Friday, September 17, 2010


Tidy. Clean. Not me. I guess I whirl through life like a tornado—constantly doing and not spending too much time backtracking. Or cleaning up after myself. In addition to being a bit odd, I am a notoriously poor housekeeper. It seems preposterous to me to pick up stuff that should have never been placed in a certain spot in the first place.

I have some definitely theories on this subject. First of all, I don’t keep crap. And by crap, I mean stuff that has no use or sentimental value. Things just for the purpose of having them are a waste of space. Towels, for instance, are used to dry one’s body. Does it really matter if all of my towels match? Or if they are in pristine condition? It doesn’t matter to me. If I spent a great deal of time in the bathroom, it might make a difference because I do like lots of bright colors in areas where I spend a lot of time. But not the bathroom.

Second, I feel like I am wasting time when I am cleaning. I could be spending my time living instead of cleaning. There are kids to play with, dogs to walk, trees to climb, creeks to photograph and if I am spending my time cleaning, how am I going to get my fill of all this other stuff?

Last, anyone can tell anything about us by looking at our kitchen and our living room. It is quite obvious the things we value. For me and the kids, its books – there are books everywhere! Magazines, library books are strewn throughout both rooms, stacked on shelves, on virtually every flat surface. There is yarn on the table – because one of my daughter’s has been very busy with knitting projects. My son’s quilt in the hoop which I’m handquilting…..all within easy reach.

Seriously, I have 6 dogs and 2 cats living with me in my house along with 3 kids and a mate. My house is very small and we heat with wood, cook with gas on an antique stove. We are very, very close—my kids and I. Both in proximity and in heart. Granted, it does get a little congested in there sometimes. It gets a bit irksome when you need to shimmy around the island in the kitchen, jump over 2 dogs, sidestep a cat, just to get to the bathroom but we all know what each other is doing, we are all connected.

Whenever anyone comes over, I feel as if I should prepare them for the clutter or, at least, apologize in advance for the general state of the house. But I don’t rush around and clean everything up. I hope that there are other things that visitors appreciate about me/us: good company, good cooking, good coffee.

I certainly do appreciate those people in my life for which a clean, tidy home is of utmost importance. They provide me the bit of guilt that motivates me to do the little cleaning that I do.

I want to use up my life with experiences. Not with housekeeping. I appreciate those people who are able to make a home spotless in minutes – but I am not one of those people. I am so easily distracted that the last time I cleaned a room from top to bottom, it took me an entire day. I don’t have that kind of time. I want to use the time I have doing fun things with my kids and enjoying them. Someday when I have nothing better to do, I’ll give the house a good cleaning.

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