I ran around cleaning my house yesterday before the housekeepers come today. That’s a thing I did. But why? I made Jackson clean his room, I made Jerimiah tidy up his office. I got all the laundry done, all so when they arrive they won’t think we live like animals? I don’t know, but I know I’m not the only one who does this. When I used to go with my mom as a child and she would clean houses, the woman of the house always said, as soon as we got there, “Margie, I’ve been cleaning all morning!” Ha! My mom thought that was funny, but she understood.
My mom cleaned houses for decades. She cleaned houses, she cleaned motels. She cleaned military barracks and lodging for over a decade as a civilian employee on Ft. Leavenworth. It was in fact the only job she secured a retirement check from, and it small amount comes in handy now as a 76-year-old.
I used to go with her on the weekends when she would clean houses. Really big three-story houses with full basements and adorable dogs to run in the backyard with. I used to dream at night, in our two-bedroom apartment, about having my own big house, my own adorable dogs to run in the backyard with.
When I first called the house cleaning service I felt shitty. But I haven’t been able to keep up with things like I used to. I’m in near-constant pain when I do a little light-cleaning (I have my second visit with my rheumatologist this week to go over more testing) and we are all so busy, and home. We are all so HOME all the time now, that the house is sort of swallowing us up whole, spitting out our remains by way of unwashed rugs, dirty baseboards, an oven I can’t get clean. All the little things have started to add up to one big mess and we need help. Still, I felt bad for hiring someone to do something I can do, so I called my mom.
“Shoot,” my mom said on the phone, “if I had the money I’d hire someone. Don’t feel bad about it, honey. A house your size, they’ll send over two or three people and have it done in a few hours.” I felt relieved to hear my mom say that, and I guess less guilty.
Guilt. That’s what I’m trying to write about today. But I just haven’t found a way to convey it through a story on a page. Not quite yet.
Take a load off today, y’all and maybe cut yourself some slack.