I vacuumed today. This was an unscheduled foray, and the carpets really didn’t need it yet. But still, the windows were open, thank God for that, and that meant the dusty detritus of outdoors was swirling around out there, looking for a way in, just to irritate me. So, I figured I’d get ahead of it.
But now, I have one eye cocked on the windowsills. Because, as we all know, one thing leads to another, especially when it comes to chores like cleaning. So far, the dominoes are still standing, all but that initial one. But who knows for how long?
I try to rank my chores, but while I’m in the middle of one, something else springs forth as one that deserves higher ranking. For instance, I really don’t care much for dusting, so I tend to elevate vacuuming up a step or two above dusting. Those neat soft herringbone marks on the carpet make it feel like I’m really accomplishing something, maybe even something artistic. However, by the time I’m halfway down the hall, headed for the living room with my trusty Dyson, I’m ready to cash in. To combat that, I spread it out over two days. That means no looking back to see where footprints now leave a spoor on my abstract floor art. Of course, I could do what one of our neighbors did years ago in a different neighborhood. She chased the kids outside with instructions not to reenter the house until supper. Then she sat back with a drink and admired her handiwork. I preferred watching the size of said footprints grow exponentially over the years. Yet another way of marking a metaphorical notch on the doorframe.
Now, even though dusting is way down the line on my list, there is one part of the chore that is quite fulfilling: the windowsills. Even in winter, the sills actually thirst for me to come hither and relieve them of their burden. What I’m saying is that, when I oil my rag and slide it along those sills, I can actually see improvement. Voila! What was dull is now gratefully glowing. Dusting when you’ve procrastinated long enough means that the chore is doing something visible. Not like vacuuming, where the satisfaction in getting something clean only shows when you dump out the dust container. Well, okay, the art on the carpet works too. But nothing quite measures up like dusting when it really needs it. That’s when I could sit down with a glass of lemonade and admire my work. No one’s gonna mess up my shiny windowsills. I’m lucky if they even notice. Of course, the other side of the coin on that issue is that if they don’t notice when it’s sparkling clean, they probably don’t notice when things are dusty either. Win-win.
I told my mother that, until someone says they’re going to put in my obituary that I was a lousy housekeeper, I’m not going to worry about it. Her response? You’re not going to be around to read it anyway, so… Absolutely right, Mom, absolutely right. (If you think you’re going to mention that at my funeral, well… Go ahead. I’m not going to be around to hear that either!)