Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Not a Good Day For Housework

Today I managed to wangle a morning free from the café. I’m sure I meant to schedule myself administrative time—time for bookkeeping and other sundry tasks that don’t involve searing animal pieces or sweat-hogging through built-up grease and towers of dirty dishes. Instead, I took the morning "off." Which meant making a vain attempt to find my house under three month’s accumulation of…you name it.

For years, when I worked fifty or more hours a week as a restaurant manager, I subscribed to the "desperation" method of housekeeping. If I was planning to entertain (which I did once a year) I would take two days off and just plunge in with both feet. I got an amazing amount of work done in two days. But it took all forty-eight of those hours to reach bottom…to find the bones of the house under all the crap.

During my semi-retirement of the last decade, I had a hard time applying myself to intense housework. But I didn’t really need to. The house always looked neat, and was generally clean, because I finally learned all the little tricks you can do to keep the place looking decent. I remember thinking smugly, "Why did I never do these things before? It’s really so simple." Yeah. Simple. When you have the time. And the energy.

Today, I found myself literally overwhelmed by the job. I had no idea where to start. And I didn’t really accomplish one complete task. I just kept bouncing from emergency to emergency… Fold these socks that have been sitting here for a week! Scrub this floor! Clean up this cat puke that’s been here for three days! Wash these guest towels that have been in the laundry since June! One job led to another to another to another, with no end or sense of accomplishment in sight. And I’m still utterly exhausted. It didn’t help that I woke up in the middle of the night again and was awake for two hours before I benadryl-ed myself back into oblivion.

After an hour an a half of bouncing around the house like a pinball, I was literally staggering, trying to get a last few things out of the way before I just fell down from exhaustion. Not the way to live. That’s why I’m sitting here right now, clackety-clacking away at a totally inappropriate time, when I should be doing a million other things. The simple truth is, I can’t do anything else right now. And I felt I had better acknowledge and honor that fact before I woke up on the floor…


  1. Sounds to me like you got quite a lot accomplished, and this was all done before you went to the cafe?
    Thanks for keeping us informed, and continued good wishes in your pursuits.

  2. You don't know how much I see myself here.  For years, all house cleaning had to wait until Saturday when I would work in the house til I dropped.  You will find a better way, I promise.

  3.     This sounds entirely too familiar to me.  I used to be so organized, but now I wander from one thing to the next, never really accomplishing much.  Maybe it's age or menopause, or just where I am in my life.  Yes... that's it.  I'm in the ' I dont want to do anything that isnt fun' stage.  That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.  
        Hope all is well, Lisa ..... you have your hands full with your new enterprise, so don't you go beating yourself up over the small stuff.  Believe me, I admire you for having the guts to do what you have done.  Seriously.  ' Did I ever tell you you're my heeeeerrrrooooo ? "    LOL          Tina

  4. With mom, it's the yard. One things start blooming the house sort of goes by the by for about three or four months while we keep the yard going. Ya do what ya can, those who know what's going on will understand. The others can go visit somebody else. ;-)


  5. i understand what you mean.....i swear that i will NOT let the papers and clothes get the best of me and then a week later, BAM, a huge pile again. I can not keep up and work FT on nights. But i can only keep on trying!

  6. Striking a chord in this corner, too.  I often leave for work at 6 a.m. and get home at 6 p.m., eat, and work some more.  So the weekend is it for housework.  Today I had to take the day off for dental work and spent way too long just shredding the foot high junk mail pile.  Oh, and got to that old cat throw-up, too!  I also dusted my bedside table because I found a used dryer sheet in a towel which seemed like it would do the job, but the thick layer of dust bunnies in back of the photo frames was too much for that little square of...whatever dryer sheets are made of.  We usually keep things picked up so it's not a pig sty and has the misleading appearance of neatness, plus laundry and dishes done, kitchen counters disinfected, but vacuuming? showers? floors? Not to mention those deep-cleaning tasks that get done about once a year.  Sometimes I invite people over to dinner so I will HAVE to clean or be embarrassed.  Sorry to rant, but you got me started!  Soldier on!

  7. A resounding amen from this corner!!  I have the same problems.  ANd journaling is far more delightful than the housework, is it not?!!  Hugs, and hope ya got it all caught up!!  Have a happy weekend,