Monday, February 9, 2009

Compelled

I have a bit of a compulsive nature when it comes to cleaning the house.

We all know that I'm mighty good at procrastinating. I am selective about what I put off, though. Sometimes I can't do anything until my house is clean! I put off exercise, meal-planning or simple cooking, and even sometimes answering the phone (sorry, Abby-Jenn-Cara-Phill-Kelly) until I have finally vacuumed the last crumb. OR I go on the opposite side, still in the vein of all-or-nothing, but with a different approach: When the house is a mess and I just don't want to clean it, I'll find something else to do that's also important (but almost never equally important) so that I feel justified in putting it off.

Let me elaborate.

On Saturday, we got our new computer. (Hallelujah!!) I requested to keep the box it came in so that I could put the old computer inside. Except....I didn't put the old computer stuff in there right away. Instead, I reveled in working-computer glory while the children de-constructed the box. I told myself I was fine with it, even when I heard Savvy doing something suspicious behind the couch, something that made ripping noises. (No, not filling her diaper.)

Besides this intentional oversight (as I like to call it when I allow my kids to wreak havoc on the house because I am too tired to do battle), I had been purposefully lazy that day. How do you be lazy with a purpose? Well, it's simple. You sit on the couch with the express purpose to do nothing but cuddle your kids and read a book. It's very straightforward.

So there were a number of diapers on the floor--both bundled-dirty ones and Savvy-distributed clean ones. (She has a flair for decorating with clean diapers.) Add to that the kids' toys, shoes, a smattering of clothes, bits of nothing, and ripped-up computer box pieces, and it was an absolute tornado.

And the dinner table had Oreos crusted on them. And a few other disgusting food details, which I will simply not elaborate. So last night, after I got the kids in bed, (which really is an exhausting ordeal for me, start to finish: shower/bath, scriptures, prayers, teeth-brushing, stories, water and milk and blanket rearrangement for all three.....I'm probably just wimpy, but it WIPES. ME. OUT.) I sat down and looked around at the tornado I allowed to blow through my home.

And I decided to take evasive action.

I cleaned out two closets and my pantry, omitting unnecessary junk (filled up half my outside trash can), moving things to more sensible locations, condensing and straightening. As a result, my coat closet, hall closet, and pantry are sparkling and lovely.

And the living room is
still a semi-disaster area....and the kitchen table has not had its mystery crusties removed....and my laundry is a mountain that simple mind power will not move. (Why? Why not?)

So....as you may imagine, I am off to clean the disastrous result of intentional oversights. Even though there are a million other detail-oriented projects begging my attention.
And I maybe should do something else important first, like....take packages to the post office! Or buy some groceries! Or make Valentine's Day cards or paint picture frames or order some photo prints or go to the store.....

Alas....I have to attend to the immediate drudgery. Because as far as functioning goes, I really do need to clean this mess up before anything else can happen.

I am now compulsive and compelled.


9 comments:

Lara said...

We are the same person.

When I am overwhelmed (almost always) with the disaster that is my house, I usually decide to clean out a closet or something totally unnoticeable to most people. But it makes me feel better, so there you go.

I like to say I have to cleanse the inner vessel first in those situations.

leslie the licorice stick lady said...

Oh man, do I hear you on this one!

I'm painting my hallway today. I wish I could have vacuumed before hand, but nap time and vacuuming don't mix. However, painting and nap time DO mix!

Abby Hanson said...

AWESOME. I am so there! Why, why, why can't those things just take of themselves? For some reason it's much more gratifying to organize the pantry and the closet whereas that OTHER stuff just leaves me pooped.

Andrea said...

I often find myself in your shoes. The thing that really gets me is I'm still worn out from cleaning the night/day before, and then it's TRASHED again!!!! I really can't even enjoy the satisfaction that comes from vacuum lines for more than a few minutes because of two pair of little feet (which I dearly, dearly love, but wish they'd stay off the vacuumed areas longer).

Qait said...

And I only have one child! :| Your story is mine, easily.
I missed your online presence, roydee doydee. :)
I have had some intentional oversights while reading your blog just because it's so gratifying. :)

Jenn said...

Ha ha oh my darling! Welcome to motherhood. And OCD...

Kate said...

I know exactly what you mean. Life goes on and the house does too. I wish I had a maid, wouldn't that be great.

Pam (Haslem) Dana said...

I totally do that... turn a normal cleaning day into a MASSIVE DISASTER of the house, because I pull stuff out to dejunk. I hate unnecessary clutter. Have fun cleaning!! hehe :)

Kristy said...

Every time you write a post I think...I am glad I am not alone. That is so funny...I did that same thing today with the pantry and the garage...

You know what I really want...to clap my hands and have time freeze so I can take a VERY LONG NAP and then spend hours cleaning and then get back to the good life...