Is it just me or do we care less about housework as we get older? Once upon a time, Mondays and Tuesdays were my housecleaning days. I literally cleaned for two solid days, working my round butt off scrubbing floors and bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry. At least twice a year, I pulled everything out of the china hutch, washed every piece, and put it back in, all shiny clean. I reorganized closets and drawers four times a year, washed windows every spring and fall (I still do that!), and even got dust bunnies and leaves out from under the shelves in the garage. Was that really me?
Things have changed, I confess. For one thing, getting on my hands and knees to clean the corners of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush is pretty much out of the question because of the whole getting back up off my hands and knees thing. (If you’re anywhere north of sixty, I’m guessing you can relate.). Dishes have been known to sit in the sink from breakfast until after lunch and honestly, Husband has pretty much taken over kitchen cleanup duty anyway because–and I’m not dissing him for this, just stating the facts–I don’t load the dishwasher right. There’s a “right” way to load a dishwasher–who knew? Plus he’s taken on more of the household tasks, bless him, since he’s retired and I’m not. I haven’t cleaned my oven since before Christmas and yep, I’ve even been know to make my bed at five p.m. (I know, I know, why bother at that point, but it’s the principle of the thing.)
And yeah, I do sometimes feel guilty that I am no longer the perfect housekeeper, but here’s what I’ve learned about housekeeping in the last 50 years–this year–of marriage. No lightning bolt comes down to strike you dead if there’s dust on the good crystal wine stems. The dust bunnies in the garage really like it there, the housekeeping sheriff doesn’t show up if you skip a week’s vacuuming, and the health department has never once knocked on my door to red-tag my kitchen floor.
Mostly what I’ve done is set myself free from all the must do in order to have a perfect house tasks to allow myself time to write and it feels fantastic. Don’t get me wrong–every so often (like yesterday), I get into a cleaning frenzy, recruit Husband, and we scrub until the house glows, but I no longer feel the need to spend two whole days a week at it. The bathrooms get cleaned regularly, the kitchen gets handled, the sheets get changed each week, laundry gets done and folded and put away all at one time (which from what I’ve read online is rather a phenomenon), and when I can write my name in the dust on the surface of the dining room table, I pull out my rags and furniture polish. I no longer feel the need to spend two whole days a week cleaning house. I’d rather write and work on editing gigs.
So, spring cleaning happened and I’m very glad, but my house is just as cozy whether I’ve dusted all the ceiling fan blades or not. That isn’t a epiphany, but it sorta feels like one.
Gratitude for this week: We cleaned; good enough report from the cardiologist that she upped the meds, heading for the full dosages of the 4-drug protocol in the next few months; lovely lunch with friends; I bought a couple new shirts for summer and I really like them; the gardens are blooming–I’ll have lily-of-the-valley very soon. Bonus gratitude: Son’s band, Identity Crisis, had a great gig on Saturday–all went well and they had fun!
Stay well, stay safe, be kind–the world needs some kindness right now, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful,