Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why I don't clean

A multilayered explanation.

The time stamp at the bottom will tell you that this is going up sometime after 1 am. That is reason #1 why i don't clean. All sorts of self-motivation, efficiency etc books will tell you to find the time at which you are most productive and seize that time to do the things most important on your List Of Tasks. My most productive time is late evening, typically after 8 or 9 pm at the earliest. Knowing that I have issues with insomnia to begin with, if the 'mood' to do something productive strikes me after 8 pm, I tend to ignore it and tamp it down for the simple fact that a) I don't want to get myself riled up and unable to sleep and b) I don't want to get part way into any project and have to be up late to finish it or decide to leave it half finished and go to bed. I don't have a great track record for finishing things in the first place. On top of all that I still have a high school complex that the 'cool' people do not go to bed before "very late" on the weekends. No matter how much sleep I have gotten in the week, no matter how much I dictate to myself that I am no longer able to sleep past 1030, I still seem incapable of going to bed on a weekend before 11, and that is being very nice to myself, typically it's closer to 12 and 1 and even 2 if I rented movies.

More recently I have realized a much more Subconscious reason for not cleaning. If my stuff is strewn about my apartment haphazardly it fills up the space and makes me feel better. Somehow if my space is free of stuff then I feel like my life and/or heart are empty. As someone who struggles with cycles of depression, I truly don't think it necessary to take chances on exacerbating an existing problem if no one else cares. I seldom have people over, the ones who do come over know how I am and know that nothing truly disgusting is laying around. It's not like I have actual rotting trash all over, no bugs, no infestations, just a lot of stuff.

I do enjoy a tidy home. I like when I walk in my door and don't smell something rank. I like walking in my door and seeing clean kitchen counters. I had to go into work today and I could have sworn that it looked like the cleaning guy had vacuumed and dusted. I realize this to be nearly impossible to actually see but I thought it.

And that brings up another reason I don't clean. I won't take the time to. I won't say that I don't have the time, I do, I simply choose to spend it elsewise. I have been working late nearly every evening lately. I recently got a promotion and am now training someone to take my old position. Assuming that she comes back on Monday (the last girl only lasted 2 days! This one already made it 4!!) it will continue to get better as she learns more and becomes more and more autonomous. In the meantime much of my time is spend directly with her or being interrupted by moments of training her. On top of which, I'm still learning my own job! After working late, I have to come home and feed myself something I forage up. I spend a few nights a week away from home doing various things with various people. I need to decompress and regenerate for the day ahead. I willingly admit that I am a facebook addict, but simultaneously would defend myself by saying that it is both distraction and relaxation. I realize how ridiculous it is to spend hours taking care of imaginary farms and fish tanks and restaurants. But it gives me immediate gratification, a sense of accomplishment and sometimes even feeds my Shopping Therapy desire.

Today I rested. That's what my Saturday's are for. I sleep in, drink coffee while reading a book or playing on facebook until I get tired of being in the chair or something else stirs me. today I had to go into work for a few hours, so I got stirred a little earlier than usual, but I'm getting overtime so I won't complain. When I got home I did up the plethora of malodorous dishes that were absolutely screaming for my attention and got supper with my lovely, fantabulous neighbors. We watched a movie and chatted awhile and when I returned to my apartment around 11, I had The Bug. And I started. I tidied a corner in my kitchen that has needed it for awhile. Then I tidied the pile o' bags o' schtuff that had accumulated inside my door, and put away all the shoes ON the shoe rack. I tidied up all my clothes laying around in my bedroom and then gathered up my laundry to do tomorrow. My living room suddenly looks (nearly) clean! and my bedroom does too.

The depression has been bad again this week. So these clean areas don't give me nearly so much pleasure as they should. Hopefully I can stay ahead of the rank and varmint-appealing level of un-clealiness. Hopefully you can see my mess for what it is, a struggle to keep up with The Stuff of Life. A Life lived alone.

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