Friday, May 8, 2009


I've been going through a bit of a low period, and I know there is a relationship between this moodiness and the housework issue. I always wonder if the house has slipped into chaos because of the emotional slide, or whether it's the chaos of the house (a gradual accumulation of mess, through attention going to things OTHER than regular housework) that causes the mood(s). I don't think it's a simple either/or. It's what I would term a dynamic relationship.

I just finished re-reading one of my favourite novels, Elisabeth Harvor's All Times Have Been Modern. It's a favourite because of Harvor's excellent writing. It was simply a bonus for me (in the take-comfort department) that the main character, Kay, is a 'slovenly' housekeeper. I was even a bit smug about the fact that, if my mother visits and opens my kitchen cupboards, she's likely to see pots and pans rather than, "A hairbrush and a mitten. And three library books. All overdue. Plus a teacup with petrified cornflakes dried on the inside of it." Kay overhears Idona reporting this on the phone to Henry, soon to become Idona's husband number three.

This is a roundabout approach to the following news: my house is substantially cleaner! All the public areas, plus my child's bedroom, are neat, organized and shiny. Not only that, but we are actively reminding ourselves (and each other) to PUT THINGS AWAY. What's that Buddhist thing-a-ma-jig: Clean up after yourself. (You know what I mean, there are six 'rules', like Be content. and Accept what is.) I'm particularly proud of the toy organization (and purging) that led to this wonderful state. Baskets from the dollar store played a key part.

It's true that clearing the decks and getting rid of unnecessary clutter frees one up on both physical and mental planes - which is why the next stage of project housework - my home office - will be a particularly satisfying accomplishment...

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