We still have 8 month left of this term. Itineration is still too far away to begin disengaging from responsibilities and friendships. But I can tell that I’ve already begun to lean into the change. How can I tell, you may ask? I have noticed a purging impulse has been activated in me. I call it “The Anti Nesting Instinct”.
When a mother is waiting for a baby to be born, she starts frantically putting the house in order in preparation for her new arrival. The Honey-Do list starts to fill up with all those little household repairs that have been ignored for so many months or years. Mom-to-be starts filling up the house with new purchases and organizing drawers full of teeny tiny clothing. That’s The Nesting Instinct.
So, logically, The Anti Nesting Instinct involves purging, cleaning out, throwing out, and giving away things. It is recognized in the peacefulness of gazing contently into a nearly empty closet. Its joy is magnified with each new pile of possessions successfully delivered to its new owners. My recycling bin runneth over.
Last Saturday I tackled my daughters’ bed room. It was a hoarder’s paradise. The amount of cardboard and paper that I hauled out of their room was horrifying. The scraps of old craft projects, plastic bottles rescued from the recycling bin, and half colored pieces of paper were pretty much the only things holding up my middle child’s bed. I removed 4 full garbage bags of pure trash from their room, a mountain of toys and books that they had grown out of, and another bag full of clothes to give away. This morning my daughter told me that she’s been opening and closing her closet door just for fun. I understand this since more than once this week I’ve stood gazing with satisfaction into their super clean and nearly empty closet. I love an organized closet.
Yes, the urge to purge has even manifested itself in my work at school. I am tackling disorganization, clutter, and an absurd amount of pure junk that has been stored here since Jesus was a small child. I am busting through cobwebs and pawing through moldy boxes in search of anything useful for my teachers before I dump the contents of a whole cabinet in the recycling bin. Clean is a beautiful moment.
So even though it’s really too early to start thinking about leaving on itineration, my emotions are releasing their connection to the things I live with. I have a mental To-Do list with dates attached to each task. I will tackle these projects one by one and whittle away the last few months before we must face the overwhelming task of packing up the house for storage. The Anti Nesting Instinct has kicked in.