Cleaning My Damned Apartment, Day 01: Tabula Semi-Rasa & the Uninvited Cranky-Cakes

bear cranky Part of what makes for a clean and liveable living space is time. Or, more specifically, making the time.

Yes, we're all given the same 24 hours and yes, some people seem to squeeze more out of theirs, but in my saner, less self-flagellating moments, I remember that Martha Stewart does have help (and plenty of it) and that those people who personally manage to keep the house ship-shape probably aren't the ones bringing in the money to keep the roof in one piece over the proceedings. I grew up in a tidy house (apartment, actually), but Mom's job was to take care of me and it; Dad's was to make the money, and until Mom tossed him out on his ass, he had a nasty habit of dumping whatever, wherever he felt like it.

Therein, I believe, lies my own problem in housekeeping; I'm Mom and Dad and it's not fair!

I work all day and I have to clean up this shithole? Not fair! I have to cook all my own food for my stupid diet and I have to wash all the dishes? Not fair!

Or this morning: I work my ass off for this family and you won't even let me surf the damned internet for five minutes while I wait for the kettle to boil!!?! What is this, Communist Russia?!?

Because today's experiment was just that: use that sliver of time while there's nothing I have to do and am still half-asleep to set myself up for a fresh, clean start. We're not talking window washing or toilet scrubbing; more like emptying the dishes from the strainer. Making the bed. Putting the teabag in the teacup on the counter so it's ready for the water.

Woof, right? Still, I hear some little voice inside throwing a tantrum. It's not fair!

A brief digression: for the most part, I've escaped the horrors of entitlement. We were comfortable growing up and I did sport one set of doting grandparents, but there was also eight years of Catholic school, entire unfurnished rooms because we'd spent all the money on the mortgage and a Swedish grandmother who had to drop out of school during the Depression. Trust me, it was made 100% clear from all quarters what a lucky girl I was and what an asshole I'd be to take it for granted. So where does Miss Thing hail from?

I don't know, but I'm going to find her. Them. (I have a hunch there's more than one.) I'm undergoing a course of hypnotherapy right now to help me stay on my diet: you know, the diet that made the blood stop shooting out of my ass; that saved my bacon; that I followed happily, religiously, for two years before I became a whiny little brat who just wanted a piece of rye toast with breakfast, dammit! My hypnotherapist (he has no website, but if you're L.A.-based and looking, shoot me an email) suggested yesterday that maybe there is some part of me that I need to sit down and have a discussion with.

You see, I have a hunch that once I hear them out, they might be mollified. We all just want to be heard, or seen...right? And once we've all yakked it out and had a good cry, I'll be able to explain that we need to try this cleaning experiment, that we have some Big Shit to accomplish and it's worth a try to see if getting things organized makes a difference. And I'll bet you dollars to donuts that when they hear all that, Miss Thing & Co. are going to get with the program. They'll see the grand scheme and zip it.

If I'm lucky, maybe they'll even help with the dishes...

xxx c

Photo by twosixteen via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license