I accidentally invited people over to my house for a celebration of Spouse's birthday before I remembered that the cleanliness of the house was a recent obsession.
(I injured my elbow in April I think-- and was under doctor's orders not to clean without supervision...)
And when last night rolled around the house was no where close to ready.
So I started with my bedroom. Because that was possibly the one room in the house that no one would see. And was I actually CLEANING?
No. I was organizing things and moving one pile from here to there and rethinking my clothing storage system. Right. Often referred to as "Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic."
As evening approached I became an anxiety-ridden, cleany fool. (cleany is similar to "helpy"; meaning to clean, but really just moving things from one place to another or getting stuck on one project etc.)
I cancelled plans with friends-- not really cognizant of the fact that I had not seen said friends in months and that I had flaked on both of them a number of times. I was treating each instance as an event unto itself. Today I cannot go out. It is a differet experience entirely for my friends who have been trying and trying and trying to connect with me.
When two people are feeling Sad (whether Depressed or depressed) it really sucks when one of them needs to be around people and the other one really needs people (however much she loves them) to stay away while she hibernates.
Realizing this now makes me feel like an unintentionally crappy-- very crappy. Possibly even Uber-Crappy.
So at 9:54 at night I find myself at Target buying cleaning supplies. The friends that I cancelled on texted me to see if I wanted help. If they had asked me in person or on the phone I probably would have said no. But it was easier, for some reason, to text the word "yes" than it was to ask for help.
The cleaning brigade arrived and my friend took over-- giving me small, manageble tasks to do and keeping me away from my Titanic deck-chair rearranging. Had she not been there it is likely that I would have gotten stuck straightening the books on the bookshelf and coming up with a better organizational system for them.
And the kitchen would have still been a stinky mess.
And the bathroom.
And the living rooom.
Let me be clear: the people coming over would not have made any judgements about the state of my house. Spouse was perfectly comfortable with the level of cleanliness when he retired at a reasonable hour before the cleaning fairies arrived.
I was well aware that my anxiety over cleaning was irrational. But KNOWING that something is irrational doesn't help. It just makes it impossible to reason myself out of-- since it is not reasonable to start with.
My friends rock. I need to get MUCH better at telling them what I need instead of hoping that they will magically guess. Or waiting to talk to them until I feel
THEN I made a whole bunch of stuff for our "simple" dinner. I don't do that well. But it was tasty. And now that the kitchen is clean I have handed off the baton to eldest son who is perfectly happy to clean the kitchen before he goes to bed.
Grateful Crap: my awesome friends who know when I need a cleany intervention
talked to friends
Quaker, teacher, parent,