Thursday, February 18, 2010

Controlled chaos...

I am embarking on a new journey... Housekeeping! For many years I would say that the house "kept" me, and not the other way around. I was not born blessed as a clean freak, and have a certain sentimental magnetism toward clutter. Even as a child I felt guilty if my toys were not played with equally, and felt even worse getting rid of them. (I cried like a baby watching Toy Story II when the cowgirl doll sings about "When she loved me"... okay may have been a little stressed and/or exhausted at that point too...) So I have decided enough is enough. The stress of living in a small apartment with all of this stuff is too much to be worth keeping things. Now don't fret, I won't end up on an episode of "Hoarders" anytime soon.... but when the bathroom counter is so overrun by barely used cosmetics that it can only dream of being cleaned, it's time to de-clutter!

I started by ordering two books from amazon. One that is "tried and true"--my mom used the original version when I was a kid! (see this thing is genetic, I tell ya) The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping... And another that appealed to me as a former working mom who had no idea how to become a stay at home mama "Domestically Challenged: A Working Mom's Survival Guide to Becoming A Stay At Home Mom . The second arrived first, and after reading about halfway through it, I stopped. I had just gotten to the good stuff, where she discusses actual strategy... but the first half of the book seemed to have one message: Get over it, you are not going to become a domestic diva anytime this millennium. Get used to being in your pjs at 2pm with a filthy house and screaming banshee children. Tell your husband to pick up the slack. Thankfully about the time I stopped reading this one, the first book arrived to save the day.

I absolutely love the New Messie's Manual, and even though I am extremely resistant to change, I feel a definite ray of hope in her writing. The classic "Messie" she describes fits me to a T. I'm sitting here wondering why I'm admitting this... Hmm.... Well maybe to find a kindred soul or to let other closet "messies" know they are not alone nor are they defective!

I look at my home and I see things I have never seen before. And I don't just mean the floor! I see potential... Shayne says it's like the mess blob monster that had previously consumed our apartment is receding and leaving order and cleanliness behind it. Others may still see controlled chaos at this point, and I'm okay with that. I'm not inviting any of you in. Ha! But it is so relaxing to have a clean sink, empty of dishes to start the day, clean clothes without hunting, and enjoying a seat on the couch! I realize now that if I do a little every day, then cleaning for company or what have you is not such a herculean task! I have 3 boxes to take to Goodwill, which I normally save stuff for "people" that the ideal giftee never gets found and the stuff stays..... so this is a good change for me.

I have never felt so relieved by getting rid of stuff and having a structured cleaning schedule. It really doesn't take nearly as long as I previously told myself... and I really love the change! Change is gooooood.

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Open Letter to My Love

Dear Shayne,

I know this has been an interesting transition for you to say the least. I know I let you down sometimes, like today when I drank your Cherry Coke Zero... the very same one I bought for you at Walgreen's last night. I couldn't help myself. It has been a rough day, and I needed its fizzy comfort. I hope you did notice though that the house was picked up (not sparkling by any means), the dishes were done, Katie's massive toy collection picked up, and dinner was hot and ready when you got home. I also did some tidying in our room, and put the "new" nightstand I got from Goodwill a couple of days ago and have been hiding in my car by your side of the bed. It was a great bargain and it looks so nice there. I also hung up and rearranged some pictures in our room. I think it looks better than ever.

I am amazed that I got as much done as I did... I had Miss Crankypants to entertain all day as she hasn't been feeling well. My mouth feels like it's been through a meat tenderizer from being probed by frustrated little fingers who have no other means to communicate discomfort. I have had my hair pulled, been bitten, and just feel like a punching bag from the fun today. Little Miss did NOT take a nap today though it would have been much needed respite for the both of us. She is now in her bed, ready to crash but fighting it all the way... Running her Thomas the Train across the wall, no doubt irritating the hell out of the neighbors, and I don't have the energy to care. I have not showered in 2 days as I have been on high alert for vomiting since she threw up in her sleep on Thursday. You and I both know how little warning comes before one of those spells. I want to punch her GI doc in the face for being so apathetic about it.

My dearest Shayne... thank you for supporting us and supporting me, emotionally through all of this. I cannot expect you to be grateful to me for taking care of a child that doesn't belong to you. But she is my beloved and I appreciate your understanding and grace. Grace for the fact that this little person doesn't make life easy for us. The couch is now virtually uninhabitable for all but the sturdiest of constitutions thanks to her leaky pullups.... I really do plan on figuring out how to fix that problem in the near future. Thank you for loving me even when the woman you come home to is an attention-starved, overstimulated noodlehead who desperately needs some adult conversation, alone-time, and of course serious hygiene help.

I am grateful for you and to you for all that you do. You are a blessing and a wonderful man.
I love you.