Yesterday I awoke early and went to the gym, and I felt so proud of myself for making myself go, after nine months of paying for a membership I haven’t been using. I had all these plans for being productive, with cleaning my room at the top of the list. Then I looked around my room and thought, there’s nowhere to put all this stuff. How can I clean when there’s nowhere to put anything? All I’d do is put it into more organized piles elsewhere in my room.

So I binge-watched “Marcella” and then slept for two and half hours before watching a movie with one of my roommates.

Here’s what I have:  25 bottles of essential oils, 20 books, 15 bottles of supplements. It’s embarrassing. Who needs all of that? But the frankincense is meditative, and the cinnamon is comforting, and the sandalwood is centering. It all says so right there on the bottle. The books are a collection of textbooks and self-help books. The supplements are multivitamins, digestive aids, sleep aids, immune support, brain health support, mood support. In the bathroom hallway I have even more supplements, which I get free or cheap from work, and no room to put anymore. I’ve given away as many as I can.

Speaking of the bathroom hallway, I have four shelves of stuff: towels, sheets, first aid, lotions, soap, beauty products, and of course, supplements. I feel like a hoarder.

One of the hallway shelves is bare, for the roommate who moved to this side of the house a month ago and now shares my bathroom, but she hasn’t used it. Before her I shared my bathroom with a guy who didn’t want or need any hall closet space, so I had all five shelves to myself. Too much stuff. But then, I used to have my own house, and they didn’t. They have always shared space with someone else.

This particular roommate is moving out soon, due to the fact that she’s pregnant with her fifth child. Where the other four live, I don’t know, nor is it my business. One of the little ones comes over on Sundays to visit, and his presence always makes me feel… unsettled. Being around little kids who live in what seems to me like a sad situation just makes me feel uncomfortable and depressed. Of course, I have no idea if his situation is sad—maybe he lives happily with loving grandparents or a dad who gives him everything he needs. All I know is his mom is a sober alcoholic who hasn’t been dating this new man for long and now she’s pregnant. It’s not the worst thing in the world. At least she’s sober, and she has a steady job, and she loves her kids very much.

Like I said, none of this is my business, and I have no idea what the situation really is. It’s judgmental of me to make assumptions. The real issue for me is that it makes me think of my own childhood. It’s not that I was in the same situation, but just that I was a sad child, and no one really knew that. I don’t think children are supposed to be sad. And any reminder of that just makes me feel sad.

This morning when I awoke I sat up in bed and looked around my room, and my eyes landed on the peace lily in the corner on my desk. I watered it two days ago, and now it’s standing straight up, leaning towards the window, towards the sun, behind closed blinds, because it takes indirect sun. Standing freakishly straight up. It just looks weird. The tips are brown, so I googled what to do about that, and apparently it means I’ve either over-watered the plant, or I’ve under-watered it. You can allow it to get slightly wilted before watering, but you don’t want to wait until it’s too wilted. I’ve done both, so I don’t really know what the deal is. It’s all about timing, which has never been my specialty. How does anyone ever know how to do anything?

Shelves. I will get shelves to put all this stuff on.

My mom’s words enter my mind: Go easy on yourself.

The good thing about peace lilies is that they are survivors. They do not die easily. I’m sure the brown tips will go away, and the plant will heal. It’s probably healing right now—you just can’t see it yet.


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