I don’t know which is worse…
the fact that I have to write this post
that this is my 4th attempt this morning to do so!
But how and why life (including those of 3 children) gets in the way of living is for another day…
I am a “Messie”. For any of you that have read ‘How Not to Be a Messie’, you will understand… I have read, re-read, misplaced, found, read, etc it and other self-help books on the subject for years. I’ve mastered the first step – admitting I have a problem, and have even realized that self-help is not what I need. Thus enters into our lives the cleaning woman.
About a month before Pesach, I decided that hiring someone to do what I can’t/won’t was well worth it. I found someone who would not run away at first glance at the chaotic state of my house. I went from room to room before and/or after her moving things and, at the end of the day, I had a much cleaner and more organized house. (And some boxes of stuff to go through that got piled on top of the boxes made back in November when we got the house ready for kid birthday parties! – gee forgot about those!)
So, Pesach came and family and friends were impressed. My husband and I felt so much better – the house was no longer someplace we dreaded being. It still wasn’t perfect, but we had definitely taken steps in the right direction and could continue to progress.
A few weeks of no cleaning woman and we slipped back into old habits. So this past week, I spent two days (at least the 3 hours while baby napped) getting ready for the return of the cleaning woman. After some confusion and a no-show day, Thursday was began with the sights and smells of cleaning. I admit there were still more things out than should be. Visions of my parents throwing all the papers in the house into paper bags in the pantry the night before the cleaning woman arrived ran through my mind. I did the best I could – strategically left empty boxes for her to use to corral all the items that don’t belong.
So she comes, she cleans, she leaves. I see shining countertops (she followed my instructions on what cleaner to use so the granite isn’t hazy) – yeah! and cobwebs – Not yeah! Perhaps she forgot how to get the hose out of the vacuum – Love the Dyson but it’s design is different from most vacuums. Okay, I can deal – I’ll make a note to show her.
Then comes the fun game of playing hide and seek – looking for things that we can’t find. Nothing is in the boxes I left. Where could my daughter’s calendar, the case to the library’s DVD, the baby’s clothes I left soaking in the sink be?
Don’t know why, but as I left the house on Friday afternoon, a little voice in my head said “look in the garbage!” While I don’t always listen to the voices in my head, when they say something that seems bizarre, I have to oblige. So there I am, sitting on the grass, going through my own garbage – luckily the neighbors weren’t around. Luckily (for me, but not the cleaning woman), I found 3 books, 6 socks – 2 new, 7 baby toys and 2 linen placemats – all clearly not dirty and not destined for the garbage. I have tried to figure out why she threw them out and just can’t come up with a reason! Any suggestions?
I still have one bag to go through before Garbage Day and am wondering if any other missing things have made their way to the landfill in this fashion. On top of it, I spent sometime this afternoon looking in the garage for some other missing items. I found a bag from who knows when whose contents included: an empty bottle of cleaner, a nearly full can of glass cleaner, 3 half rolls of toilet paper, a handful of pony-tail holders, half a dozen wash-clothes, some wadded up tissues, and rags. Is this things for me to go through? Why then are there obvious trash items? Is this garbage? Why then is it in the garage and including obvious non-trash items?
So, as I muse about having to buy more wash-clothes last month, knowing that we mush have had more, I decide that the good that comes from having the cleaning woman clean may not be outweighing the bad of me having to take the time to find things as well as put things back where they belong when moved for no apparent reason. Should I give her the benefit of the doubt? Ask her what she was thinking? Am I just too nice of a person? My dear friend (and voice of reason)‘s response was that ‘Someone mediocre is better than someone who lies and throws your stuff away!’
I realize we have too many things, I’m working on paring down – really I am! Maybe it’s partly my fault – if we didn’t have so much, everything would have a place and be there? So with renewed energy, I return to the garage and fill a bag with things to donate and another of things to throw out.
And there under something, not even on top or out in the open, I find a small bag with the baby’s clothes I had left soaking. Not with the bedlinens or towels she brought down – that would have made sense. Not left back in the sink after being cleaned, nor hanging on the shower curtain rod – those two would have made sense! No, they are in a small plastic bag, still wet and now MOLDY! So, instead of washing them to get the marker and food off them, I am soaking them in vinegar but realizing that they will probably be headed to the garbage and we will be out 3 new outfits…
and a cleaning woman!