Thursday, December 29, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the Unknown

New Year, New You writing prompt 3: Something You've Been Putting Off

My secret shame is that I don't like cleaning and am not very good at keeping up with it. My mom had major back issues when I was a kid, so I grew up with housekeepers. My bff is German, and when we lived together, I paid more rent and she cleaned every week. I lived alone and did ok. And then Kevin and I moved in together a couple of years ago... My skills are not up to me plus a very messy dude and our two dogs.

I've been cleaning. Laundry galore! Mending! There's a pile of stuff outside for the dumpster. There are bags for donation. And I spent my free afternoon scrubbing the muddy dog footprints that are all through our bedroom (which is a stupid place for a back door) because Kevin doesn't put on their tiny muppet shoes to keep the mud out of the house. I mean scrubbing with a damn brush and a bucket so that I can actually mop for cleanliness and shine over the weekend. (Santa brought me some janitorial supplies that I'm almost embarrassed to be this excited about.) Yeah, I've been putting this stuff off, but these things are from being tired and not wanting to spend the small amount of leisure time I have cleaning the house.

What I've been putting off is cleaning up the back yard. Cash was forever smuggling out the carcasses of chew toys, gutted of their stuffing and squeakers. There were also the things he shouldn't have eaten that went through him, like entire tube socks. Gross, right? But he's dead, and he was my baby, and I couldn't make myself go out there to pick the stuff up and toss it out. I did it today, and it was hard. Really hard. It's been a grieving couple of days for me.

Letting go sucks sometimes. Kevin wants to hold onto objects that remind him of things, because it's hard for him to remember with his ADD. Or because he doesn't understand how a mundane household thing might have bad connotations for me - like that there are still parts of sheet sets around from his first marriage. I have nice household items that don't make sense in the life I've wound up making. Silk pillows and beautiful doodads don't do well in our house. It's a small house - smaller than apartments I've lived in on my own. I have to let go of ideas about how things should be, should look, should function, and who should do what jobs. Grad student living isn't known for letting the wives swan about doing fancy lady things while a housekeeper does the work.

Some long-held fantasies and the ghosts of lives past are being laid to rest in the pile of stuff leaving this house for good. At the core of everything I'm trying to change, there's major inertia from past things I've been holding on to. Building a new foundation or shoring up the old one doesn't mean I'm a total beginner or don't know anything. I'm having a hard time with that. Better get over that soon since I'm taking Jason Miller's Strategic Sorcery course in an effort to fortify my foundations and blast some bad habits into oblivion. What better way to start off a couple of years of learning than with a year of solid foundational teaching and practice?

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud that you cleaned up the backyard even though I know it must have been hard for you. A year of foundation building will be really amazing I think.

    My word verification was "lights" which seems appropriate :)