Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Clean-Up

Friday is my day off. This translates into Friday being the day that I tend to all the things that didn't get done during the busy work week. Often, this is also cleaning day chez Mibi.

This is a necessary thing today, since I haven't really cleaned since the gathering of the tribe for my birthday two weekends ago. Some signs of this lack of domestic diligence: the jigsaw puzzle is still unfinished - I moved it from the kitchen table to the living room coffee table, but it sits there on the table reproaching me. At least I should just put the whole danged thing back in the box. Another sign of domestic discombobulation: dust bunnies from the dining room rug, which continues to shred months after we acquired it; piles of laundry, clean but not put away, in the blue bedroom; rings on the countertop that are only visible in certain lights, so that gives me an excuse to ignore them.

So I will spend an hour or so putting things back in order, washing floors and scrubbing the bathrooms, tossing things that need tossing, filing things that need filing.

I used to be more diligent about it - I had happened upon the FlyLady website and discovered that housework was manageable, after a fashion. I've been sloppy about following the system since coming to the Capitol of the Confederacy - life got in the way or something. But the thing about her approach is that it is all done in small bites throughout the week, with an hour on your major cleaning day. I think I can return to that.

The alternative is getting a cleaning service. In the past (when I made much more money than I do as a priest), I had such a service. But what I discovered was that the night before the ladies came, I spent an hour straightening up and putting away, so the cleaning ladies could do their work efficiently. If I could find that hour to do that, it made no sense not to spend the hour in a more focused way, cleaning things.

Today will also be a day to do some work on my first assignment for my Doctor of Ministry (DMin) class, transcribing a meeting with some parishioners about an issue at church. An hour and a half of five people talking over each other, laughing, brainstorming, praying. It will be a delight, but translating it from audio to transcript is dogsbody work.

I'll be doing some additional writing on that project while PH and I are away for a few days of may be the only uninterrupted time at my disposal, so I will use it gratefully. I may even try to do some writing in the car on the tablet computer, if my stomach will cooperate.

...ah, yes...vacation. We went to Ireland for a week in July. It was beautiful, mind-bending, surprising, glorious, but it was not restful. So this coming week is about rest. We will spend a goodly amount of time in the car (got a fun book-on-tape for spaces in between conversation and quiet with PH). We will visit with my brother- and sister-in-law at their new digs in upstate New York (wayyyyy upstate: closer to Ottawa than to Albany) and meander around that part of the world. We will drive over to see StoneMason and his fiance for dinner in Burlington, perhaps stop off at the lake cabin of friends, then drive home. No drama, no stress, just quiet and happy times.

It's another sort of housecleaning, I would say. A housecleaning of the mind and the soul. Dusting out the remnants of worry about a whole bunch of things and letting the sunshine and breeze blow through.

Will the house get completely spic-and-span today? Probably not. It will look and smell better, though, and that's a good thing. Will all the things that are piled up in my head (who needs a pastoral visit, who is going to do such-and-such at church, what does that person want to have a private meeting about, when will I find time to do the DMin reading and writing....etc.) be tossed into a psychic dustbin, never to return again? No, nor should they, but they should not take up more space than they deserve.

Housecleaning is a good thing for the house and for me - it is finite and satisfying. Housecleaning of the soul is not quite as finite but even more satisfying in its way.

Hoping that some breezes sweep through today and next week!

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