Some years ago now, I wrote a series of posts on a housekeeping routine I developed. Then I wrote a post called Overwhelmed by Housework? which is to date my most popular post ever, and in my latest iteration of the blog it sits right at the bottom of every post and has been annoying me for weeks. One day I will work out how to get rid of that particular feature.
Anyway, it has been annoying me because I have more or less given up on doing housework, and now my past is coming back to haunt me. For a few months, maybe a couple of years way back then I was convinced that I could nail this housework thing, with dedication and amazing will power. Turns out I was wrong. I have no more interest in housework now than I ever did, which is next to none. I have the same huge capacity to tolerate mess and downright dirt that I have had forever. And I have made a decision - this is a fight that I am done with.
For so many years I have somehow conflated the state of my house with some kind of moral standard. You know, good people have clean houses. That sort of thing. And good women especially, have clean houses. I have decided now, that actually, no, the sign of a really morally developed woman is to not be swayed by the arbitrary cultural expectations of other people, or her own self. No apology, is my new motto, whether I feel like keeping the house as clean as a whistle (unlikely), or in that state where it hasn't seen a mop and bucket since the Christmas before last. Also, although I have always been able to tolerate huge messes, I have always run around like a mad woman cleaning up before company comes, and causing enormous anxiety to those around me by insisting they do the same, you know, like washing the windows in the twenty five minutes before guests are due for lunch. Last week I found some two year old unopened mail in a pile I must have stashed at the back of a cupboard before guests came over.. in 2017. Crazy days.
So this is my new plan. Clean up if I want to (sometimes I do, especially if I am procrastinating). Live in a huge mess if I want to, and never apologise for the mess. It is what it is. I am who I am. This all works particularly well for me because I live with two untidy children. Partner Paul comes over sometimes and vacuums, because he likes vacuuming, and also he is very tall and his head gets caught in the cobwebs... then he looks at my kitchen sink and shakes his head and asks how three people can possibly make so many dishes?? But I don't mind because he is not a judgemental person and anyway, he doesn't do my dishes. I have no idea how this would pan out if I were actually living with Paul, but thankfully that is not a contingency I have to deal with right now.
My house is not real clean currently because I am busy, busy writing my novel. It may never be published but it has a theme that I am weaving through my life which is.. It doesn't really matter..
I believe this applies to many things, but especially to housework.