I would be excited, but I'm too busy drooling on my keyboard. I've been averaging 4 hours of sleep per night, and I can barely see straight.
Why, you ask?
Because I'm an idiot.
And because I work 40 hours every week.
But mostly because I started watching the show Hoarders. And I recognized myself.
"Kurt, I have bad news."
He glanced up from his textbook, and his gaze was arrested by my horrified expression. "Babe, what's wrong? Are you ok?"
I shook my head.
"What is it??"
I swallowed. "I'm a hoarder."
I don't have 41 dead cats living in my garage, and I don't think throwing away my dog's fur will speed up her death (mostly because, you know, I don't have a dog).
But I am a hoarder.
I'm not hoarding things right now (except craft supplies). But I am a hoarder the same way a man who hasn't had a drink in 5 years is still an alcoholic.
I look at their homes, and I see how it started. Maybe they never really unpacked, and the mess just grew. Maybe they started shopping, and simply had no place to put everything. But they kept on shopping. Because they know what it's like to be poor, and they know, they know that if they don't buy it now, they might not have the money to buy it later. And what if they need it one day?
Most of them have been extremely poor. I have been extremely poor.
It was like looking into my own head. It was like looking into my possible future. And it scared the shit out of me.
You might think I'm being dramatic, and you're probably right. I am sleep deprived, after all.
But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.
According to the show, hoarding is a mental disorder that effects approximately 3 million people. 3 million!
I have no plans to hoard rotting food, or keep my used toilet paper (and I'm only on episode 4!!). But I could. If I'm not careful, I could.
Not now, of course. Now I'm young, and (relatively) sane. I can throw stuff out with ease. I don't get attached to worthless things.
So maybe I'm a "Pre-Hoarder"?
Hang on, let me look it up...Ok. According to Wikipedia, I'm hovering somewhere between a a level 1 and a level 2 hoarder. For now.
My problem is a motivational one. I let things build up again and again until the task of cleaning and organizing is so huge, and it would take so long, and I'd rather just ignore it and do something, anything else.
I might never become a level 5 hoarder. But the pattern is set, and the tendency is there. If I'm not careful, I might end up with a VW bus full of junk in my backyard. Which I'll live in, because I won't be able to fit into my house once the tunnels I've dug under my piles of junk have collapsed.
(This happens sometimes)
We all have our challenges, right? Mine just happen to be slapping me in the face right now.
And so for the past few days, I've been cleaning. And organizing. And decorating. And buying organizational stuff (and possibly more decorations).
Since I'm at work all day, my crazy organization parties can't start until I get home. Then they go all night. If only I could take a mental health day, and just focus on this. That would be so appropriate, don't you think?
Again, let me explain one thing. This fear and determination is not because I am hoarding right now. It's because I know that if I'm not careful, I will be hoarding one day.
And I just can't let that happen.
So once The Great Clean of 2010 is over, I have a plan.
"Stay on top of this."
Ok, so it's not much of a plan.
But it's a start.