Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Perspective: Half Clean or Half Messy?

Yesterday I took a day off from cleaning. All I did was maintain. By that I mean that used dishes got washed, dirty clothes were deposited in the hamper, etc. But I didn't try to break any new ground. It was after all Sunday, the day of rest. My husband convinced me to nap instead of clean. The nap was several hours long so I guess I needed it, but I digress.

Today I decided to get back at it. It's rather difficult to get motivated though. Maybe you're one of those people that enjoys cleaning for some reason, I'm not. The word chore definitely applies in my case. A past problem has been that I look at all that needs to be done and get discouraged. How could I ever possibly get it all done? It tends to overwhelm me.
Library, pre-clean.

Taking it in small pieces, not even allowing myself to think about more than the task at hand, has helped. In fact "just doing it" has resulted in a clean and organized laundry room, guest room, sitting room and kitchen. My master bed, library, dining room, family room and nursery aren't bad either.

This has led to a new issue. One that I've never had to deal with before. Now I look at my home, through eyes accustomed to seeing a cluttered mess, and see my house as clean. I've let up on my quest because my house looks so good. To me. Then I pretend that I'm my grandma. Oh, now I see it. There's still tons to do.
Look past my cute family to see the mess that I try to frame out of my photos.

I've done a lot of work. I'm proud of myself. The excuses that always seem to crop up about cleaning in the generations after my grandma have not stopped me. My husband is also proud of me. And has said so many times in the past week. This has two contradictory effects on me. Part of me wants to show him that this is nothing, wait 'til you see it when I'm done. The other part of me preens and sees my job as almost done. (Which leads me to sit back and enjoy my delusions of being done.)

The truth is... my house is better than it's ever been. AND it still needs a lot of work. There are many nitpicky little things that I have to figure out. (For instance that tiny corner of counter space in the kitchen.) There are bigger things as well. We still have a number of boxes to unpack. The tough ones full of miscellaneous things that do not have obvious homes. The stuffed animals need to be sorted and put up in the nursery pet net. My studio, well, it needs me to figure out storage solutions for the myriad craft supplies and photography equipment, while still looking nice enough to use for my photography clients. Assuming I get some. The floors, walls, baseboards, windows, nooks and crannies could use a good cleaning. My cabinets and closets would benefit from streamlining. I could go on.

So which perspective do I choose? Do I go with the one that makes me feel good about myself and fires me up to maintain the good work I've done but does nothing to motivate me to continue making progress? Or do I go with the realistic one that deflates me with all that is still left to do? Is there a happy medium that will enable me to see the work that needs to be done, but in small increments that my new-found housekeeping self-esteem can tackle? I don't know.

No comments:

Post a Comment