We were recently talking about my next book—which is about celebrity obsession and perfectionism, and how I’m going to try and incorporate the aspects of celebrities’ lives that I most admire into my own (Jennifer Aniston’s fitness, Gwyneth Paltrow’s cooking, Jennifer Garner’s marriage, etc.)—and Matt’s response was “which celebrity focuses on having a cleaner house?” Perhaps I’ll need to incorporate Martha.
My spring cleaning is more like spring listing. In order to extract some order from the chaos, I write lists. Normal productive lists, like “Potential Book Picks for Book Club” and “To Do For Work” and “To Buy,” and some that are less so, like “Every Winner of Survivor, Not In Order” (this one I just tried to see if I could name them all. I could).
So I’ve decided to use this opportunity to construct a Spring Cleaning list. My father’s favorite saying was “when in doubt, throw it out.” I should probably embrace it.
Here, the things (physical and emotional) I doubt, and thus must throw out:
— Pair of heels I’ve never worn but can’t get bring myself to get rid of because they are fancy designer shoes that were 90% off.
— The self-imposed email guilt. (Just answer them or delete them. Make a decision, Bertsche.)
— Books taking up valuable room on my bookshelf that I have no plans of reading or disliked intensely. (In this case, don’t throw out. DONATE!)
— DVR series recordings of Gossip Girl, Mad Men, and Project Runway. I don’t watch these shows, whether I want to or not. Stop using valuable recording space!
— Preconceived notions of what my next book “should” read like or look like. Second books can be hard, with the reader comments from book one still ringing in your ears.
— Plastic baggie filled with peanut butter filled pretzels in the cupboard. Nothing good is coming from that.
— Inclination to compare myself to other young 20-something (er, 30-something) memoir writers with brand new books on the shelves. (Remember: the book world is vast and the very best thing for all authors is for readers to read. Period. Any books at all.)
There are so many–so many!–things I’m missing. To what in your life will you apply my dad’s “when it doubt, throw it out” motto?