Unusually Long Silences

20131118_054935[1]
sunny gift from a guest
Unusually long silences in which readers get bored and lose interest are a dreaded reality for me in my blogging life.  I think I speak for many people when I say that sometimes the things we generally like to be doing (writing) isn’t what we want to be doing most (entertaining out of town guests) or have to be doing (work).  But it is crucial that we avoid guilt over things not done if we are being true to our priorities.

What I’ve been doing:

– a pre Thanksgiving event for the husband and other friends and relatives that I won’t get to see on the actual Thanksgiving Day.  This took me days of prep, planning, cooking and cleaning. Twenty two of us had a great time and a good meal.

thanksgiving thoughts from guests
thanksgiving thoughts from guests

– reconnecting with a long time friend and her family, visiting from afar. We kayaked, walked the beach, swam in the ocean, braved the mall, and ate several meals together. Oh, and Mexican Train up to number 7.

dining out with Cheryl
dining out with Cheryl

– worked for my employer, who is having trouble with staffing right now.  I am a so called resigned, retired nurse who works about as much as I did before I resigned. Go figure.

– spent  much enjoyed time doing music for my church (for my God).  Volunteered a little more than usual since others were out.

-spent hours and dollars on my computer, resurrecting it from death (or near death). Now if I can just figure out where all the missing files are, we’ll be fine and functioning.

– put out my fundraising letter for medical supplies for the Cambodian orphans.  I don’t want to go empty handed. God will supply what is needed, but I have to ask.

– overseeing major house washing.  Who knew it could take a week to pressure wash a house? It looks great again, except in the places where the paint needs to be replaced – but we knew that would happen.  All the accessory trees got trimmed too.

In the big picture, I think I made good choices,

putting God first,

people second

and things last.

I have to say, being a consistent writer is not easy when you have another life of any kind …

Thoughts on a Clean House

It’s embarrassing to be reminded.  Some people clean their houses every week, on the same day of the week.

Image

I’ve come so far from that, and I don’t necessarily call it progress.  My house gets… no wait, a room in my house may get cleaned when it becomes difficult to navigate through it.  My whole house gets cleaned only when I’ve lost something and need to find it. Of course, I might find it in the first room I clean, in which case only one room gets cleaned.

Spot cleaning is my specialty.  Spots on the floor, piles of mail on the table, sink full of dishes, a cat mess, a dead plant, are all within my 15 minute tolerance for housecleaning.  In fact I often turn to these obvious, flagrant crimes against clean to avoid other things I don’t want to do.  High levels of anxiety over other areas of life can be temporarily muted by these small but visible improvements.

My most effective tool against messy, dirty house is to invite company.  I like to have dinner time company and that is my most compelling reason to clean the living room, dining room and kitchen. If it’s the first time in my house for a visitor I am aware of how important that first impression can be.  I can get close to being fussy clean for those people.  If the company “knows” my kitchen from having been there many times, I skip being tidy because I’m counting on that first impression over-riding everything they’ve seen since.   It works.  Kind of…

Overnight company is more of a problem. I should really clean the whole house, except for rooms I keep locked (!!?) My solution is to only invite family, meaning people who have lived in my house before, to stay overnight.  I leave the cleaning supplies where they can find them and if they’re bothered they can do a little cleaning in their spare time. They are on vacation and have lots of that.

My bottom line is keeping relationships as the most important thing.  Remember that little poem?

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow

For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow

So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep

I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.

I don’t know who wrote it but I have it memorized from those days in the rocking chair with my little daughters.  It applies to company too, of all ages.  Better to let them know I like them and want to be with them, if they don’t mind my messy house. I’m just sayin’ they might even be relieved to see that my house looks kind of like theirs…