This weekend, I cleaned my house.
Now, to some of you, this might be a regular occurrence. You might see that mop bucket and mop head more than once a month. You might even be close friends (or at least good acquaintances) with a Windex, Mr. Clean or Fantastik bottle. Unless of course you are eco-friendly and use some mixture of water and vinegar — you just might have THAT in your address book.
Cleaning and I have a love/hate relationship. We are totes mcgotes frenemies.
I love a clean house. You know that smell that you can smell the moment you walk in your door and it makes you excited about the fact that your house just might be germ-free and guest-presentable now? I live for that smell.
On the flip side, cleaning my house makes me bat shit crazy and for that, I hate cleaning. Let me give you an example of why cleaning makes my better judgement jump out of my head and parachute down some slippery slope lined with sentiments of “we’re out of here and off to grab a bottle of Naked Grape, see ya!”
This weekend, I cleaned my house. I know, I know, I said that already. But it has great weight in why I am writing this post. So, I cleaned the house — got the bathrooms cleaned, the extreme amount of toys put away properly, the laundry done and folded AND put away (huge, huge, miracle feat) and I was feeling pretty good about it all.
I felt pretty awesome about my clean house, which by the way I had to do around my thirteen month old daughter who thought me filling up the tub to clean it meant a bath so she continuously threw toys into the semi-filled tub as I attempted to wipe the toilet clean all while “explaining” to her that cleaning products and babies did not mix well together, until I noticed the dishes my husband left in the sink.
Now ladies, you will understand the moment you read that sentence why I bolded that line. It’s sort of like walking into a grocery store, going into the aisle where the shelf stocker is currently working and letting your two year old run rampant at the end of the aisle the worker started on. All those nice neat boxes, lined up with OCD precision, will NOT withstand the force that is your two year old leaving the shelf stocker debating between quitting their job or hanging your child up by their pants on a coat hook in the back room.
When my house is clean and I’ve spent FOR ETERNITY cleaning my house, my OCD tends to be at an all-time high. Naturally, I saw the dishes and I freaked. I am fairly sure that I began to twitch.
Fast forward a few days later (you all really don’t need to know the details of what happened in between) and I have begun to wonder — what the hell is it about a clean house that makes me so freaking crazy? I swear to God that I am, on my good days, a fairly calm person who doesn’t mind dirty dishes in the sink but once I’ve cleaned the house, my “other” personality comes out in full force. I think I might have figured it out.
My life, most days, feels like an endless parade of chaos. I have so much to do and so much on my to do lists that nothing ever feels accomplished. Most days, I live with this fact, accept it and move on. However, when I am cleaning my house, I get this sense of order and of accomplishment and “holy shit I actually DID something with my day instead of going to bed and wondering what the hell did I do all day and why am I so freaking exhausted?”
It’s THAT feeling, the sense of order, that makes me crazy. When my husband leaves his dirty dishes in the sink, I hone in on it and my tracker beam goes up and I get all, “WARNING WARNING SYSTEMS CAN NOT COMPUTE” and I feel like my brain is blown into bits because the chaos is slipping back in and threatening to become my norm again.
I think if I can ever figure out a way to keep all of the scales of my life balanced — work, home life, family, relationships — perhaps maybe I won’t feel like a nuclear bomb was just dropped into my kitchen sink and the remnants of a chaos-free life are splattered over my face. Maybe.
Or, and this is probably more likely, maybe I just really am bat shit crazy.