I happen to notice today that my housekeeping style has morphed over the years. Anybody else out there with me on this?
I have had a touch (ok — more than a touch) of OCD for most of my adult life which translated very nicely into a spic and span existence for my husband and children. Organized, tidy, spit-polished and clutter free pretty defined their living spaces.
Menus were kept, snacks were metered out, timetables and lists were ordered with precision. I did stop short of alphabetizing the spice rack because that would just be crazy. My line in the sand.
When I cleaned my house — which I did regularly — ritually. I cleaned ALL of it. If I vacuumed — I vacuumed ALL the floors. And if one bathroom got cleaned — ALL the bathrooms got cleaned. Dusting meant ALL the dust in ALL the rooms. There was no half-assing the house cleaning in days gone by.
Now I live alone and cleaning has become much less of a challenge and much less of an obsession.
I’m trying to decide if I have mellowed and become more mentally healthy or I am enlightened and become more spiritually healthy. Neither option has a downside.
I find myself taking small bites out of my household to do list and grabbing snatches of it here and there. There is no longer an organized list of what was done when running in my brain. If something looks clean — I leave it alone. There are no more schedules. There is just Reality.
Also — I can dust just one room, vacuum just an area rug, clean just one toilet — without losing myself in the entirety of cleaning THE WHOLE OF IT.
I take the time to write about this on New Year’s Day specifically as a counterculture protest.
On New Year’s our culture encourages us to ‘get our shit together’ in a more organized and tidy manner for the coming year. But what if we’ve been doing that and we are sick as fuck of that damn organized treadmill?
There is more to Life than ‘cleaning it up’. We can all sit in our homes and realize the fucking rug is going to need to be vacuumed in another 3 days (much less than that if you have kids or a dog). We can lament over the fact there will ALWAYS be laundry. ALWAYS. We can fight dust bunnies with our swifters until we are blue in the face. But it will change nothing.
The tasks of Life will remain. What would I give to have back all the hours I spent doing all those things? It’s all water under the bridge now and all I can do is move forward knowing my mind was a slave to the OCD. And forgive myself those lost moments. Moments I could have spent with my children, my friends, my own soul in peace instead of drudgery.
I can be thankful for this insight. This place where I have finally landed. This moment where I understand I can do small tasks, one at a time, as needed and give myself the Gift of Free Time.
Free Time to spend in Growth and Love and Peace.
Organizing and Busyness is a game our brains are trained masters in. They deflect us from our Real Purpose in this Life.
Our Real Purpose is simply to Love.
And we start by Loving ourselves enough to let go of the damn lists, schedules, and organizational charts which society tells us makes us better Humans. If you are doing Love well — you are sure to have a bright and beautiful New Year.