The Kitchen Cabinet of Doom

My lovely friend Sarah has a weekly link post that she calls ‘The Bedside Table’ because it’s full of random, lovely, memorable things. In an alternate universe, my blog has a clever, pithy and winsome name for my not-organized-enough-to-be-weekly link dump post. But in this universe, the post is called whatever I happen to think of. Today it’s called the Kitchen Cabinet of Doom because, apparently, my kitchen cabinet is filled with everything I can think of, in no particular order. (Note: this cabinet is directly above the stove.)

My sister’s heart rate is increasing just looking at this picture.

And every once in a while, something scary happens:

This is what happens when a jar falls out of said cabinet INTO THE CURRY. Be thankful I didn’t show you the ceiling, wall, floor and my shirt.

Hopefully, nothing quite as jarring (BA! jarring!) will happen in this post.

Men, watch this, and make sure you take notes about what not to say to your wife.

Everyone, watch this. Be amused and get ready to speak in hilarious British accents all weekend.

Speaking of the British, apparently we’re all adopting some new lingo.

I can’t wait for this movie to come out!

Lovely thoughts about Quebec, young love, and the Parti Québécois.

And, with it being the beginning of a new month and all, a little honesty:

Happy Monday and Happy October 1!

The People We Never Were (And Probably Never Will Be)

Change is in the air. We’re in that awkward time of year when it’s still super hot out, but the evenings are quickly becoming cool. When stores are a mess of back to school fashion and bathing suits on clearance. It’s not quite Fall and it’s just barely still Summer.

For over-achievers like me, this means it’s time to make massive to-do lists (before school starts), vow serious life-style changes (no more desserts) and dream about reform and organization (alphabetized bookcases!). Oh, the great plans I have made…

Here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head list for the next week: clean out closets, organize desk, print and frame pictures, write letters to parents and grandparents, learn the Hindi alphabet, finish paperwork, figure out a new phone plan, write future blog posts, read three books, organize our calendars, make homemade pesto, deal with the scary pile of stuff in our bedroom, and spend time with as many friends as possible. And this is meant to be on top of work, ministry, marriage, exercise and sleeping.

The person I strive to be everyday is, I think, mythical. She’s athletic, funny, smart, quadra-lingual, sexy, organized, generous, crafty, punctual. She hands every thing in early, she makes homemade bread, buys local and organic. She doesn’t support slavery, has her hard drive backed up and has finished decorating her apartment. She doesn’t need sleep, doesn’t need caffeine and never gets distracted by social media. This is the person I fail to be everyday. This is the person I will never be.

The strangest part about this is that I’m fairly efficient and a hard worker. But I’m also effusively social and spontaneous. And I do love sleep. So I climb into bed every night, staring at piles, listing off tasks un-done and willing myself to wake up earlier and try harder.

And you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being mad at myself for not regularly (ever) sanitizing fridge drawers and for not continuing to learn German. Varun, my wise and encouraging husband, says I need to remind myself of who I am in Jesus. (Remind me to print and frame something like this). And you know what? He’s right.

Knowing who I am gives me the freedom to recognize and accept who I am not.

I’m not the kind of person who mops her floor much. (Much means more than 1 X in 6 months).

We’re not the kind of people who get excited about sports events like the Olympics or Superbowl, nor do we know the difference between the Oscars and the Emmys.

I’m not the kind of person who can succeed in any DIY project. I don’t paper maiche, I don’t find cupcake recipes off of Pintrest and I’m never going to open an Etsy shop.

I’m not a schedule person. There is no “We usually eat supper at…”

We’re not the kind of people who go shopping together. We don’t go on dates to the mall. Or the farmer’s market. In fact, one person in this couple buys the clothes for both of us.

I’m not the kind of person who replies promptly to emails. I have emails starred for reply since April 2011.

We’re not pop culture people. Don’t expect Varun in skinny jeans or me to know more than one Nicki Minaj song.

I’m not the kind of person who remembers birthdays, gets cards to you on time or sends gifts. This goes for Christmas too: there aren’t mass mailings of Christmas cards or handmade gifts.

We’re not a super romantic couple. (Am I allowed to say that?!?! This is an upcoming post topic). Of course we love each other and have a blast together. But there aren’t a lot of long-stem roses and little black dresses happening here.

I’m not the kind of person who wipes out the kitchen sink. Or cleans my trunk. Or vacuums my car.

Whew. This was super freeing. I could go on, but then you would fall asleep on your keyboard. And I don’t know if you’re the kind of person who cleans their keyboard or not, so best not to drool on your laptop.

What about you? What kind of expectations, ideals, habits or virtues do you not have/meet/possess? How do you manage your self-criticism and frustrations?

How To Keep a Beautifully Clean House

Okay, I lied. If you clicked on this title hoping for the answer, you’re going to be disappointed. This is more of a “How To Not…”

Me: Varun, I need something to blog about. Help me think of a topic. Like, what do I care about? Ooooh. What do I rant about?

Varun: Oh haha, buddy! You rant about lots of things. Most things. Pick anything.

And there you have it: another moment of revelation whilst brushing my teeth. Except before I had time to brainstorm, I saw this.

The curtains in our bedroom

I know. It hurts my heart too. The uneven ties, the falling rod, the curtains that slide to the left more times than I can slide them back in a given day.

And so I’ve stumbled upon my rant: getting stuff done. Varun loves to tell people that my name, Amelia, means “Industrious”. And it does (Nothing says “I have Germanic roots” like a name that could describe a BMW factory…). Most days, I’m pretty industrious. I’m disciplined about exercise, schoolwork, eating healthy foods and getting things done in advance. Except anything cleaning/housework related.

Example A:

A few months ago I was driving across the US border and the snoopy border guard said,

BG: So, you exported this car from the USA?

Me: Yes. Um, how’d you know that? (Thinking his computer is super fancy)

BG: You still have your registration tags on your windshield.

Me: Oh, haha. Sorry.

BG: They’re from last year. Why haven’t you taken them off yet?

Me: (In my head: Have you seen my closets, buddy? One year is nothing in Amelia To-D0 List Time….)

So what is my deal? How am I capable of making homemade tomato sauce and planting basil from seed and yet am completely unwilling (unable?) to organize my closets and clean out my trunk?

You know what keeps those curtains crooked? My fear of the futile. We’ve moved so many times that I think I’m just afraid to care. If I spend the afternoon baking cookies, I expect them to be gone in three hours days. And that’s okay. But when I hang pictures, I’m haunted by the thought that we’ll just move again. Also, our walls are concrete. It takes a hammer drill and some serious strength to get a screw in. And do you know what a pain it is to hang pictures on screws? You have to rig up your own little hooky thingy.

And here’s my other problem with the whole organized/housework thing. I love spending time with people. And so does Varun. Like yesterday, I was going to deal with the Pile O’ Junk next to my dresser. But then a friend texted to ask if I could help out. And then I visited a neighbor. And then we had an impromptu dinner with a friend. And then went to another friend’s house and sipped Freezies/Push-up-pops/Chuski’s and talked about life. And then it was 11 pm and I was totally over the desire to clean. My point is, housework just always falls to the bottom of the list because I don’t mind much, Varun doesn’t mind much and we still don’t have domestic help. (Whooooa Nelly. Don’t judge. Read the link)

Okay, this is my last problem. Things don’t stay organized. I guess because it’s not a priority for me, or because my brain can’t think in boxes, but I have no problem ditching my systems. Maybe I’m too flexible? Or is this what they mean when they say “lazy”?

Anyway. I have two points here. The first is, I think we can all agree that’s there’s way too much guilt and stress going around. So I’m joining Jessi at Naptime Diaries and giving up some good. Not that hanging pictures and scrubbing the bathtub doesn’t need to be done. Trust me, it does. But I’m just gonna chill out a bit on this one. Yup, you heard me: I am dealing with my lack of motivation by choosing to care less. HUZZAH.

You know the whole thing about not airing your dirty laundry….Well, Hello, Internet! (To be fair, this was after being gone for two weeks….)

But, just in case I feel motivated: HELP! Any thoughts on how to have a DIY/Pintrest-worthy house when neither you or your spouse/roommate/Mom/hamster care much?

*To my Man Blog Readers: Let’s be real here, this is not a “ladies” issue. Any thoughts or advice is totally appreciated!

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