I go into every weekend with all the things I want to accomplish. Get the house in order. Do all the laundry. Spend some time at my sewing machine. Work in the yard. You name it and I’ve probably got it on this large list of weekend get it done things. I would love to have every single one of those things done too because this isn’t just a wish list. you know. It’s about the perfect 5 minutes when your house is pristine and you take that nice breathe deep in appreciation. You know it will not last but you relish that brief moment of how pretty it can all look. That’s my goal every weekend. That 5 minute appreciation and wow does this look great sensation.
I start out very ambitious about my weekend list by about Wednesday of my work week mostly because I’m ready to move. I’m tired of sitting in meetings, working on stuff for someone else and feeling like I’m missing the point of what it is all really about and why it’s so important after all. As soon as I get done with work there are family responsibilities of preparing a meal, cleaning up some and catching up with everyone. It’s not that I am not grateful because I am immensely but I’m craving that order and something I create for my own pleasure and satisfaction. A look and feel that makes me feel like what I’m working for is being reflected in how my house looks. That my home and yard are not just going to waste because my attention is always somewhere else.
We have done a lot of purging over the years. If I had my full way I’d rid a lot more to be honest. I don’t do well with lots of stuff that ends up as clutter, things to move when you need to clean or things sitting everywhere. I find it distracting. It makes my mind stop being creative and I feel weighed down. Trust me I have enough weight on my body as it is I don’t need help from stuff too. So when I see things out of place or piling up I get anxious. I get frigidity and grumpy. I start my weekend list with removing these things to their proper place and I start seeing Friday as a gateway to reclaiming my sanity from stuff just sitting around where it doesn’t belong. Yes this is exactly where it begins week after week.
Here’s an example, I’m writing this blog sitting in my living room on a beautiful morning. It’s going to be a pretty day and the sun is peaking through the blinds giving just that right amount of light to the room. Instead of thinking this is wonderfully relaxing and how delightful I can write while the family sleeps, I’m seeing things that need to be moved to my son’s room and dog toys scattered everywhere. The sofa needs to be moved back in place now that virtual karate is over. Oh and there’s a bag clip under it that I can see along with at least 2 dog balls that always find a spot there. A Gatorade bottle is left by the TV and the shoes by the back door are all in a pile instead of neat. Then there is the dust that needs to be wiped up and my Christmas cactus probably needs some water. Yep this is what I’m thinking of instead of how wonderful it is this morning and that we’ll probably play in the pool today.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we let to-dos and things take away our moments of joy and relaxation? My living room isn’t how I like to see it right now but it’s not awful either. Trust me it’s been much worse. Yet instead of just being right now I’m focusing on the look. This look after all sets the tone right? Wouldn’t this moment be perfect if only my living room was in order? Realizing my son and husband are not tidy like I am and letting it go until they get up and pick up after themselves I’m letting it take my few minutes to myself in distraction and mild irritation. It’s like a deep nagging tug from my soul that this moment cannot be enjoyed unless everything is cleaned, organized and put away.
Here’s the reality at least in my house. I work really hard to get the house cleaned regularly. My son and husband pitch in on some things too even though I know and they know too it’s really because everyone here knows I don’t like messy, dirty or disorganized. My house rarely as in hardly ever is completely in that perfect place of everything being done. Maybe it gets all cleaned but I’m still doing a load of wash or that cleaned laundry still needs to be put away. The point is there is always something else to do or that could be done. It never seems like it is absolutely complete. The illusion of that complete perfect moment doesn’t exist except in magazines. I’ve had to learn that the hard way and sometimes I still don’t believe it.
The other reality is by the time I manage to accomplish that big to-do list, if I accomplish it all, I’m exhausted. As in I’m over the 10,000 steps a day, I’m filthy dirty and sweaty, probably hungry and just ready for a nap, in clean sheets of course. So for enjoying that moment when it’s all done, I’m too tired to do that and could care less by that point. By the time I recover trust me something else will be needing to be picked up, moved, wiped or swept. So it literally feels like I did it for nothing. It completely makes me appreciate anyone who has hired out their housework because it feels like the most thankless job I’ve ever done.
Lastly I’ve never understood the slightly offset, messy, lived in but not lived in look. It is as if we are to have our homes look like someone lives there but not really. My favorite is the intentionally arranged blanket in a certain way to make it look like someone used it but you know they didn’t. In fairness they didn’t use it in my house looking like that because it would otherwise be on the floor or in a crumbled heap on the sofa. Let’s face it some of these lived in not lived in looks are harder than the 90s Jennifer Anniston hairstyle we all tried to achieve. I’ve learned you can’t have it both ways. It is either picked up, cleaned and tidy or it isn’t. There is an inbetween when it comes to a halfway lived in look.
Yet every weekend I have these same ambitions. I’m like an addict who can’t stop. I desire that clean home, perfect order look because it’s what my mind is telling me I need in order to relax. I’ve spent entire weekends cleaning without a minute to relax before going to work on Monday because of my mind. It’s not much fun. Yet that look is powerful to me. It makes me feel good when the house is well put together. It is like going out in the power outfit that makes your butt look good and your confidence soar. It gives me that sense of appreciation that all I toil over during the week is reflected in my home. It’s like having a decadent delicious dessert that looks as fabulous as it taste with every bite!
I’ve come to realize, though not always accept, that my son and husband don’t care about how clean the house is. They pick up because they know it makes me happy and it does. Therefore I’ve worked really hard to find that balance of wanting the perfect clean house with what it means to live with two people who don’t care about that. It is why I chose to write this blog instead of going over to sort through the shoes sitting by the back door in a heap. It’s why I’ve sat here and let the dog play with her toys rather than picking them up for her. It is also why when my son gets up he’ll be picking up that bag clip and putting it away and taking his books back up to his room later. The rest I can manage to overlook as the sun is shining through the window at just the right angle to let me know it’s going to be a pretty day today. I’ve learned that living natural is finding this balance where we tell our mind to hush and we savor the moment as beautiful anyway in a slightly disorganized room with pillows not in their rightful position. That is the beauty of finding balance in living naturally. It is also less stressful.
I say all this as I go to the kitchen for another cup of coffee and pick up the crumbled blanket someone left on the floor last night while watching movies. I “casually” throw it on the sofa in my own designer lived in look way. . .
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