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Do you have an activity that you turn to when your world feels out of kilter? An activity that you usually avoid whole-heartedly; that you’d put off doing even after your dealth? For me that’s cleaning or organizing my house.

I loathe cleaning and organizing my house. I tend to think of it as a waste of time, akin to Sisyphus pushing that stupid rock up the hill only to have it roll back down. Try again tomorrow, only to have it roll back down. That’s what cleaning and organizing mean to me. Within hours the dust will magically reappear and maybe, if I’m lucky, the clutter on my desks (yes, I now have two) will stayed uniform for a few day not hours.

However, I’ve noticed that there are times I get the bug to clean. I’m experiencing one right now, even though it’s a beautiful day outside and I have many pieces I could/should be writing. Eureka, that’s it! I have so many stories, posts, and books that I’d like to be tackling. I’m extremely behind on my training miles for upcoming races. I’m mentally overwhelmed and I’m feeling guilty. Since I can’t actually runaway, I use cleaning during these times to shutdown for a bit. That’s sort of true because I’m actually allowing thoughts to marinate and organize on the mental back-burner while I clean and organize my actual living space.

I’ve used this coping mechanism while attending graduate school this last time. Final papers week I tended to have a very spotless space. I’d get into a fury of dusting, vacuuming and minimizing the stacks of papers strewn about until they were corralled into a place or two. Yes, it’s avoidence. Yet it worked and still works for me. I’m not getting actually graded (or paid, sadly, but maybe some day) for my writing, paid for the books I read nor am I the caliber runner that I see any actual race medals for merit in my future. Actually all three are done because more time than not, I enjoy and receive great satisfaction from these endeavors. Yet I hold them up to a level of importance that I don’t want to do a halfass job of them. So I clean to cope until I get that next burst of creativity and renewal. I’m actually avoiding cleaning by stopping to write this burst of transient thought that came while dusting a room. Vicious cycle it seems!

Can you relate? Do you have a chore or least liked activity you will be drawn to when you trying to avoid something else? Share…