Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9: Odd the Way Happiness Works

I hate housework. I loathe housework. There's almost anything I'd rather do than sweep, mop, do dishes, fold laundry, vacuum, swish a toilet.

But this week has the rumbly beginnings of a revolution.

The kitchen on Day 7 after doing the post-breakfast dishes.

Doing small batches of dishes several times a day means they are done quickly, almost painlessly. There's no time for dread: I know it'll be over in ten minutes. There's no huge mountain that takes a full day of repetitive effort to clear.

Laundry was ludicrous. I was scrounging for things to wash after implementing my second "catch-up day" last Saturday and religiously taking laundry to the basement every day and washing and folding a load. We'll see what happens this week as I didn't get "caught up" on Saturday and I'm disinclined to do any laundry today or tomorrow. (Though a load of cleaning cloths is washing as we speak.)

A swish and swipe of the downstairs bathroom takes no time at all. I'd like to figure out how to do the same upstairs: I think after I make the bed would be good--except that while I may have two minutes to make the bed, I may not have four to both make the bed and swish out the bathroom. But, hey, I won't know 'til I try.

Making my bed and picking up the master bedroom is good. Making the bed is a pain with the extra set of pillows I put on it when we bought the new bed frame: but honestly? I love it so much, I don't care. I won't let it be an excuse. In fact: why make excuses at all? It makes no sense.

I added "do one essential task" to my morning routine to encourage myself to accomplish something before my time got sucked away by the computer and reading up on all the other 31 dayers. It didn't work that well: I ofetn sat down and checked the Blogs before I was done my task for the day. But, that doesn't mean I didn't do them. Heavens, the things I got done this week!

My "sideboard" for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner is cleared off and ready.

vacuumed the living room carpet
washed the dining room and hallway floors (hardwoods).
"Treated" the hardwood floors
Washed the kitchen floor.
Scrubbed the tub and shower surround.
Cleaned the kitchen ceiling.
Cleaned a cabinet and put down contact paper.
Filed a mountain of paper and cleaned off the desk.

Planned menus for the month, made the shopping list, shopped for food, bagged up and labelled the meat for freezing.
Made a dozen muffins.
Made a huge pot of soup.
Made a batch of Chicken broth and bagged and froze it.
Made up a triple batch of pancakes and froze them for school mornings.

It's about time I lengthened this curtain panel! I'm hoping I'll get to the second one today. This is opposite the desk in the dining room.

Lengthened another curtain panel.
Painted the window trim in the kitchen.
Sewed one cafe curtain.

Before making this commitment to my routine, I would sit at the computer for hours, searching, reading, dreaming. I was avoiding the "unpleasantness" of doing my work. I thought I was happy--even though I would precariously stack dirty dishes as I tried to make another pot of coffee. I thought I was happy when I would rush downstairs to the laundry room after midnight to find clean clothes for my husband to wear to work the next day.

But now, after having done all these things I loathe on a fairly consistent basis: I'm happy. Really happy. Smug happy. Content happy. Some have said they don't even realise some clutter has been bugging them until they've taken care of it. Same thing. I didn't realise how unhappy I was trying to avoid being unhappy--until I stopped trying to avoid it. And now I'm happy.

Go figure.


scb said...

Oh wonderful! You've accomplished so much -- and the happiness is the BEST PART!

And those glimpses of your home are so lovely and peaceful and beautiful.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner! I know everyone else will!

(And on the theme of Thanksgiving -- thank you for being my friend.)

Amy L said...

This is inspiration to me for sure! I crave a routine, but once I fall off the wagon it takes so long to re-establish that routine. Love that I am not the only one who feels happiness when things are clean around them - amazing how much time you can find for the fun things when the clutter is not sitting there nagging you!

The Farmers Daughter said...

this sounds fantastic! Happy Thanksgiving up there!

Designing Domesticity said...

Hi Alana, So nice to hear from you again! Am loving your everyday cleaning advice - it really does make it all seem so much more manageable! Happy T-day! And thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. Liz

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