I like having things clean. I like tidy. I do. But I am not one of those folks who lives to clean. My heart does not overflow with joy and peace from the actual act of cleaning. I don’t necessarily mind it, but I don’t have it as my go-to activity.
My mother and my youngest daughter, on the other hand, love to clean. I mean L-O-V-E to clean. Apparently it skipped right over me. My younger sister doesn’t necessarily LOVE to clean, but when she gets stressed out, she cleans. And she plows through it like it is an Olympic challenge. Me? Not my stress relief. Or any other relief for that matter. I wish it had skipped my sister, too, because then I could say it just skipped my generation. But, no, it seems it just skipped me.
Sometimes, at the end of a long day, I enjoy standing at the kitchen sink and washing a load of dishes. It seems therapeutic. And once in a while ironing will be therapeutic. So I guess I have a normal amount of cleaning-ability . . . But, I repeat because it needs to be repeated, it is NOT my go-to. At all. Not like theirs, anyway.
I was pondering this fact this evening. I’m not feeling completely stellar and everyone around me is cleaning. It’s not that things are really, really messy. Just a little bit untidy. We had a couple of kiddos in the house yesterday and the lap blankets could use a run through the washer after the drippy noses and grubby paws, the dust got stirred up so a few swipes of a dust rag is not a bad idea. But while the cleaning activity swirls around me, I started thinking about the fact that the gulf between my drive to clean and my 23 year old daughter’s is quite cavernous.
What does that say about me? I wonder. It can’t be good. I don’t like dirt and I really don’t like clutter, but I do like things to feel lived in and not too sterile either. I love a sparkling clean window to view the world through and I love fresh clean sheets (especially if they get to dry on the clothes line). I love it when the dishes are all clean and put away and the counter tops are shiny. But I can’t seem to successfully find a place for everything that needs a place in my bedroom. My knitting supplies seem to spill over regardless of my efforts, my books and papers multiply when I’m not looking, and the jewelry, lotions, and whatnots on my dresser will not submit to anyone’s control.
My mother’s and my daughter’s dressers, however, are spic and span. Their crafting supplies are in order and completely find-able. It is not only accomplished by them, but they enjoy accomplishing it.
Perhaps it is a mental condition. Perhaps I have a wire or two that have a connectivity issue. Why, yes, I think that is it! Because their mental conditions can actually think of solutions to all those things with ease and delight. I don’t think my mind thinks in alphabetical or numerical order. I think it jumps from C to P to M to B to U to J. It really does. And my dresser top proves my point.
That’s how it feels anyway.
I will continue to give it my best effort. I will keep putting it on my goals’ list. And I will continue to fall short. Especially when compared to the women in my own family.
Oh well. I’m not them. But some days I kind wish I was a little more.