Every time we go on vacation (which isn’t often) or away for a weekend (again, not often), I absolutely hate the thought of returning home. Last year, two days before we even LEFT for Jackson Hole, I said, “I’m so bummed out. A week from today we’ll be back home.”
Yesterday afternoon, I picked Harper up from her friend’s house. Even after spending less than two minutes in that beautiful (and clean and fresh-smelling) home, I found that I didn’t want to return to my own house.
I don’t know if you remember this, but we used to pay for a cleaning lady to come into our house every two weeks. It was WONDERFUL. Budgeting for her started getting a bit tricky, so we started having her over every four weeks. That lasted for several months, and then suddenly the money just wasn’t there any longer.
Every month or so, I go through this THING. Some people would call it a FUNK. I have a hard time saying that word without it sound like The F Word, so I’ll stick with THING. (By the way, last week Meredith said, “Is there a bad word that starts with F U? Does it end in C K?” I grabbed her baby book and noticed that there is no space to commemorate the spelling of baby’s first bad word.) Anyway, my THING. It usually begins with me seeing someone else’s home and then returning to my own home. I look around at all of the accumulated crap and wonder what to DO with it. What do people DO with weird reusable water bottles and half-used lip glosses and old cookbooks and toy guitars? Is it really okay to throw these things away? (We donate a TON of stuff every few months. Where is all of this piled up stuff coming from?)
Inevitably, I go to bed crabby when The Thing is brewing. And then? The next morning I step into my disgusting bathroom with the black mold (!!!) in the shower that I can’t seem to get rid of and I reach for my shampoo but end up knocking over fourteen or more OTHER bottles of shampoo that came from hotels or something that I’ve never stayed in, and suddenly the suction cup on my razor gives out and it crashes to the floor and breaks and I’m drying off with a wash cloth because the towels have to go through three dryer cycles to actually DRY and I had time for only two cycles yesterday, and the bracelet that I asked Meredith to put away THREE times yesterday is still sitting in the same place, and the dirty dishes are piled up because the dishwasher has never worked very well, and seriously! How do you keep your house tidy?! How do you hide your wires and stack pans that don’t really seem stackable? Where do you keep your charger thingies when you’re not charging something? Why is that bag of handknit socks still sitting on the printer waiting to be washed?
There are so many little things that need to be done around here. When I think about it, it becomes completely overwhelming, and all I really want to do is sit on the couch and stare out into the distance. And then we get to the HUGE things—hole in the roof, disgusting stained pink carpeting, the back bathroom that stinks and is moldy, poison ivy on the slope in the yard that needs to be dealt with professionally…
I’ve read this entry by The Trephine at least ten times now. I would love to be able to reach the point where it becomes time to part with everything but the very few things that actually MEAN something to me. These candles and bamboo stinky things on our mantle mean NOTHING. These tiny tea cups that are too tiny for tea mean NOTHING. (But they’re Fiesta! And we got them when we got married! But STILL! THEY’RE TOO TINY!) This basket of CDs that has been sitting on our kitchen divider for as long as I can remember means NOTHING. I always find myself thinking about the people who have lost everything, and my heart breaks. With that said, my heart would be so much better off if I could simply make the CHOICE to lose 80% of my things.
The Fly Lady does not work for me. Setting a timer for twenty minutes and cleaning like a mad woman until I hear the buzzer doesn’t work. Our original plan was to live in this (tiny—like the tea cups) house until 2012, and then try to find something where the kids can each have their own bedroom. 2012 is less than six months away, and our house is in the worst shape it has EVER been in, and we have no PLAN.
I’m the first to admit that I’m Very Lazy. With that said, I’m not doing my kids any favors by allowing them to be lazy, too. When I go nuts on them about not cleaning their room, I pray that they haven’t yet learned the word Hypocrite.