This holiday weekend for me wound up 90% work and 10% fun. But even the work part had its benefits. My husband took the boys away for a couple days and I had the house to myself. It would’ve been nice to sit on the couch and watch my Joan of Arcadia DVDs that are gathering dust, but I had some major housekeeping to tend to.
You see, I tend to lean toward ‘clean freak’ tendencies and my husband is clearly in the ‘neat freak’ category. If you think they are pretty much the same thing, I can assure you; they aren’t. My husband is content to see all the toys picked up off the floor and stuff stacked neatly in piles. As long as walkways and counters are reasonably clear, he’s okay. I don’t mind clutter so much; it’s the dirt under the clutter that drives me nuts. I have to move things to clean spaces underneath them, I have to get dust off the baseboards and I like to know things are clean.
While the house was cleared of my major mess-makers (I still had the dogs and cats with me) I shampooed carpets, scrubbed tile, scoured bathrooms and cleaned my office. I took a break to spend several hours with my best friend; we went out to lunch and hung out at her house and chatted since her husband was also out of town. Once I returned home, I got back to the laundry, straightening and purging of unnecessary items (I am a great collector of ‘stuff’.)
There have been times that such cleaning is motivated by procrastination of writing. Not the case this time. I’ve been on quite a roll with my writing, but I’ve found that the housekeeping nagging in the back of my mind started to get louder and more prominent. I had to take care of it before it squeezed the last bit of creativity out of me. I even managed to get writing done while they were away; I’ve gotten my manuscript writing class short story done so that I’m two weeks ahead on homework.
The men of my house returned home and within a few hours, my cleaning efforts seemed barely noticeable. There were tennis shoes on my carpet, dishes in the sink and suitcases plopped in the hallway. I knew it would happen; I’m realistic that way. I know that ranting like a mad woman would be wasted energy. I also realize that these are clutter issues and fall into my neat-freak husband’s territory. He saw to it that they were remedied before bed-time and I didnt’ have to say a word.
I must say that they played everything right; as they brought the house back to the lived-in state – they all gushed appropriately about how great everything looked. They remembered to show appreciation, even if the hours I spent cleaning made no difference to them. They knew it mattered to me.