The sink was full of three-day worth of dishes. I had just finished drinking my coffee, so I did the sensible thing: First, rinse the cup slightly. Second, stack it on top of other plates. Third, avoid looking at the sink for the foreseeable future.
Dishes: out of sight, out of mind.
I went back to sit on my sofa, put my laptop on my lap, and hit refresh. Refresh. Refresh. No email came. Again, refresh. I was waiting for a reply from my supervisor regarding my thesis focus, and I couldn’t do anything useful if he didn’t approve the topic. So refresh. Refresh.
After staring blankly at my laptop for ten minutes, I closed it. I went back to the kitchen to make a cup of green tea, and saw the dirty dishes. Ah, might as well clean them. At least, it would take my mind off other things.
Thesis: out of sight, out of mind.
I went to my room. There was a pile of only-worn-once-in-the-past-week clothes on top of my red, square chair. I sighed. I grabbed one jacket, and put it on top to cover all the other clothes.
Messy clothes: out of sight, out of mind.
I did that a lot.
The problem’s still there actually. You can take your mind off certain things, but it’s just a matter of time until you need to face it again. Tick tock. Tick tock. If I find myself not wanting to confront a problem, I would think to myself, ‘Let the tomorrow-me deal with it. Probably she would be wiser and somehow find the energy and will to do things.’
But the tomorrow-me would think that it’s best to let the-day-after-tomorrow-me to tackle the situation. And it goes on, until I arrive at the one-day-me who can’t afford to keep a problem out of sight because it’d be still there on her mind.
Keeping things out of sight is useful and effective, but it’s also a lie, because essentially you’re just walking in a circle. Keeping things out of sight would keep them off your mind, but only for a while. You’ll have to deal with them sooner or later, and probably, it’s wiser to just deal with them now.
Here are the things that I want to keep out of sight at the moment: starting my thesis proposal, editing my short fiction, cleaning the apartment, thinking about my thesis proposal.
I’ll start doing them, but for the moment, let me take a long, long shower.
Photo by Enrico Policardo, Creative Commons