When I was younger, I didn't care much about order. Didn't care if my bed was made, if the dishes were done, things like that.
Partially, I guess, it's a normal thing for a kid to not care about those things. Also, my parents are very clean and orderly people, and I've heard a lot of times generations switch patterns between generation - one generation will be into order, the next will find it oppressive and be messy, the one after that will find the messiness awful and tend to be much more orderly, etc, etc.
I don't know if that's true - I haven't seen any studies on it. Sounds reasonable, though.
So yeah, when I was younger, I didn't care. I wanted to read my books and play Chess at the cafe or do interesting things, and cleaning seemed like it didn't fit the bill. I figured I thrived well enough in chaos, and I'd rather have a chaotic environment and more time to myself.
I'm not exactly sure when that changed, but I've done a 180 on it.
Nowadays, when my mind is scattered and I'm having a hard time thinking, I tend to like cleaning. If your environment is a mess, it kind of pulls your thoughts in all directions as you look around. Also, cleaning is one of those things where your mind is busy on something else, but you can do great thinking in the back of your mind - similar to how you can have such creative thoughts when showering. You're kind of working sideways at whatever you're working on.
Naturally orderly people don't need this message since they're already doing it. But if you think you thrive in chaos, then try cleaning the next time you're confused or mentally scattered. Don't worry about cleaning everything, just start picking up the stuff that's most obviously in the wrong place and putting it away, throwing it away, whatever. Maybe run a cloth or paper towel over a dusty surface. If you have 4-6 items on your desk, put them in a nice pretty sort of pattern.
It's like magic, really. The orderly already know this, but if you've never tried cleaning when you're having a hard time thinking - well, I highly recommend you try it.
I thought I was the only one! Cleaning takes my mind off things. I usually feel refreshed once I see all my books and papers piled up neatly on my desk.
Cleaning absolutely helps. Sometimes, I'll be working on a project at my desk for long enough that I end up surrounded in piles of paper, empty mugs, and other random items. It's funny how this physical mess ends up creating a sort of mental fog, where I don't feel like getting anything done, so I typically get up from my chair, step back, and sort things into a pile. Even forming piles is better than leaving things scattered around. It's the structure that probably helps. Good post!
Ephemeralization's been a really interesting effect concurrent with the fat loss; 34 pounds since the new year. Okay, the pantry and closet emptying might have been predictable, but the bookcases and weapons rack?! Huh.
I've noticed this helps too. I'll even put off certain chores in case I need to do this.
I think it has something to do with letting your mind wonder, like you already pointed out. But also as something more. You just accomplished something. A chore now complete. It's a micro-win, which could be just the thing you need when you're feeling scattered. A little boost, to reassure you that even though your mind feels out of whack, you can still get something done. All while letting your mind solve bigger problems.
What's cyclothymia? It's a mild form of the docs used to call "manic-depression," but which they re-name periodically. Cyclothymics can actually function decently well, and as such often don't know they've got it. If you cycle through highs and lows, are particularly artistic, or that describes someone you love, then read this post in full and please comment with your own experience. I'm still learning, myself.
AN INTRODUCTION TO CYCLOTHYMIA
Knowing the term "Cyclothymia" would have been very helpful to me a few years ago. This essay is plain English and, if I've done a good job, might help people who associate with a cyclothymic relate better to them, and might help a cyclothymic manage themselves better and produce better.
I'm against the "medical-ization" of life. We need medical terms, but we need to be able to explain things in plain English without labeling. Labeling, by definition, drastically simplifies.
Cyclothymia is simple at its roots, simple enough for a plain discussion without medicalization. Here's how it works for me -
I have a lot of questions about the entire universe. Why are there feelings and emotions? Where did they come from? Who came up with letters and numbers? Why should we be learning about these ridiculous things at school?
School is hard. Remembering so many different techniques and words. It's exhausting to do this 10 months a year. Start school to graduate and go to college. Then, get a good job and work a whole lot. After, take care of the kids, if you have any, and then die. Great. Life and its awesome moments and experiences sucks either ways. Everybody gets sick of working or doing something over and over again. I believe that work never ends. Even when you are having a conversation with someone, you think of what you should and shouldn't say. Ask yourself if what's coming out of your mouth is worth saying.
As good as life can get, it always has a price. I need freedom and to let go of stupid rules and lies that the older folks tell us. In Science today, my teacher took off points of my lab exam because i glued a half of a sprite bottle on my project. He said it was useless. I told him that things would change when i was going to be in charge of the education minister. I will make school worth living for. Have you ever seen the movie accepted? I absolutely think it's brilliant! It's this guy who got rejected to a bunch of schools and started a college of his own just to get his parents off his back. I wonder what kind of parents there are out there. My parents let us do pretty much what we want and are the most loving of all.
I wanna know why we live. My friend, Jessica, attempted suicide not too long ago and i just found out today. I have had weird thoughts on suicide but trust me, i've had them. Not because i was really miserable or i had problems. Because i wondered why i should work hard in life. I never was actually able to take away my own life because i start thinking of people who are dying and don't want to. A mom who just past because there was an earthquake. Did she want to die? No. If she could of lived for her kids, would she have? Yeah... probably. People who have cancer and don't have much time left know they're dying, and you're just there wanting to kill yourself for pain that can be healed. Amber, the famous Amber, might have cancer. In 2 years, she might die. I learned that earlier and was completely shocked. The stories in the books and movies are happening at my school right now.
It gets me thinking sometimes when i realize the luck i have. I wonder how many thoughts we have in our heads every single day. Finn is still on my mind and i don't know what to do about it. I keep thinking of things i could tell him but then choke. My mouth can't pronounce these words that i desperately want to say. In P.E class, i was the only girl who played hockey off-ice. I had fun kicking boys asses because i was proving them wrong. This guy in 10th grade was playing and he's super popular and suppose to be..... " hot ". I'm just this little 8th grader who's the only girl playing the sport. What made me extremely proud was, i was beating his ass so hard he started raging. I'm good at sports. There's another thing, i hate sports.