I honestly love doing housework. There’s a rhythm and a worthiness in accomplishing the tasks that encompass cleaning and organizing and keeping the household running smoothly. Because keeping house is like maintaining an organic machine. There are systems and rhythms. And just like when you don’t exercise, when you don’t dust for a while there’s a residual build up you have to get through to make it a smooth process to repeat.
When we moved into this house, no one had lived here for over a year. There was a leak at every faucet. There was evidence of mice having taken over. And the brambles had overrun the backyard. Evidence that the world takes back what belongs to it. That the noise and the clean is all ours.
I find an abandoned house sad and fascinating. Occupied, there are smells and sounds and lights emanating from it. And empty, the house becomes a shell, the shadow of a life and proof of death. Hollow. For all the efforts that a woman like me made to keep it presentable, livable, and a place of pride, it didn’t matter.
In the past, I’ve even used housekeeping to keep me busy and not doing those creative endeavors I really wanted to get to. Now I’m learning how to balance my life’s needs.
This week, my house is clean. But I spread the work out. I did the vacuuming and bathrooms and dusting all on different days. By the weekend, the house is clean enough. And I can play. I like to say, “And now for the banging portion of the program”. Playtime. A hammer in my hand, I hang a picture in the perfect spot I noticed needed a picture while I was cleaning. Maybe I’ll style a tabletop with a new vase and arrangement. And I’m resigned that next week, I’ll be doing laundry and dishes again with a window cleaning chaser. This is not the first time I’ve contemplated this subject.
And honestly, I could just as easily give up the bathroom and floor cleaning and pay someone if it gave me more time to relax…with my kids…with my crafts and designing…with a good movie or book. Delegation is a great thing when you have priorities. And spare time is meant for spending. If it makes me happy to clean something during mine, so be it.
I really like housework too, if I’m in the mood for it, it’s quite therapeutic and there is definite satisfaction in seeing the end result. I love it when rooms are clean and tidy. Mostly I don’t have time though, so it’s this chore that I struggle to fit in around everything, and the kids mess things up as quickly as I tidy. Sigh. I think really I would have liked to have been a 1950s housewife, at home cleaning and baking! That’s not very modern-woman of me to say is it, but there, I’ve said it!
Considering what you have experienced, mountain childhood and bread lust, I think your totally entitled to a retro-lust.I had several bad childhoods before I got to my good one I have now. I am still tweaking function to coincide with the idealism but I am happy. You can have it all. You just have to be willing to edit your script.
Did I mention how happy I am you are here saying anything? Thank you.
Sometimes I find housework kind of comforting. It feels like good, honest work and that I’m taking care of things. I could very easily give away the bathrooms and the floors. Those two things I kind of dread! I really liked this post, Shalagh. I liked your descriptions of the lively house and then the sad, lonely house that “becomes a shell, the shadow of a life and proof of death.” So eloquent! Sometimes, when I clean, I get into this zen state that helps my creative side. Happy cleaning, miss!
Oh Yay! Thank you for saying this and telling me you get it. Such a good feeling to go out on the limb and feel someone else is there with ya’. It is honest. Good word. And yes, I actually had a wonderful woman do my bathrooms , floor, and kitchen for me while Fiona was wee. Then I had to pull the monetary reins.
PS. Both my floors are vacuumed. Do you think I feel good? Yup.