’t pretty. It was ugly. No matter my level of excitement, no matter the reviews, no matter the pleading, they just weren’t into my choices. Nope, it was Diary of a Wimpy Kid or nothing at all. So let’s just say a lot of books went unloved. They purged a little at the garage sale and that was that. I never had cause to give the bookcase any more attention.
Now I’m face to face with two monsters. The first monster is the bookcase itself, and the second monster is my determination to stay focused on the single task of cleaning up the room. Fml. I become a part of the problem. I’m picking up books and stuffing them onto the shelves mostly according to thickness. If I can wedge it in, that’s where it goes. The air turns chill, and I shudder.
Thin books are getting lost between thick ones. Short books overwhelmed by tall ones. You know the random setting on treadmills? That’s what I’m dealing with. There are no rolling hills here. Just jagged peaks and craters, books facing the wrong way. There’s that shudder again.
I try to bribe myself with organizing just one shelf, but you book collectors know that’s impossible. Each of my bookcases and each of it’s shelves has a personality. No shelf is an island… There’s thought that goes into it. Does anyone out there understand me?
I suspect that if I asked them to go get a particular book off of their shelf, they’d have no idea where to find it. Here’s where I close my eyes and breathe deeply. And while I’m releasing negative energy, let me just go ahead and confess that I stopped cleaning the room to write this. I didn’t type it, just scribbled down my feelings to get the hebbie jeebies out. It was the second best thing next to actually reorganizing the bookcase.
Is this what being an adult has brought me to? Is this what staying focused has to offer? Um, I don’t like it. I’ve got to get back to organizing, cleaning and stuffing books randomly onto shelves. I feel like everything that’s wrong with the world.
Do you have a system of organizing your books? Is it more intuitive or systematic? Do you also consider sloppy bookshelves to be an abomination?
Today is #nationalbookday, so go love you some books, and try not to have any little novellas 9 months from now! Unless that’s what you want. May I suggest America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins? Afterall, it’s also #womenshistorymonth and this book is amazing.
You’ve probably guessed that I’ll be making videos filled with tons of interesting facts, stories and history tidbits for you this month, so stay tuned for updates. If I’m on top of my game, I might even create a schedule. (Sounds scary). You can follow me on Instagram to be sure not to miss anything. Anyhow, if you get your hands on the book then you can share even more in the conversations. Btw, the link to the book is an Amazon affiliate link. I can make some cash and you’ll possess one of the greatest books you’ll ever own on your bookshelf. Just saying.
My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to be more connected to yourself and the world, to find beauty in simple pleasures, and to have more adventures. Every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?