When you live in your own house, you get used to your surroundings. Some things - like dust - you just don't see anymore until it reaches that level where it refuses to be ignored and then you take action.
Since cutting back on my work schedule a few years ago, I find that I tolerate more clutter and dust than I ever thought I would. I used to be a "a place for everything and everything in its place" kind of person. Even when the kids were little, our house was pretty neat and clean and as the kids got older, they were employed to help keep it that way. For some strange reason, Jenna took a liking to cleaning of all types, actually making it her hobby. She did laundry, dishes, and kept the house clean.
I got spoiled.
Then the day came when both girls were gone to college and off on their own. Now it was up to me. Romie has always been my equal when it comes to household chores (he dusts, vacuums, does dishes and laundry), so it wasn't all up to me, but with me not working much anymore, I felt like the bulk of the responsibility was mine. And while I still want my house to be organized and clean, the fact of the matter is, it isn't.
There are probably several reasons for this:
- I'm The Queen of Procrastination.
- I'm overwhelmed by all there is to do and don't know where to start, so I don't.
- I have a really hard time making decisions, so some things don't get discarded because I can't decide if I should keep it or not (I might need it later!) and if I keep it, where's the best place for it?
- I don't have the energy to do all I need to do in the garden and the house at the same time, so it's one or the other and gardening is more fun. I only dream of the day when I can do both simultaneously.
- I have developed selective vision. You've heard of selective hearing? It works with eyes, too. Look at something long enough and after awhile you don't see it anymore. Nope, can't see the praying mantis molt laying on the desk . . .
There are a couple of other reasons too, but I'm not willing to admit those yet. But I have decided there's nothing that makes you more aware of how your house really looks than to have another person set foot in it.
Sunday night, we went to Van Wert and got Grandma and brought her out to the house to spend the night. There's something about walking into your house with another person behind you that all of a sudden makes you see things through their eyes. How does that happen?
This time, all the plants that we had to bring in for the winter just jumped out at me. I counted them last year and it was some ridiculously high number, but there are even more this year. Mom had a few she was going to throw out and I couldn't bear for her to do that with perfectly good plants, so of course I took them in. Cats. Plants. They're all the same to me. And then there are all those brugmansias, God help me.
Even with our "greenhouse in the basement" it's a jungle in here. The air quality is undoubtedly fabulous, what with all that conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen going on. You'd think that would boost my energy level, wouldn't you? I haven't noticed it.
The cats seem to like all the greenery around, with Simon munching down on anything that even remotely resembles grass and Baby hiding under the larger plants when one of the other cats sneaks into the house.
There will be a natural attrition over the winter, but for the most part we live in a botanical conservatory. It's not so bad, in fact, Romie likes it and so do I, but visiting friends and relatives are somewhat shocked as they walk into it. That's okay. It's our house and it's only five months till spring and everything will begin to go back outside.
Maybe I should start conducting tours and charging for admission to our indoor gardens. Maybe we could make enough to hire a cleaning lady.