I wrote this back on April 1, 2012 and then promptly forgot about it. It still makes sense, so I’m posting it now.
I have sa
id that the only way my place would be totally clean was if we were sitting around naked, eating pizza off of paper plates. Since I don’t think that is ever going to happen, I have decided that I am going to change the way that I clean house. Spring Break was this week. I had dreams of heading back to work with lesson plans completed for the year and a clean house. It is Sunday morning and well, it isn’t going to be. There are still piles of laundry, the dishwasher is running (with all of the dirty dishes). There is garbage to be taken out (at least 3 trips), my school stuff is in several piles, in several different places. Honestly, I did work on the things that I wanted to (hoped would) get accomplished. But I’ve decided that I have HAD. For those of you who have never heard of HAD, I just made it up. Giving things an acronym makes them sound important. It stands for Housekeeping Attention Dysfunction. I have HAD enough of cleaning. I have HAD it with feeling that I can never get a single chore completely finished because; 1) someone always has MORE laundry, more dishes, more stuff, 2) something always manages to distract me from the job that I started so that lots of stuff gets started, but almost nothing gets finished and, 3) it seems that even when others help, there is the same amount of work to be done because they either make a larger mess, the job isn’t done well, it needs to be supervised (or checked up on or taught) or the whining associated with the request is such an annoyance that I just give up.
So, this morning when I realized that I didn’t get anything accomplished over break (I only took the boys for doctors appointments, took Michael to ride Po twice, took him to the pool, took him to 2 soccer games and 2 practices, went to the store numerous times, cleaned out the school supply box, took Michael to a friend’s for a sleepover, drove David to the movies, got a new phone since mine was broken, took Michael to buy a Kindle Fire, cleaned out files from the teacher I replaced, started lesson plans for 2 classes, cleaned out my closet, worked on a cross-stitch project and a number of other things I can’t think of right now), I decided that I was setting myself up for failure (for those of you who are FLYbabies, yes I used a timer – and failed miserably). So, when things aren’t working, it is time to make a change. I decided that I would forget about cleaning. Well, not totally. But for a bit. I started a load of laundry and emptied and reloaded the dishwasher and made coffee. Then, I went to color my hair. Yes, there are several bags of garbage that need to be taken out and various other chores but honestly, there is so much tha needs to be done, it doesn’t matter. There isn’t a single thing in my place that is totally clean and organized.
I was just going to color my roots as the grey was showing through. 15 minutes of waiting. And surprise, the bathroom counter is clean and under the sink is organized. The floor isn’t washed and the toilet wasn’t scrubbed. I didn’t even clean the mirror, but the sink is clean and the counter only has what is supposed to be on it. And I feel successful. Epiphany! I’ve been focusing on the wrong stuff – laundry and dishes.. The two things that will NEVER be finished. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? I can accomplish things and feel good about doing it, if I pick the right things to do. Duh.