Junk Drawers

I’ve written about junk drawers before… touched on it a bit anyway… and still I can’t quite shake the image from my mind as I try to process and sort through the thoughts and feelings that pop up every now and then.

I like to be able to put things in happy little boxes where everything just fits… but when it comes to my emotions?  It is a bit more likely that they are like the junk drawer I’m convinced everyone except my mother has in their kitchen.

You know the one where you just toss stuff in randomly until that day you decide to clean it out.  You painstakingly empty the drawer and look at each of the items that have lived there… old birthday candles, spare nails, cords to electronics you don’t likely own but can’t get rid of in case they are ever needed again…

you take each of the items and try to decide if you can safely discard this one or that, and finding a home for the things you decide to keep.

The drawer is clean and organized now but then there’s that pile of “leftovers”… the stuff you don’t yet feel comfortable letting go of, but it doesn’t exactly fit neatly in any particular space.  Hello feelings… many of which fit nicely in a box but it’s the pile of leftovers that I spend most of the time trying to figure out.  What if I didn’t?  What if I just left it on the counter and allowed myself the freedom to ignore it a while….?

This month is centered around Valentine’s day for so many.  So many of my friends are in happy and fulfilling relationships and I am truly happy for them.  I smile when the pictures of the newly engaged, newly married, and newly committed pass through my timeline.  Others are hurt by the over commercialized holiday… feeling less than appreciated by their partners and spouses, comparing their life to another and feeling less than…

Then there are those who are like me… alone doesn’t seem to be the right word here… true, I’m not in a committed relationship but I am surrounded by people who care for and about me.  It’s not love in the romantic, let’s-build-a-life-together kind of way, but it doesn’t make it any less real.  I feel the love of my friends and family as we share stories and movies and adventures, and, for the most part, I can shut the junk drawer that holds all the feelings and insecurities. 

I convince myself that I’m really too busy to open the drawer.  I don’t have the time to really sort through it and organize it anyway so instead I keep adding to the mix of things I’ll deal with later…eventually…someday.

I occupy my days and evenings with laughter and joy and caring for others and even, occasionally, allowing others to care for me… 

And then… in the quiet of the earliest morning hours, when I can’t sleep although the house is… when every creak and squeak that is normal in the country life I live is magnified against the still of the pre-dawn calm… when I lay awake, staring into the darkness that surrounds me and there is nothing to occupy my brain except the nagging from the junk drawer begging to be cleaned out… looked at… dealt with.

And sometimes I do… I open the drawer and try to look inside.  Pulling an item or two out and trying to decide where it really should go.  Tossing things to the side because they no longer suit me.  Believing that I’ve no longer got a need for this feeling or that and that I can finally let it go… 

Exhausted now, I go to close the drawer… feeling accomplished for removing at least a few of the feelings that have weighed me down… only to turn right around and rescue them from the trash pile because I can’t yet discard that which I thought I was rid of. 

Because you never know when you might really need the charging cord for the cell phone you had 10 years ago… 


It’s never too late to join in on the Axis of Ineptitude blogging challenge. Play along in as many or few as you want!
February Blogging Challenge



  1. I really like how you used a junk drawer as a metaphor for a place for emotions. This is totally true with me. There are some emotions and feelings that have their exact place but then there are leftovers that have no real home, be it because they are temporary, not fully processed, or not being dealt with. Sometimes it’s a good thing to clean out the junk drawer.

Speak Your Mind