Wow, how is it already December?!
November was all about doing things in manageable-sized pieces. This year I’ve been getting overwhelmed very easily… once I get this feeling I just want to run away and curl up and watch DVDs. I want no part of interacting with others and actually manage to not even get on my computer for a whole day or more.
Mid-month I was thinking, “I wonder how others keep up with housework?” I keep trying to find a balance… I either feel like I’ve spent the whole day cleaning or the whole day doing something I want to do… and it makes me feel out of balance, especially when one of these takes over for several days in a row. So I Googled something like how to keep your house clean… and I came across 3 blogs that had some really good advice (how to clean house in 20 min a day, can’t keep up 13 habits that will keep your house clean, six things i do every day to keep the house clean). I took the bits that I would actually do and created my own schedule… (wet erase schedule with dry erase check marks)
At first I was behind on things like laundry and thought, “Oh, I’ll do two loads today”… but I soon realized that it was best to trust the system and only do one load a day… because then not only do you have time to actually fold and put it away (I have a bad habit of putting towels, socks, & underwear in a ‘clean’ basket), but then you have the rest of the day to do other things. Being interrupted every half hour or so by the laundry makes it hard to concentrate on anything and usually leaves me feeling scatterbrained all day. What I realized also with trusting the system was that it takes 25 min to get to the rinse cycle (to add fabric softener) – which gives me a great timer to do the day’s 20-min chore (which is on the 30 day chart). Once the dryer is done, and I’ve put away the laundry for the day… I’m done with my chores! Except the kitchen… but the system helps with that too… with the dishwasher empty and set to ‘dirty’, I put dishes in it throughout the day rather than letting them pile up in the sink and become a monster I don’t want to deal with.
The daily schedule is for the most part quite doable, and I succeed most days at getting all the checkmarks. The one that tends to be a bit of an issue for me is dealing with mail daily… now if I only consider snail mail, then it’s no problem… but I’ve been including email and checking other’s blogs as part of this… and as I stated before, some days I don’t want to even get near the computer because it overwhelms me. But I’m getting better.
I added ‘brush Scarlett’s teeth’ because I realized that she fights me less when she is zonked out and half asleep, normally it is not a fun time brushing her teeth.
So I’ve been doing this schedule thing for about two weeks and not only is the house slowly feeling really clean and sparkly, but now I have time to do art and not feel guilty. Also while I’m doing a chore, I know that another room is set for a different day, so I don’t feel guilty that I didn’t clean the whole house. A super help is Lennier (my Roomba), once I straighten and dust, I set him up to vacuum and then the room is done for the day. 😀
I’ve also come to realize that *I make the rules* to this new game/schedule… so when it says deep clean room… I’ve taken it to mean, clean something in that room that has been bothering me (that surface cleaning didn’t clean)… for instance, I did some touch up paint on about a 1/4 of my living room on Thanksgiving (day 10)… and today I did touch up paint on a wall in my bedroom and the hallway (day 14)… it really makes the room look so much cleaner to remove the scuff marks and touch up the baseboard. Also clean interior windows (day 7) wasn’t really a thing I wanted to do, but cleaning the vertical blinds on the sliding glass door (and then the door itself inside and out) really helped with making the room cleaner.
Actually it was the day I was cleaning the vertical blinds that made me realize that Zentangle has had an affect on me in my everyday life. Taking something and working in manageable pieces and then when you look up, you have not only completed it, but you have made something wonderful and it didn’t feel overwhelming.
And so, in my quest to look and feel better by my 45th birthday… I am feeling a lot better. I’m still dealing with the uncomfortable roller coaster of hormone shifts that disrupt my sleep with night sweats and flush cheeks, incredible exhaustion on some days, pains that I didn’t have in my youth, and more recently feeling a bit nauseous – probably from the climbing while dusting race. But I’m also feeling more balance… I know that this hormone flux is the new normal for probably the next 10 years (ugh!), so all I can do is try to mitigate it and just deal with it… but balancing chores vs. life has always been a battle, one that I think I might finally have a leg up on. It’s nice not to spend two full days doing laundry being scatterbrained those days… now I do one load a day and it is really making a difference. 🙂
I’ve been drawing on my husband’s cup of tea each morning… which is a fun little silly thing I enjoy doing… I think of it like leaving a note in a lunchbox for your loved one to find later. 🙂
I had more zentangle related things to talk about, but it’s getting late and I need to go heat up leftovers for dinner. I’ll try to post again soon.
Until next time…