Clean your room.

“Most kind of stories save the best part for last.
Most stories have a hero who finds
you make your past your past”

Joshua Radin, Brand New Day

When I was younger, one of the biggest struggles I faced was keeping my room clean. It just seemed like it took so much time and energy to put things back where they belonged, or to make sure that my dirty clothes made it to the hamper instead of the floor.

To be honest, I still struggle with this a little bit. As I have gotten older, I find that I like my environment to be clean and organized. I like knowing where things are. I like knowing that if I get up in the middle of the night I am not going to break myself walking around the bed.

I like to put things in order, clean, straighten, organize, sort, donate. Things don’t get lost as often. Things don’t get broken as often. And I, clumsy as I am, don’t trip, stub, twist, puncture, or crunch myself as much.

A couple of months ago, I received an email from an old colleague asking if I knew some special secret to life. I was kind of baffled at the question, but then I realized that I did, in fact, have a secret.

I clean my room, constantly.

By that I mean, I put my past back behind me where it belongs. I let it go. I start over again. If it’s out, it’s not where it belongs, and it’s right there for me to keep on stumbling over.

When I answered my friend’s e-mail, here is what I said: “The best choice I make on a continual basis is to leave the past behind me. Honestly, if I had to give anyone only one piece of advice, that would be it. Leave it. It’s over. It can’t be changed, ever. So I could look back and see all of my failed attempts and let that define my reality – or I can look forward and see a blank page… the rest of my life waiting to be written, and I hold the pen.”

Or: Clean your room, and then get to work.

And try to enjoy it a little, if you can.



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