February 20, 2012

Trying to love the messy life

This is just one of the many disgusting things on my kitchen floor right now.  It's a dirty spoon.  In a fuzzy croc.  I think it's been there since last night, actually.  I so wish I didn't care.  So wish it didn't hurt me so. 

Exactly what is it going to take for me to stop caring about whether my house is filthy everywhere?  Tell me right now, you messy house people.  ‘Cause I fear I’m going crazy over it.  Often I feel this way.  See, here is the problem.  And it’s huge.  I can’t be happy if my house is messy.  I just can’t.  I don’t know if I’m miserable BECAUSE my house is messy, or because I’m miserable, my house is messy.  Does it even matter??  I know I will be much happier when it's clean.  But goddamnit I'm sick of cleaning!!!!!  I know I talk about auras and acupuncture and now I’m about to get all ranty about feng shui…but I swear maybe I was a Chinese person in another life.  Because I hate shit.  I hate when it’s all over.  I hate plastic stuff.  I hate how it smells.  I hate Mardi Gras beads.  I hate how they make you slide and almost fall when you step on them on a wooden floor.  I hate toys all over.  Toys in my bed.  Toys in the shower and bath tub.  Legos.  Legos imbedded in the shaggy zebra rug in the playroom.  Do you understand that a small lego can take you down….make you wonder if you’ve been shot, if you step on it barefoot while walking briskly?  Have I mentioned my all time biggest pet peeve…..stepping on cheerios with my flip flops?  In fact, if you were to ask me what is my least favorite thing in the world, I might not even say famines or war.  Sadly, I might say the sound and the feeling of stepping on a cheerio beneath my shoe on my kitchen floor, especially if I’m already in a bad mood and my kitchen is messy and the counters are sticky.  I realize this is something small.  I do.  But it bothers me.  When I was little, there were 4 kids in our house, and it was sort of…messy.  I was the neat one.  My bedroom was so neat.  Family and friends love to poke fun at this…love to joke about how neat I was.  I remember how I used to wish, even as a small child, that I had a refrigerator in my room and then I wouldn’t even have to leave my room and go into the messy part of the house.

Most people think my house is neat all the time.  This cracks me up, because it is mostly disgusting and sticky.  The truth is only that I am the fastest cleaner upper you ever saw.  I wish there was a race I could join.  Because I would so win.  If things are really messy, I can become like this super-freak maid kind of a person.  When I declare that “everyone needs to move because I’m about to swirl around this place like a tornado!”....they know what this means.  People ask me how I keep it neat.  When it is neat, the trick, which I have perfected over the years, is that everything, and I mean every.single.thing, must have a place.  When something comes into this house, I immediately plot its home.  Things may have to be rearranged.  Whole rooms may have to be reorganized.  Walls may need to be torn down.  I don’t care.  The super-freak maid must grab armloads of things all at once.  As I’m picking up the things, I’m thinking of where they go, so not a second is wasted.  The other thing is that I don't keep alot of crap.  I rarely keep things we don’t wear, use, need.  I just don’t.  Because I don’t want to be on hoarders.  All that stuff….collecting dust, not being used, just taking up space….YUCK.  Bad air.  And here is where the Feng Shui thing comes in.  People think Feng Shui is this mysterious, weird science…and true there are all these rules and even feng shui masters and the whole lot.  I don’t know about all that.  I don’t exactly walk around my house with a compass and fuss over whether each room has certain elements or not.  I don’t need to.  You don’t need to be a feng shui master to know that if each time you walk into a room you cringe and feel negative energy dragging you down, then you need to make some changes.  I remember my dad pointing out a rather extreme example a few months after Dave died.  I had pictures all over the fridge of him.  I was scared the kids would forget him.  But what was really happening was that every time I passed the photos, was in the room with the photos, or opened the fridge, I felt like a knife was going right into my gut.  It was a horrifying feeling, occurring about 6500 times a day.  If by some stroke of luck I had managed to not think about it for a mere 5 seconds, no fear, his mocking photo would be in my face soon enough, reminding me that my life was indeed ruined.  I’m pretty sure I never leave this room, so I took them all down. 

Toys can rob me of my precious energy too.  The evil, smelly plastic breeds.  Sometimes I can’t even go into the little kids’ room.  My rule is that if I can’t clean the room in 10 minutes, then things have to go!  All my kids are born in the Fall and Christmas immediately follows their birthdays.  People have decided that ‘things’ will make my kids feel better.  Poor babies, have no daddy, buy this for them.  Better yet, buy two…no, buy them each one so they don’t have to fight.  Are you facking kidding me?  We are overflowing with toys, toys that have millions of pieces, toys that do all sorts of stupid things, toys that are so cheap they break while I take them out of the package.  I hate this stuff!  Last week I brought 4 bags of toys to Goodwill.   My kids did not even notice!  Because you know what my kids really play with?  The same thing your kids play with.  They build forts from furniture and blankets, they like cardboard boxes, they play with balls and occasionally with electronics, blocks or legos.  I think people place way too much value on their ‘things’. 

10 comments:

  1. I am so with you on this. I do not feel peace if my house is not clean and in order. As soon as I'm finished cleaning, the peace washes over me. I'm exhausted and my back hurts but I feel peace. Of course it never lasts long because usually before my butt even hits the sofa, someone has let the dog in and his muddy paws have ruined my nice clean floor. My family tells me I have OCD. I don't care. I've never been one of those people who believe that a messy house equals happy children. That's just the excuse that people give themselves when their kids are sitting on filthy dog hair covered carpets playing with their applesauce covered broken McDonalds toy. And whatever works for them is fine, but I refuse to feel guilty for demanding a clean house.

    The good news is that it does get better as the kids get older. Especially if they're trained young that everything has it's place and to wipe up their damn crumbs.

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  2. I can relate with you so much with this. My son has a fall birthday as well and after my husband died people did the same thing and just showered him in toys and "stuff." It was well intended I know but the newly widowed parent does not have energy and cleaning up all of those toys wasn't fun...I had a HUGE Goodwill run when I moved. And I have wondered the same thing about the house being clean....is it a mess because I'm down or am I down because it's a mess. I love my house to be well kept and organized.

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  3. I am sitting here, frustrated that the more I clean, the more mess I see. I hate feeling this way. Want to go out , but hate to come back to a "messy" house. Trapped!

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  4. Yes, it's vicious circle. Depressed so you don't clean, but depressed but it's not clean. Also, I would love to participate in a cleaning contest with you. I never have a clean home but I remember before my 2 year old born, that I did. If I passed through a room, I tidy everything I pass. Go in the bathroom, fix shower curtain. Go through dining room, take cup to kitchen. Wipe off counter in kitchen. Go to living room, pick up the things on the floor. Sit down. Clean up the table next to me. I have accumulated too much crap lately and so it's very impossible to keep things clean. I need to dispose of at least 50 percent of the belongings in the house. You've inspired me. It can be fun. Just have little contests with yourself. I also get my little one excited to clean by giving him gloves (because it's cool at 6) and a trash bag and tell him he's an Inspector. and to go through the house and throw anything away that needs to be thrown away. Another tip for you, teach everyone to pick up something out of place when they pass it and put it where it goes. The little bit goes a long way.

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  5. This is perhaps one of the funniest, and true, posts I have read. Stepping on a lego so makes you wonder if you have been shot, I totally laughed out loud. I too always have goodwill bags laying around. I love the "if you can't clean the room in 10 minutes" rule.

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  6. I so very feel with you. I could have written this, only I am not a widow. I am tired, I hate all the mess, I can not sit and relax on sunday when everything is a mess. And then the toys, you are so right! I am the one giving bags and bags and bags to charity and my husband getting angry because we could give it a use..yeah right! ufff.

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  7. It's spooky how much this blog post sounds like me. I cannot abide messiness and clutter. When my kids start to outgrow stuff, I'm practically yanking it off their bodies to get it out.the.door. Oh and my mother-in-law had the same shopping for crap disease that yours does. She was a lovely woman and I miss her dearly but the crap she gave my kids for Christmas was often in the garbage by the end of the day. Not because I'm so mean that I'd toss out their brand new toy but because it was that crappy, it broke the second they touched it.

    I have the opposite of the hoarding disease. I am obsessed with getting rid of stuff. Lol...it's therapeutic.

    Great blog...I'm so sorry for your troubles. God bless you and your kids.

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  8. I'm determined to only clean the dirt, as far as messes go, those are equal opportunity decisions.." you left it there, you clean it" .. " I don't wear your shoes, how would I know why u didn't put them where they belong" ...if your clothes don't go in the laundry basket, its not my fault they dont go in the washer"...I'll let you know how it works out, as soon as I'm done picking up all the dirty clothes off the floor

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  9. Thanks for this funny post... I feel this way all the time but the never-endingness of it gets the better of me at times... What I would like to know is if it's possible to just stop caring? Because I've resolved that I will never always have that 'feng shui' feeling when I walk into a room--is it possible to walk into a messy room and NOT care? NOT think about what someone would think of you if they saw this disaster? Is it possible to have friends over without having to do that turbo-sweep 15 minutes before they arrive?? I feel like being able to just let go is some distant, peaceful, dream that will never arrive.

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  10. Seriously...losing my mind over my house...can't take it anymore so I google: My house is a f'ing mess and I can't f'ing take it anymore!! ....oddly enough I find you. Thank you. I need a nap now but I'll definitely be back.

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