I have been cleaning all this month (in preparation for the mother-in-law visit, and to keep things tidy while she was here) and I am so sick of it. With so many hours spent in mindless activity, I've had time to think about how sick of it I am. And I have come to a happy and convenient realization: it is not good for my emotional well-being to have a clean house.
Having a clean house turns me into a FRUITCAKE. I snap at everyone. I hate everyone in my family because all they are doing is MESSING UP MY CLEAN HOUSE. I get all weird about tiny little spots. Must! be! perfect! I feel frantic and overwhelmed all the time, like I'm trying to keep back the tide with my bare hands. There is so much to do! THERE IS A CRUMB ON THE COUNTER!!! The more I do, the more I see that also needs to be done: cleaning the sink makes me realize the cabinet fronts need work; cleaning the cabinet fronts makes me realize the floor needs mopping.
You'd think that if cleaning several hours a day makes me frantic at how much more needs to be done, I'd feel even MORE than way if I WEREN'T making progress. But no! That is the wonder of it all! There is no logic here! When I do less, I feel MORE in control of things! Trying to keep the house clean IS like trying to keep back the tide with my bare hands. But if I let things go, it's not like it keeps getting worse and worse until we're waist-deep in garbage: it descends to a certain level of disheveled, and it stops. And a Cheerio falls gently to the floor, and no one freaks out.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...