It will come as no surprise to those who know me in the physical realm (as opposed to the blogosphere) that I am a procrastinator, big time. If we invite you round for food or coffee, as we invariably will, once we become friends with you, this will be followed by an enormous tidy round before the actual event. To all those of my friends who are interjecting here “But we come to see you, not the house” and “you don’t need to do that on our behalf”, I will say in return “Yes I do, if you saw the state of how we usually live you would be shocked, horrified” (feel free to insert your own adjectives there).
Don’t misunderstand me, we haven’t reached hoarder status and you don’t quite need to call in grime busters yet, but having a big house with 6 people in and 2 hamsters, it tends to get a bit messy. For a bit read a lot! I know they say houses are not meant to be show homes they are meant to be lived in but believe me this is not what they had in mind when they said it. Another quotation is “only dull women have tidy houses” well, just for once I would like to be extremely dull.
I have the misfortune to be married to a man who is much the same as me. Although lovely in other respects, he too, like me would rather sit down and read a book, drink a coffee, eat cake, anything really, that doesn’t involve tidying or housework. However when you have a large household, things start to slide if you don’t keep on top of them. That stupid advert where they show fruit salad on the loo seat would not be possible in our house, because you would die.
Frustratingly, because I wish I could live in a mess and not care, housework and cleaning do need to be done, fairly regularly. It’s no fun hunting for a teaspoon in a kitchen that looks like a missile came to rest in it. My Mother once told me, when I was a new housewife, always have one room that is tidy, that you can escape to, that you can invite unexpected visitors into. It was sage advice. I don’t want to be harping on at the children endlessly about picking up their toys, I want them to enjoy the home they live in. I have said before, we are privileged to live in a rather nice house, but it is a privilege I hold loosely. It is not our home, never likely to be unless a bundle of cash falls down the chimney.
Today my son was having a friend over. I deliberately set his time of arrival for after lunch, knowing that it being halfterm the housework had rather got away from me. I had been a lazy Linda(apologies to anyone actually called Linda!) instead of a Super Suzi and left it till it was in a real state. We do try to live by the adage little and often when it comes to clearing up but with varied success. This being a visitor day meant I had to tackle both bathrooms.
Yes , we are blessed to be a 2 bathroom home which is handy when one is in use, but it means 2 sets of things to be cleaned. 2 sinks, 2 baths, 2 toilets and 2 floors. I am ashamed to say it took me over an hour to clean them both. The tide ring around the bath was rather surprised as it was getting accustomed to living there. The germs in the toilet did not look happy as I dispensed them to banishment.
I can’t stress strongly enough how much I hate tidying and cleaning. I detest it…. but I appreciate the end result. People never seem to drop by when the house is tidy, it’s always when the kids are sick or the washing baskets are overflowing as I hastily kick a pair of knickers under the cupboard door so you won’t see them. But we love having company and be assured if you are fortunate enough to receive an invite( and if you haven’t yet its only because we’ve not got round to it not because we don’t like you) then it means we really like you and don’t mind the hard work that goes into tidying etc because you are worth it. It also means I will have cleaned properly honestly so you and your children are not at a huge risk of food poisoning.
I so wish I was not a procrastinator. It influences and colours all areas of my life. This is one of the reasons for my blog, as explained before. If I was more disciplined in all areas of my life there would be a radical difference. For those kind enough to say ” we love you the way you are”, well thankyou, but I don’t so therefore some change is necessary.
The bible speaks a caution against laziness “Look to the ant you sluggard” and this is always a reminder to me. God gave us work and discipline and houses to look after because he knows the end results are worth it. A life spent pursuing God is worth it. Not just for the feeling of satisfaction it brings but because good habits are their own reward. 5 minutes spent regularly cleaning and tidying ensure a less intensive job another time.
We are called to account to be good stewards of every area of our lives, not just our finances. This includes our homes and our lifestyles too.
Till next time.