Life Update: You know things have taken a turn when the kitchen table becomes covered with a leaning pile of mail, semi-folded laundry, your work computer, and hey, the missing set of car keys.
For the last few weeks, I have found myself in this situation. Some days I walk into the apartment to find the table set for dinner with a flower centerpiece and all. Other days, it falls short of those expectations. And every time I don’t leave the kitchen set up for myself, I end up with the same question: how did this happen?
To anyone who is not me, this probably seems like a case of disorganization, to which I don’t disagree. There are definitely opportunities for me to better plan for the next day. But I think there’s something more going on, too.
I noticed that my space becomes jumbled when I experience multiple new situations in my personal, social, and professional lives at once. Think about that. As someone who is new to the game of adulthood, most of the things I do every week are still brand new to me. Every goal, every process, every result is trial and error. And yet, the only true error I have made up to this point has been to not focus on taking care of myself.
Now for the record, my kitchen table is a small slab of wood that barely seats two people. Its legs are uneven and its chairs are creaky and mismatched. It is the first set of furniture I have owned in my adult life. Still, it is perfect. Anytime I am overly prepared or mentally occupied, it showcases those moments. It is the place where I have learned how great, and truly awful, my cooking can be, and the setting where I have had some of the best conversations with the coolest people.
At this point, if I see a mess, I know that it’s time to push everything to the side, make a big pasta dinner, think about the day, and then get back on track. I understand now that it’s not in my best interest to finish a to do list if I am hungry or tired or restless because in reality, the tasks will be there when I’m ready. I am aware of their deadlines, but I won’t prioritize them over my own well being.
For an additional perspective, listen to my grandma on the importance of sharing and building upon a living space: