It starts with a dream. Add faith and it becomes a belief. Add action and it becomes a part of life. Add perseverance and it becomes a goal in sight. Add patience and time, and it ends with a dream come true. (Doe Zantamata)
Well, it is now 4.30pm. It has taken all day to get this house in order. I've changed the sheets, hoovered the whole house, washed most of the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, done several loads of washing and ironing, made soup, stole a truffle from my daughter's drawer (oops, that's not going to end well), and generally seized control of an escalating mess. Admittedly a friend popped in for half an hour and I've done a bit of blog hopping, but still....a WHOLE day basically doing housework. I've not even been outside. No wonder I am under-achieving. Has to change.
This is my first step, with immediate effect.
I am going to fit all of the housework into my main working week, ie Monday to Friday.
Aside from the washing and kitchen chores which are ongoing on a daily basis, everything else will have to fit into that time slot, leaving the weekends free for quality time with the kids, and quality time for me when the kids aren't here. That should end the frustrating time-wasting at the weekend when I feel I should be cleaning, but I really want to be doing something more meaningful, and ultimately several hours are wasted drinking tea and looking at nonsense on the internet.
However. I am a perfectionist and I actually like the feeling that comes from knowing the whole house is clean all at the same time. It's going to be a bit of a challenge to my comfort zone to do little bits each day, and then to not worry about it at all at the weekend. But that's a good thing. Challenging the comfort zones of my existing life is what this blog is all about. Identifying outdated patterns that no longer serve and which are holding me back and replacing them with ones that are going to propel me towards my dream.
I just took a moment whilst I was eating my soup (leek and potato with tons of black pepper), to reflect on that pattern of spending most of the weekend cleaning, wondering why that came about. Two reasons mainly, aside from being too busy in the week.
First: When Andrew and I were together, I used to spend my whole childfree weekend living with him in Brighton. I used to go Friday night and come back Monday morning, to minimise the void I felt when the children weren't here. When he left, those weekends were interminable. Hours and hours of emptiness when I was too broken even to go and sit in a cafe by myself. So I cleaned. The whole house, top to bottom, every childfree weekend. It gave me a feeling of control when nothing else made sense.
Well, that pattern can be thrown out the window now. I am at peace with being alone and whilst I still miss the kids, I need the silence to recharge otherwise I wouldn't cope with the Tourettes.
Second: I rented this house from a friend who I met at sailing school. We got on really well, she met the man of her dreams and was in the process of moving away with him, hence she offered me this house at a very cheap rent. It's a 3-storey, terraced town house built around 6 years ago. I jumped at the chance - it was far more spacious than the little house we were currently renting, closer to schools and work, and she said I could have it for as long as I wanted. After moving 8 times in 8 years, it was a relief to think we could stay put for a while. She left lots of things here for me, mirrors, the odd bit of furniture, tools, bath rugs etc, and a few things of her own in the loft. Every now and then she would come over to visit us and take a few things of hers from the loft. Then she began to come over when I wasn't here and take a few things - always hers, but the bath rug would disappear, the loft ladders went, then some tools, her post (which I used to forward to her), and so forth.
It freaked me out a bit. She never took anything of mine, but it was still disconcerting to come home and find things missing. Once she even left the backdoor unlocked. Then she started taking extra rent out of my account without telling me. Anyway, the upshot is that we fell out over the rent thing and haven't really spoken since. As landlords should, she continued to text and ask if she could come and get some stuff, but then she would come when I wasn't here. I began to feel uncomfortable and panicking about the house being a mess when she came, worried that she might use that as an excuse to chuck us out. So I made sure the house was spotless after the weekends, hence the weekend cleaning thing.
I can't really change things at the moment, but I'm going to let go of that fear of the house being untidy if she comes in. It is holding me back to spend the weekend cleaning, and I'm all about reclaiming my life back now.
I'll review this first step next weekend to see how well it has worked out.