For extra allowance, my parents begged me to take on the task of creating order in the food pantry. I was neat, careful with fragile objects, and artistic. My parents knew I would be perfect for the job, plus they had no one else to turn to. As there was always chaos in my family environment, the food pantry was a perfect mirror of our family dynamic. Knowing they would always need my services, I negotiated a higher fee. The truth is I would have done it for free, but on principle I wanted to fleece them. I would go into an altered state arranging and rearranging the cans of food. There was no logic in placement; it was based purely on whatever delighted my visual senses. Cans were arranged by color and ascending and descending order. I think it was my first art show. As long as it visually excited me, I didn’t care if the most used items were on a top shelf out of reach. I admired my work of art, as did everyone in the family who saw it, and then destroyed it by disrupting the exquisite design I had lovingly created. I guess they just wanted to eat the food instead of stare at it. I love order, control, and objects placed and angled in a certain way that pleases my eye. Once an object has found the perfect spot, it might never be moved again. When an object is out of its alignment, I will not rest until I’ve moved it several increments in either direction until it is once more restored to its visually perfect place. Yes, I know this might be a bit of a personality disorder, but it gives me such a sense of joy I don’t really care. As this year comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on all that did and didn’t happen in the past year, and how little control I had over any of it. The upcoming year will also be out of my control, and life will unfold according to its own design. So how does a person like me accept that? It’s really very simple, I control to the best of my ability the space I inhabit. The physical space and my inner space. Recently I felt an emotional sadness that didn’t belong to me; I think I just got misted by the energy around me. I couldn’t shake it, it wasn’t mine, but it was on me. I surrendered to the feelings and waited for the fever to break. I tried to distract myself as best I could, and reminded myself that it would eventually change. Nothing lasts forever, not the good and not the bad. There is an ebb and flow to life but even that is something that can’t be predicted or controlled. So, a well-placed object may be my only shot at total dominance over my universe. I’m glad I’m not really in charge, that would ruin the surprise of a new year. Like a present I haven’t unwrapped yet, the start of a new year always fills me with wonder. Wishing you all many wonderful surprises in the year to come.