Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 2.7 A Stream of Cleaning Consiousness

some of you may recognise this picture from last year. I didn't take one this year--it would just look the same, except the shelves weren't quite so bad.
When housecleaning mindfully, you tend to notice things you usually leave out of consideration. This is a record of what I noticed today.

Swiffering the bedroom floor: oh, there's that bag full of pictures that came off the wall two years ago. Waiting. Those curtains --still need to be hemmed? This duvet cover. It's just not working at all.

Switching out the clothes mindfully netted three sweaters and a t-shirt for goodwill. Not because I need the space, but because I realised I'd worn the T-shirt only once this summer, and the sweaters, last winter, not at all.

This does happen when it isn't "the Cure" but it tends to depress me when it does. This time, I know we'll be doing "Bedroom week" soon, and it'll all get dealt with then. It occurs to me that those with houses could conceivably do the eight week cure all year. Just keep rotating through the weeks and in no time there wouldn't be a whole lot left to do and the place would be wonderful. But it's a bad idea. The Cure would lose it's magic and just become part of the hum-drum everyday if I tried to do that.

The ceiling sure is filthy. There's one corner that I've never been able to reach: and so hasn't been washed in probably twelve years. (The husband bought the house and moved in two years before we met). I move the table, I move the chairs. I take a few things off the walls in case of drips. No drips to really speak of, but Oh My Goodness. The walls. The walls are worse, if that's possible. I'll get the girl to scrub them tomorrow. Seven year olds still like to do that.

I decide to divide the kitchen ceiling into six equal segments about 3x3 feet each. I take my cloth on a pole and put it up on the ceiling, hyper extend my neck backwards and march back and forth as best I can. I'm being very careful to stay straight. Parallel to the west window to wash, perpendicular to rinse. I do half the ceiling and take a long break. When the husband gets home, I say:
"Look up."
"We've got quite the crack on the ceiling," he says.
"Yes, I noticed that too."

I'm not going to get these shelves as pristine as the day I varnished them. There are streaks almost dyed into the pine. The narrow bands of pure yellow where the shelf rests on its supports mock me. "Look what we were. Look what we could be," they whisper. No, let's get the grimy grease off of you, shall we? Squirt some soap. Wipe with a hot damp cloth. That'll do, Babe. That'll do.

But I got out the toothbrush for the jars.
I really must give up perfectionism.

3 comments :

Mella DelPantano said...

My goodness, you're amazing this week! Good work!

smallcitybeth said...

SCB says to Mella -- "Alana is amazing all the time, that's her nature. She does things 150%."

Did Husband ever notice how nice and *clean* the ceiling is? Or did he just see the crack?????

And yay for 7 year olds who like to scrub walls!

Alana in Canada said...

But only when she does them, beth, only when she does them.

Or, you could say I can "do nothing" 150% too!

I think the husband noticed how clean it was. Before I could really find out, though, I told him it was clean. He just appreciates the whole "vibe" without noticing the details.

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