I can’t tell you how long it has been since our sitting room has been this clean. Before my now husband came over to visit the first time, I completely redecorated the sitting room with the help of one of my best friends. Man, we were proud of that sucker. We painted like fiends, shampooed carpets, I bought new furniture, found the perfect area rug and curtains to match. Everything was photo perfect.
In my teens I was an absolute neat freak. It was insane how much of a neat freak I was. I was so obsessed I knew it if one of my siblings had come into my room and sat on the bed. In a chaotic household of 5 kids as a blended family I think it was the only thing I felt I had control over in my life. I could retreat to my sanctuary without the dishes other kids left laying around, and relax in the cleanliness and calm of my own sanctuary.
Fast forward a few years and I lived with a roommate at college who was so messy you had to climb over clothes to answer the phone. My first husband was hands down the messiest person I have ever lived with. I felt like a rat in a wheel constantly trying to clean up until I snapped and gave up. I actually went on a 1 year strike and didn’t do a single damn thing. I didn’t cook or clean…well, if I am being completely honest every 2-3 months I would snap and clean a bit, but overall I did NOTHING. I was sick of the fights about the house being a mess and sick of begging for help, even just putting his own dishes into the kitchen was apparently too much work. On occasion I would turn into a cabinet slamming tyrant who threw a fit until cleaning happened, but I did not like myself that way.
A few years later I lived with the friend who helped me redecorate. When she and I lived together the house stayed fairly clean. She did a lot of it while I was at work, and I did the heavy lifting she was unable to handle due to breast cancer recovery. Then more boys came. BOYS. MEN. UGH. There is a room in my house that 2 years later STILL smells like FEET. I’ve aired it out, I’ve used air freshener, I’ve hand scrubbed the walls and tried everything humanly possible to get the smell out, but I am fairly certain that removing the carpet and repainting is the only thing that’s going to make it better. I asked for help then too. I couldn’t maintain the general cleanliness in the house, and handle the all of the outside work too. I’m also allergic to everything outside, so a day of mowing means 3 days of allergy crud when I finish. They simply wouldn’t help unless more cabinet slamming happened. Again, this was a side of myself I DO NOT LIKE.
Over time I gained weight and suffered a nasty back sprain -cleaning HURT. I don’t think it’s possible to completely understand how something as simple as running a vacuum over the carpet can cause extreme pain. A chore that takes a normal person 10 minutes, takes me 30. My husband is excellent at chipping in when I ask for help, but lacks the initiative on his own to deep clean to my insane standards. To completely give him his due credit, he does most of the cooking in the home and keeps the dishes caught up…with the exception of the tupperware pile on the kitchen counter. What’s up with that babe? (he reads and comments…teeeeheeeeeee)
But, I am a pain in the butt when it comes to my cleaning expectations. I really probably should find out if I have OCD or not…lol. I am very critical of the things in my home that are not cleaned to my standards, and it somewhere along the line it caused a huge flaw in me. I became paralyzed and overwhelmed by the chores that needed to be done in the house. All I could see was the absolute nastiness and I would start calculating the math in my head. I knew that cleaning the kitchen was going to take me 5 hours to get it to my standard. I also knew it was going to be a mess again in about 3 days. I made some half-hearted attempts, and did what I could, but I couldn’t keep it that way.
I started hating my home. I hated walking in the front door because I knew it would be a wreck. I glared at one of the cats daily for having the nerve to leave hair on the couch, and worse, for peeing constantly on my beautiful rug. (That HEIFER is a whole different story.) I would see the tumbleweeds of dog hair rolling down the hall and become furious because I knew it was going to take 2 hours to sweep. I spent my time blaming everyone else because I developed bad habits. I didn’t understand how every other person had a clean house when mine was a constant wreck.
This year I decided to blame myself and make a change. Oh, it still hurts. My back is on fire, but with the help of my husband that room is one that is now clean. I’ll move to the next one soon. I’m hoping to have the house clean enough so that when I take my vacation I can relax more than I work. One room down and many hours to go!
Vacation Countdown: 18 days