I am a terrible housekeeper. As much as I dislike the mess, I am just not that great at picking up after myself. My mother, who is not only organized and neat but has a home that could be featured in a home decor magazine, does not understand this.
“If you just get in a routine…” She tells me, “It’s really easy.” All the while looking at me as if she doesn’t understand how she could have missed my learning disability all these years. But I am not so clueless that I don’t GET how ridiculous it is for a relatively intelligent woman to be baffled by a pile of dishes in her sink, overwhelmed by DUST, and incapable of remembering to pick up her panties off the bathroom floor before her company arrives.
The conclusion I have come to is that it is easy for HER, and it is hard for me. Sort of like the way being a bleeding heart liberal is second nature for me, but not so much for all the conservative (insert any other colorful descriptives you want) republicans littering our streets. We are what we are, and until it becomes imperative, or really, really important to ourselves that we change, we remain that way. Sometimes, even then, we can only make a fraction of the improvement we wish to.
I am so not saying that people can’t really change- I believe with all my heart that part of our jobs here as humans are TO change. Especially those crappy little parts we keep hidden from all but those lucky folks closest to us. What I am saying is that maybe, instead of focusing a ton of energy on being who other people think we should be (MOM), we ought to save the bulk of the work for becoming super awesome at the best part of who we are. Yes, it is important to live in a home that has some cleanliness and order- otherwise, your children will contract previously unknown bacterial infections that will then be named after you, and that is how you will be remembered for all of time. Lets face it- you don’t want to go down in Wikipedia as the originator of “Duncholera” or “Duncanyllococci” or something, and have school children cutting and pasting your visage into their essays until an antibiotic is found, right? So for me, that means understanding the difference between being lazy and using my ineptitude as an excuse for slobbishness, and making a solid effort to not wind up on the show “Hoarders.”
I think part of what led to my recent descent into the pit of doom and depression was my despair at being unable to adapt the way I thought I should have into my role as the mother and woman counterpart in a family unit. I felt like I wasn’t good enough at running my household, at getting dinner made every night, washing the dishes, singing the lullabyes, paying the bills and fixing all manner of domestic wrong. And to make matters worse, I didn’t just feel like a failure…I resented and disliked that role as well. Here I had given up everything that made me happy in the world for THESE PEOPLE (i.e., my children and boyfriend) and I sucked at it. Enter all forms of self sabotage and abuse, causing depression and further dysfunction, blah blah blah.
Well, duh. I was trying to do what I thought I SHOULD be doing instead of what was right for me. This morning, I was sitting outside, sipping my coffee, thinking about things, and it occurred to me that my current happiness is directly related to me being excited about my life again. I have plans to head out of town today with my best friend Grace, to go visit our other best friend, Vera, in San Francisco. Next week, I am starting NanoWriMo, this month long writers event, and I’m excited to be attending the first write-in on the first. The day after that, I am going to Reno for an NA convention with some friends.
Every single one of these things feeds my soul, and makes me happy. When I am happy, somehow the dishes get done, the bed gets made and life becomes easier to manage. The baby and I have even found a new way to cope with each other when things start to get a little tense between us- we get into a warm bath together with about a gallon of Lavender scented bath products and we soak until we can stand each other again. There may also be some rubber ducky antics thrown in, just to keep things fun.
Today, I am going to honor and adore who I am, not who you want me to be, who you think I am, not even who I wish I was. Because the greatest service I can provide the universe is to be the very best version of myself I am capable of being. And not to infect you all with Duncholera. Have a fantastic day!