After: (Order and Calm)
I’m not complaining. I pretty much love everything about Christmas break. Being able to sleep in until noon every day wrapped up in my polar bear sheets is nothing that I can;t get behind. If I had to choose though, and I had to name one thing about Christmas break that I don’t particularly care for, it would have to be unpacking.
My school is incredibly fantastic, and unlike most colleges that give their students two weeks or so for Christmas break, I am fortunate enough to get almost a month and a half of relaxation before I’m forced to go back to being a slave to education and wiping people’s butts. I cherish every moment of this glorious nothingness that I get to experience, but when it comes to unpacking, I dread it more than anything. I wake up each morning having no idea what I am supposed to be doing for the day, so asking me to pack a suitcase a month and a half in advance, well that’s just a sick joke. Especially when break includes two holidays and temperatures which have been unnaturally warm for December. What ratio of sweaters to short sleeve shirts should I include? Or the ratio of nice clothes to my old, “I’m doing absolutely nothing today” t-shirts?
I’ve always prided myself on being a fast, practical packer, however, my skills seem to elude me right before Christmas vacation. I end up staring at things that I know I logically don’t need, but am momentarily convinced otherwise by my mind. It says things like, “Hey, maybe someone will surprise you with a trip to the beach for Christmas, and you will need your bikini. Or maybe you will actually decide to get off your lazy butt and go running during break; you better pack some exercise clothes. Oh, and pack all 6 of those headbands that you never wear. You’ll definitely need those!” Then I argue with myself, saying “Ok, first of all, secret beach vacation? Yeah, I don’t think so. And exercising? Let’s be honest here, who do you actually think you are? In two weeks you will be laying on the couch trying to convince yourself to actually exude enough effort to walk to the bathroom. You’re not going running.” But then finally, the illogical side wins out, stating “Oh, screw it, Mackenzie. Just pack everything. It is better to have too much than to not have what you need, right?” And for a moment, that seems to be the most practical thought. The moment that I realize it isn’t practical, however, comes when I arrive home and stare at the semi-truck load of luggage I have unnecessarily brought with me, and realize that now I must unpack all of that foolishness. That is when my art of procrastination is at its finest. I tend to just stack piles of clothes on each side of my room, adamantly refusing to fold or hang anything, and reserve my room for sleeping purposes only, therefore shutting my door and not having to actually see the mess that continually drives me crazy.
Christmas night, however, my laziness came to breaking point. After gorging myself on pounds upon pounds of delicious, sodium-laden food like the glutton I am, I awoke at 2 am with the Sahara desert in my mouth. I unwillingly parted ways momentarily with my beloved polar bear flannel sheets, and stumbled out of my room to drink roughly a gallon of water. The danger of that, though? We all know exactly what happens when you return from a brightly lit kitchen to the pitch black depths of your bedroom. Your eyes suddenly react as though you’ve just walked from the surface of the sun directly into a black hole, and you flounder around wildly, too stubborn to stop and let your eyes adjust, while you fight back the primordial fear that at any moment, you are going to run head first into the wall.
Well, it is no surprise then that as I staggered around in my room, that I managed to stub my toe on a roughly 300 pound suitcase, slip on a sock that I had carelessly left out on my slick hardwood floors, and crash knee first into the side of my bed. That is when I knew that I could put it off no longer, and that the chaos in my room had to go.
The next day, I finally bit the bullet and cleaned up my mess. Unfortunately, I forgot to actually take a picture of what my room looked like before I hacked my way through the jungle of confusion and disarray, but imagine it to be something along the lines of the first picture posted above. The only difference between that picture and how my room appeared two days ago, is that in the picture, that mess is actually fairly organized chaos, whereas my room two days ago was simply mayhem with no rhyme or reason.
So all in all, although it was a painful process in more ways than one, I really am much more content with a clean, organized room, like the one above. For the next month, I have the opportunity to distract myself from the fact that in about a month, I’ll have to go through the process all over again when I pack up to go back to dorm. For now though, I can find some simple joy in having a direct and clear path from my doorway to my bed, with no life-threatening hazards lurking in the dark. My clean room, therefore, makes me pretty happy.