Let me start with a disclaimer. Most people struggle in housekeeping either one direction or the other…either with being too controlling or too lazy.
Want to know the way I struggle? I ALWAYS like to be in control and on top of things, and so I can seldom rest or sit down until everything is how I want it. The problem with that is that there is always something to do. So I seldom sit down, rest, or simply enjoy my people.
If you can relate to any of that, then this is for you…some thoughts on what I’m learning.
I’m pretty good at managing things. That may sound arrogant, but what I really mean is this: I’m a good Martha. I can keep a house pretty organized and tidy (not necessarily clean, but picked up, yes).
But here’s what I’m learning about myself. I do too much of it that is simply unnecessary. Is some of it needed? Yes. I learned a few years ago that the necessities of housekeeping are dishes, dirty laundry, and dinner. So I’ve tried to focus in on those main areas, and been okay with letting other little things go.
But even in the main three, I can find myself just naturally gravitating toward the sink to MANAGE something, when really, it’s okay if it sits there a little bit. I don’t have to return to the sink 27 times a day to clean something. Instead, I can pick up and load the dishwasher a few times a day, and be okay.
How did I learn this? Honestly, from my business endeavor. You see, there are areas in my business where I can keep myself busy, feel busy, and seem to be doing stuff that’s important. It’s good stuff, but all too often, I can slip into passing the time with management mode vs growing my business by doing the vital behaviors I need to be doing.
Once I began translating that to my personal life, here’s what it began to mean to me: Management mode can sometimes prevent me from doing the VITAL, life-giving tasks I should be doing instead…namely, being available for my family. What are those vitals? Here are a few for me…
Not being too busy to look up when he says, “Mom, watch this.”
Having my handsfree so I can hold, hug, read a book to them, make eye contact with my husband when he’s sharing bits of his day with me, and just be more present.
The dishes will get done. I know they will. Because I’m good at management.
But I want to be better at the vitals. I want to do what matters most.
So that’s why I’m proud of my dirty dishes today. Because I know FOR ME it means I’m doing what matters. If you struggle similarly, I encourage you – cut out the unnecessary, and join me in this declaration from Hands Free Life:
“Today I will seek two empty handed moments, 2 complete silence moments, 2 fully available moments. I will avoid setting expectations for what is to happen during these moments. Instead, I shall allow these moments to unfold naturally so there is room for them to flourish, evolve, and transform into fuel for my connection-hungry soul.”