A couple weeks ago, I was talking with some other bloggers about our messy bedrooms. We all had a couple things in common: we all write about our lives on the internet, we are all relative perfectionists, we all keep the front of our homes neat and tidy, and we all have secret shame about the state of our own rooms. We laughed about the ways we divert people from ever entering our rooms, and confessed our mortification over babysitters seeing our private mess. But then the conversation turned more reflective (as conversations with interesting women often do) and we started to analyze why. Why would we keep the front of our home clean, but ignore the area that is supposed to be our personal space? Isn’t it a bit counterproductive to keep up appearances in the more public spaces and then neglect the more intimate and private space? I’ve thought a lot about this conversation, and how much the state of my bedroom is a metaphor for my own state of self-care. It does seem to get messier in relation to the overall stress in my life. When I’m not taking care of myself, both physically and mentally, the bedroom reflects that. Lately, my bedroom has reached an epic level of chaos. My side of the room is nearing a HAZMAT situation. I don’t like this about myself – and it’s not just about the bedroom – it’s about what it all represents. It’s about me keeping up appearances in the front of my house (both literally and metaphorically) and then neglecting the inner sanctuary. It’s about me cleaning up the living room before the sitter comes and then sitting on an unmade bed amidst tossed-off clothes as I work. It’s about taking the time to write a blog post when I haven’t taken the time to exercise. It’s about returning emails instead of putting my laundry away. It’s about feeding the kids a healthy lunch and then eating whatever they leave behind. It’s about updating my twitter status instead of updating my ipod. It’s about praying at the dinner table but not praying when I’m alone. I’m keeping up appearances, but I’m not taking care of myself. I’m not doing the things that I need to do to keep my mind and body in a healthy place. A year ago I decided to try a hedonist phase. I have failed miserably at that. Now, my goal is just self-care. And I’m going to start with cleaning my room.