Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Place for Everything?

This is what I like my life to look like. Neat, tidy, organized. A place for everything ... everything in its place.

I've had people come into my home and mention how clean it is. They aren't really seeing. There is dust everywhere ... cobwebs on the ceiling, in the corners ... hair in the tub (gross!) ... gunk in the dishwasher. No, clean it is not.

I try. I really do. The vaccuming is done and the bathrooms are cleaned weekly if not more often. I wash handprints off the front doors frequently, selfishly, all the better to see you through. Outside windows, well, 3 maybe 4 times a year, tops ... inside maybe a tiny bit more due to above mentioned prints. Dusting ... let's not even go there.

(My grandmother once told me, by the way, that one day I'll miss those fingerprints. Someone once told her that when her babies were small, and I daresay she found that statement to be true as she grew old. So that's enough reason for me not to worry about the windows!)
But neat, tidy, organized ... that is really what I strive for. That, and only that, allows me some attempt at sanity.

No one else that lives here can see things lying on the floor - whether it be a cracker crumb or a bookbag or a pair of boots. To me they each look like mountains that I continually have to conquer. It's daunting ... it's frustrating ... can I even go so far as annoying?

Maybe it's about the control. I'm sure that's how my husband and children feel. "Clean your room! Put your dishes in the sink! Throw your laundry down the chute! Hang up your coat!"
Maybe they're right. Maybe it's the only thing I feel in control of. The only thing I can see the immediate result of.

Maybe I'm trying to be the good wife ... keeping the home tidy. Or the good mom ... teaching life skills and responsibility. Maybe I'm delusional.

Maybe it's about serenity. Less stuff ... less to worry about ... more peace. Less clutter very often equals less stress for me. And less stress should mean good things for everyone, too ... right? Right?

Maybe I don't know what it really is about. So I'll just continue to strive for organization, to enjoy my tidy life, even if it is only on the outside, and hope that my family doesn't resent me for my obsession with it. Maybe one day ... one day far, far away ... they will even thank me for it.

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