Seriously, if this year needed a subtitle, like they do in the movies, this would be the one for me.
I am in something of a reflective mood today, after I attended the funeral of a friend’s Father yesterday. I went to support my friend, and I was so proud of how she held herself together and dealt with the raw emotion that goes along with these sorts of occasions. Having been there myself, not so long ago, I know how useful it is to have people to lean on. But as with every funeral, it makes me think about things.
One of the things I was thinking about yesterday and today is how frantically (even maniacally) busy I am. I have no idea how I had the time to go to work. I am a full time homemaker and even now I don’t always get to all of the jobs that I want to get to. I dread to think what the place would look like if I was out of the house 10 plus hours per day with a commute on top. The garden would be a wilderness and the dust bunnies in the house would be unionising and militating for self rule!
As it is, I haven’t managed to get a duster or a vacuum around the place in three weeks (but to be fair, I was out of the country for 10 days!) and I feel like such a slattern. I am doing a deep clean in every room today, in the vain hope that keeping on top of it will be easier thereafter. Yeah… I am not hopeful about that either. Also, the fact we have a meeting with our new Adoption Social Worker tomorrow morning is also rather a motivating factor. “Yes, this is how tidy the house will never ever be again once a child arrives in our lives”
I have told myself off, and I am attempting to cut myself some slack, but it is really hard. I set such high standards for myself, and I get cross with myself (and whoever is standing close by, to be fair) when I can’t reach them. Perfectionism is a total b*tch. But practically speaking, is keeping the house clean the most important thing? No, not really. Keeping it hygienic is different from keeping it perfect. It is hygienic. No one is going to contract a communicable disease when coming into this house. You might get cat and dog fur all over you, but in this house, that is how we accessorise! I have a plaque somewhere that says “Welcome to our home – clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be fun”. That is what I am aiming for.
As I go around the house getting into some fairly mucky corners, I am thinking that I need to reassess my priorities. I don’t think I actually have a set of them at the moment. Everything is at the top of the list, and that is not a sustainable way to be. In fact, as I have been uncomfortably close to having a total meltdown this week, I can tell that sustainability is out of the window and running down the path screaming. Somehow I need to reassert some control over everything that I need/want to achieve. I can feel a big old list coming on.
Any reader of this blog will know that I love a good list. But having one is just the first step. Then you need to prioritise the list. No point having a list of stuff which is all a priority because then you look at it and go all clammy and sweaty palmed and think “EEP! Where do I start!”. So, you need a system. When I was at work and dealing with competing priorities from every which way, I used a simple ABC method. A’s were the things I needed to do. The ones where the ONLY person who COULD do them was me. The ones with a time limitation that was measured in microns, or at the very most hours. B’s were the jobs that it would be nice to get to. The jobs that would make people smile a little bit, or the one’s that would make my job a little easier if they were out of the way. C’s were the jobs which I would get to eventually, but no one one would holler about if I left them. Or the ones I could delegate to someone else.
Transferring that system to the house then… A’s would be the stuff that makes the place safe; B’s would be the tasks I might have put off for a while but once they are done life will be a little better; C’s would the bits which can stay on the list until someone says “A dust bunny actually talked to me”. (I am thinking painting. I hate painting.)
I wonder if I can extend that system to the garden as well?