Unpacking my house makes me feel like I imagine I would if I had prematurely signed myself up for a 100-mile wilderness race, without having trained or prepared. Full of arrogance and exhilaration, I would have taken off with the pack and worn myself out two miles in. Left behind by the pack but unthwarted, I would decide that walking was as good as running, and I would walk myself deeper into the wilderness. It wouldn’t occur to me to stop until I was completely exhausted, which would of course coincide perfectly with nightfall. Armed with nothing but a flashlight, water, and some clif bars, I would give myself a short rest. But the howl of a wolf or the grunting of a bear would startle me out of any relaxation, and I would anxiously run on as far as I could manage before collapsing, and starting this last sentence over again.
Okay, this is totally melodramatic. In unpacking a house, I am in no danger whatsoever of starving to death or being mauled by a bear. (Unless it was a very adventurous bear, in which case I would almost say he deserved it. Or she; it would definitely be a she bear.) Anyway, packing and unpacking are emotionally exhausting, and put me into miserable mood swings. I’ll unpack a few boxes, then be overwhelmed by the ever-increasing sense of mess, then I’ll spend half an hour reading the latest in facebook statuses, then I’ll forget myself and be suddenly optimistic about bringing order to the chaos. Cue the repeat track.
The only room that actually made me happy to unpack was the yarn room. I never organize my yarn the same way twice; I like to switch it up to suit the space I have. It keeps the stash from becoming invisible to me; I am reminded of the skeins I love, and their different properties. This time, the room has a large dresser built into the wall, and that’s where the majority of the stash is going. I sorted it by weight and color, just for giggles. All the natural-colored prepared fiber (rovings, batts, top) went into the cedar chest, and the fleeces went into a closet with the bag of scraps. (We have so many closets that I get one just for wool! Excuse me while I melt with glee.)
I got rid of a good bit of yarn, as well. I’ve accumulated and winnowed a lot over the years, and there was a sizeable box of yarn that I thought was very good, but I didn’t think I would ever use. (I got rid of the absolute crap a while ago.) This yarn all went to friends. There was another batch, that I couldn’t quite let go of yet, but was in serious danger of being ignored forever. This yarn is going on probation: if I don’t use it in the next six months, I’ll give it away. This is the only yarn that’s out on a shelf, staring at me, forcing me to decide if I love it enough to knit it rather than the goodies I know are waiting for me in the drawers. Also on the shelf are my unfinished projects, which have gotten a bit out of hand. Right now I have no fewer than three sweaters, a skirt, a pair of socks, and two shawls on the go, and it’s starting to make me nervous.
At first, as I petted every skein before placing it in a different pile, I thought I was exercising virtue. Willing organization, springing forth without planning or effort! How excellent that I am so connected with the simple things, with sensory comforts! Then I realized … this was just plain old miserliness. I am like a dragon counting the gold in its horde before curling up to sleep on it. But that is acceptable. I am okay with being a yarn dragon.
After an afternoon and evening of cycling through unpacking, despairing, facebooking, and spurts of organizational energy, the kitchen and living room are in good enough shape that I don’t hate to be in them. I’ve started one of the many loads of laundry I need to catch up on, and Jared’s been working hard on his office. The basement has become a dumping ground for issues I don’t want to solve. Moving is nothing as herculean an effort as it actually is to run a hundred miles, and I’ve met people who have done that. But for a couch potato, a 5k is epic. I bet you are as glad as I am that we’re almost done, because maybe now I’ll start talking about something else.