Published 3:39 pm Thursday, May 26, 2011

If you heard a distress call from a woman who sounded like she was drowning in a sea of despair a couple of weeks ago-it was coming from the Knott House. Yep, I was whining and complaining about being overloaded with work-the kind I get paid for and the volunteer kind involved in helping organize an annual festival. I'd fall into bed at night with visions of local government budgets dancing in my head while my things to do list for the festival seemed to take the plump right out of my pillow.

There wasn't a minute to spare-or so it seemed. I even caught the dog trying to call an animal welfare helpline to complain that he hadn't been for a walk in over a week.

I was definitely in my hectic-hassled mode and with all I had to do, I decided it was time to switch out the winter clothes for the summer ones. That's right. While notes and recordings from meetings begged to be turned into articles; and, my festival to do list relentlessly multiplied, I cleaned out dresser drawers and closets.

My explanation to that man-of-mine when he gave me that are you out of your mind look was quick and to the point. “I've just got to do this,” I said as I clipped him with a laundry basket filled with gloves and heavy sweatshirts. “And, I need shorts,” I added for further justification.

The stressed shoulders loosened with each dive into the cedar chest. Sorting through sweaters soothed the spirit and the soul-until I got to my favorite v-neck cashmere that I shrunk when I washed it the week before because I was too busy multi-tasking to remember to click the machine's steam button to off. I reconciled my disappointment by noticing that the sweater should be just the right size for my five-year-old granddaughter.

Several hours of reorganizing drawers and re-outfitting the closet did the trick. I felt like I had actually accomplished something and was more than ready to tackle a brewing budget controversy. Wow, if I only had time to scrub the kitchen floor, I'd be as relaxed as…that guy sprawled on the couch with the remote in hand.

So what is it about those of us of the female gender that makes us want to super-clean the bathroom or organize underneath the kitchen sink when life has us running in circles? Why, when we are at our busiest and/or most stressed do we decide it's time to clean out the refrigerator or tackle one of the junk drawers?

I think I found the answer the other night when flipping through my June issue of RealSimple Magazine. Although, in reality, I probably knew the answer deep within my being but just couldn't pull it to the surface or put it into words.

There it was, a page featuring a cluttered cupboard that looked much like one in my house-scattered between the company's coming glasses and bowls were treasured family photos and memorabilia. The caption underneath the cupboard offered a quote from The Diary of Anais Nin. It read, “When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings…As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.”

Reckon there's any chance I could've said it any better? KNOTT MUCH.