The intimate link between my junk drawer and my brain

The mountains used to be my thinking space – before I had kids that is. Whenever I felt drained, tired, angry, overwhelmed or any combination of the above I would put on my running shoes and take off for the mountains, some days for hours at a time.

Since the birth of our twins, I had to find another thinking space. I work remotely and I manage my own time, but I can’t just leave them home alone (at the tender age of 10 months) and take off. Finding the time to run now requires wrangling schedules with my husband and has ceased to be a valve of immediate stress relief.

Instead, I have turned to my junk drawer.

And then the kitchen cabinet. You’d be surprised how many spices were way past their recommended shelf life of one year.

Then came the medicine box. By now the apothecary knows me by name when I stop by to drop of yet another set of expired or unusable pills and bottles.

Apparently my brain enjoys those little escapades to a well-defined situation where she is in charge, completely in control about what is going to happen next. The organized drawer feels like a personal victory in a chaotic world.

Deprived of the wide open thinking space I used to find in the mountains and at the seashore of my current hometown, I have turned to creating my own thinking space within my four walls. I can’t find space, but I certainly can create it by getting rid of stuff that’s not needed anymore.

Unneeded stuff resembles unhelpful emotions. It’s easy to cling to it, but it won’t add anything to your day. Broken gadgets and trinkets are akin to unmet expectations. Insisting on how they could work will keep you focus on what’s not working. It’s the physical act of letting go that helps me to refocus on what can be fixed or improved.

Both things and thoughts, I’ve learned to let go of what’s neither useful nor beautiful. Because this much I know: my surrounding and my brain are mine to organize – by creating space.

This entry is part of the Support Driven writing Challenge. Join our community here.

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