I feel as if my tiny house has taken a dive into chaos recently, so instead of cleaning it up, I’m writing a blog post. Not sure this is really the sensible approach to the chaos, but maybe it’ll inspire me to de-clutter tomorrow.

Chaos item #1: A sock hanging over one of my inspiration blackboards. These are three little blackboards — different shapes — that hang over a long high window. They’re near the ceiling, and I write reminders to myself on the boards in colored chalk, things like, “Daydream more, worry less,” and “Trust your intuition.” At the moment, one of them is mostly covered with a single sock.

I found the sock in the street. I actually walked by it three times, because it had been raining and it was sopping wet and muddy, before I finally picked it up and brought it home with me. Who brings a dirty sock home? Well, I did, because it’s a gray sock patterned with red ladybugs, and on the days that I walked by it, I was thinking as I walked about my mom and wondering what she would think about this memoir I’m not really writing. It feels impossible to write about my experience of parenting without also writing about my experience of being parented; the two are inextricably intertwined. But ladybugs always make me think of my mom and there it was, a dirty sock covered with ladybugs, almost yelling at me, “go for it, air the dirty laundry, it’s all yours.” I washed it before I hung it over my blackboard, which wasn’t intended to symbolically wash said dirty laundry, but it’s there as a reminder; my mom cannot be hurt by anything I write.

Chaos item #2: a little pile of jewelry next to my bed. Rings I keep putting on and taking off, a necklace or two or three. Jewelry has so much nostalgia value. Much of my jewelry was given to me, one way or another. One silver ring is a reminder of a trip to North Carolina; another of a trip to Hawaii; a third of living in San Francisco back when I was twenty-five. I’m not sure why I need these things to be out right now — surely I can be nostalgic about those times and places without the physical objects cluttering up my life? — but instead of putting them back in the little jewelry travel case I use instead of a box, I’m letting them sit.

Chaos item #3: a little pile of books, real paper books, on the other side of the bed. I’ve been picking them up from the little free libraries around Arcata, and they’re the most bizarre collection. One is literally a romance from 1982 that I loved, probably in 1982, and haven’t seen since. Another is a book on deepening our relationships with dogs, a third is titled, “I Feel Great and You Will Too,” and promises practical tips for scoring big in life. Each one is from a different little free library, and each one felt like it was meant for me when I spotted it.

Funny thing, though: my tiny house does not have a reading light. I settled in one evening, opened up a book, and realized, “I can’t read this. It’s dark in here.” I forgot that paper books require light to be shining on the page in order to decipher the text. There’s not enough light in my tiny house to read at night. So there the books sit, waiting for… well, maybe for summer, when it will be light enough to read during the hours I usually read for pleasure. That’s not a metaphor, although it feels like one.

Chaos item #4: scissors and tape and bits of paper debris. A string of colored lights, rolled up in a ball, sitting on my coat rack’s shelf. Some cardboard boxes, a packing envelope or two, miscellaneous bags. Tis the season. I just fell down the delightful internet rabbit hole of words to describe feelings that we don’t really have words for in English, and have pulled myself free with great reluctance. Suffice to say, my chaos reminds me that we celebrate light out of darkness. Or maybe light in the darkness. Maybe tomorrow I’ll clean up, or maybe tomorrow I’ll dig out some Christmas cards and send some wishes for holiday cheer winging through the mail.

Meanwhile, though, today was a little short on vegetables and a little high on sugar, although Shine On to me for 8674 steps of walking, not including plenty of steps taken sans telephone. Still, I am committed to going to sleep early, to hit 2 out of 3 on my DRP, which means turning off the internet in exactly two minutes. Cutting a blog post short, perhaps, but fingers crossed for cozy successful sleeping. And someday soon, but not today, more on the DRP.