The Routine of Clean

Who likes cleaning? That’s right, a whole lot of nobody. At least, not me. Has anyone else had the amazing realization, after moving out of their parents’ home, that the consequences of not cleaning can literally pile up? They pile up on the dining table and kitchen counters, they pile up on the bathroom floor, the bedroom floor, and they start piling up on all available surfaces…

I moved out of my parents’ house in college, and I had some roommates. I never got the hang of doing laundry regularly, but I was pretty on top of the dishes. Because old dirty dishes… gross. But my roommate was also good about doing dishes, so our kitchen never spiraled out of control or anything, even if I got bogged down with something else.

But once I got married, I realized just how quickly the entire house can get out of control. And for five years now I’ve really really tried to keep it clean. And at some point removing dirty dishes from the table, washing pots and pans, running the dishwasher, all became part of a mindless routine, instead of out-of-the-way tasks I would put off as long as possible. That’s what I realized last night when I came home from a full-day Toastmasters conference.

It’s not like I left the place impeccably clean, but there weren’t any dirty dishes laying around, no dirty pans, and the dishwasher was empty. The dishwasher was still empty… but the sink was full, the stove was covered (with used pans), and there were plates and bowls in every room, on side tables, ottomans, chairs, and the dining table.

I was a tiny bit annoyed at all the dishes I was just about to have to clean up, but it took just a couple of minutes to get everything washed and put away, and I realized that I do this every day, and for the most part keep the dishes under control. So hooray! I’m a success!

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Amy’s Rules

I was reminded of a funny thing–the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition from Star Trek. This race of aliens had a certain code for doing business, a code comprised of a number of rules. But I have some rules–some I live by, and others I try to.

For instance, getting dressed every morning (and not lounging in my PJ’s all day) is a rule for me. It makes me ready for the day, every day. And I try to always thank people for gifts–but it’s a real shortcoming of mine that I frequently forget to do so within a reasonable time frame.

But in the last few years, I’ve embarked on a new path–that of a homemaker and mom. I spent many years in college earning an engineering degree, of which I am tremendously proud, but it doesn’t define my life right now. Instead, I’m doing a job for which I have no experience to rely on, nor any training to assist me. So making sense of my life right now is easier with some rules. My rules are my routines and my steps to improve myself; they’re my goals and my lessons. I’m learning on-the-job, so to speak, even some of the most basic household tasks. I’m learning how to cook, how to clean, how to sew, how to raise a child, how to be a better servant of God.

I want to use the blog to share what I learn–firstly so I can reflect and continue to improve, and also for anyone else who might benefit from the same lessons. Here goes…