A couple days ago, two ladies I’m in a writing group with were discussing cleaning projects they’d launched at their house. They put me in mind of my grandmother, who, in spite of working outside the house in an era when women did not, also gave her entire house a thorough spring and fall cleaning every year. My mom did, as well, at least back when I was growing up. But somehow that particular discipline never stuck with me. Even when I was a stay at home mom. Although I was far more of a neatnik back then and tended to get after dirt and clutter as fast as it accumulated. With four kids growing up around me, it was pretty much a necessity or we’d have been buried in less than a week.
With only a hint of hesitation, I admitted I admired their dedication and hard work. Then proceeded to explain how my cleaning gets done, which is anything BUT organized. My bathroom tends to get cleaned when I’m getting ready for bed. Turning on the lights in there illuminates the need and if I say I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll forget. The shower gets cleaned when I get in to use it. The rest of the house is more or less the same. I’m looking for something and I disrupt the To-Be-Read pile on my ottoman so I end up sorting through the accumulation of magazines, clippings and books and put them where they belong. If I reach for the alarm clock and knock a pile of books on the floor by mistake, then I end up schlepping that pile to the library and dusting the table they were on, which by then is usually so dusty, I can write my name in the stuff. My desk and my library are the worst.
Full of good intentions, I tell myself as I turn out the lights at night that “tomorrow” I’ll clean my desk. But when I return, I have to check my email. And Facebook. And a few other sites. Then check again in case something new arrived. Sometimes it’s a bill so I log onto my bank site and pay it. Then the snail mail arrives and I sort through that. Among the junk that gets tossed, there’s usually something that does need to be kept and filed, but rather than taking the 60 or so seconds it would take to file it right then, I add it to the bin of things to be filed. If something needs to be done in relation to it, I stack it on the pile of things I need to see to ON the desk. Then, I really need to get some writing done. As I turn off the light at the end of the day, I promise myself that tomorrow, I really REALLY will clean my desk. You can guess how that works out.
And then there’s the To-Be-Read piles. I do have a Kindle. I also read books on my iPhone and iPad. But in spite of all the technology, there are piles of printed reading matter everywhere waiting for me to get at them. When I tell people one of my hobbies is trying to keep the To-Be-Read pile from taking over my house, I’m not whistling Dixie! The stuff really does tend to take over the house and every room in it. But at least I’ll never run out of great things to read. That would be far worse.
So, happy reading…. Clean if you are so inclined, but whatever you do, have a fantastic Day.