Mary Moreau

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cleaning Lady

When I'm stressed or depressed I easily get derailed from the regular maintenance that a home requires and the resulting clutter adds to the level of stress. It is one of those vicious cycles that I easily get drawn into. Whenever I try to make an effort to pull myself out of it by attempting to accomplish one task I instead see the thousand other things that need to get done in order to achieve perfection. I think those other tasks seem worse. I think: "perhaps I should do that other task now instead of this one that I've already started, and for which I've moved all of the furniture in the living room." I think: "catastrophe is imminent." I get paralyzed by such self-defeating thoughts and usually there are tears.

This almost happened yesterday. Two days ago we had the couch and area rug steam cleaned by a professional. (Despite being "clean" the couch looks disgusting. Never buy an oatmeal-coloured couch, particularly if you wear jeans or drink red wine, or are human.) The rug was hanging to dry over the fire-escape and this I saw as a great opportunity to wash the rug underlay and the living room floor. Fast forward to the part where I have moved one half of the living room into the other and you will see me sitting on the window sill fuming over the fact that the windows are translucent at best and the tracks that the panes run on are filthy and no vacuum attachment is small enough to fit in there. This is a job for soap, water, an old toothbrush and some elbow-grease. I almost ended up in a tearful heap on the bed. I'm happy to say that the living room smells of Murphy's Oil soap - a comforting aroma. Despite this small victory and feeling of accomplishment, I still needed a nap in the early evening to calm my frayed nerves.

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