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’.