Good Girls Only Vacuum on Thursdays (Part Two)

A while ago I shared two beliefs I have about my home.

1.  I believe my home should be essentially spotless.

2.  I believe I should have a system for maintaining it.

In Part One of this post, I said good-bye to “systems” and hello to what is greeting me in the moment.  So what about belief #1 that my home should be spotless?  This is clearly not a helpful belief.  Because my house is literally never spotless.  NEVER!  Maybe one corner of the kitchen counter is spotless.  Or one toilet.  But never both toilets AT THE SAME TIME.  And most days, neither one is all that pretty.  (And I only have one male in my house!)

In my first post, I may have given you the impression that I’ve found the magic key.  I do the chores when I FEEL like it and voila-my house is spotless!  Not exactly.  A new belief has emerged (or rather pleaded it’s case to me daily for the past 5 and 1/2 years of living with little people).  I have to LET GO of spotless!  Spotless is for homes that sit empty.  Or are in a magazine shoot.  Or for people who have goldfish.  For those of us with the next generation co-habitating with us, spotless doesn’t even exist.  Spotless means nothing to us.  It should not even be in our vocabulary!  Anything that is “spotless” in our house very quickly becomes “spotted”, finger-printed, smudged, cluttered, crumbed, pooped or puked on, colored on or covered with the latest pile of art/toys/books/mail.  There is no such thing as spotless for me right now.  As you heard me say the other day, I wouldn’t trade that for a million years.

So, two Good Girl beliefs being obliterated before our very eyes!  Where does that leave me as I try to make house each day?  Well, how about here.  In this post from one of my mothering gurus, she talks about using the ordering of our homes to help develop our inner selves.  I love this.  It is true.  When I vacuum (on whatever day I @!%# well please, thank you very much) and I’m doing it because I feel like it, I do feel a sense of peace.  Bringing order to my home does feel good.  Just not when I’m doing it because I think my house SHOULD be spotless or perfect.  Here’s a funny thought too.  When I do my chores with this shift, out of my own “will,” I enjoy the outcome so much more.  When I tidy up our living room, after days of letting it go, I can sit back and enjoy the calm I’ve created.  When I do it in the frenzy of tasks to achieve to reach perfection, I never even take the time to notice.  I’m too busy working on my next “should.”

Time for me to say good night.  The floor at my feet is littered with markers, crayons, coloring pages, pillows and legos.  But I’m about to set this laptop down on a completely empty end table.

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