Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Life's too short to clean your own home

I received this flyer in the mail. Actually, I've received a few of them and I have to admit -- they really got my attention. So much that I haven't thrown one away yet.

It certainly wasn't the design of the flyer that caught my eye. The outdated stock photo of the dad with the 90s hair leaves something to be desired. (wait -- did they have laptops in the 90s or did this bad haircut exist in the 2000s?)

But the slogan is really catchy. Life's too short to clean your own home. I love it. I have a very similar slogan. Actually, it's almost identical. Just remove the second part of the sentence.

My motto has always been "Life's too short to clean." Period.

Those of you who know me well know that cleaning and keeping a clean house is not one of my strong suits. It never has been.

But I believe we are all works-in-progress and I work hard to try and improve my weaknesses. This desire to get better at cleaning my house became more of a necessity when my son started crawling and now walking running through the house, finding every out-of-place object on our floors and tables.

For those of you who don't know me very well, I want to be clear that I am not a hoarder. I don't live in filth or collect trash. I'm not a dirty person. Just messy. As of now, I would be a terrible role model to my son as far as cleaning up after myself is concerned.

As I mentioned in my last post, as I'm growing older, I'm learning more about myself and about the importance of getting myself organized, planning ahead and making lists. I want to do the same for cleaning.

I want to change my cleaning habits by putting together a cleaning schedule for myself and I want your help. I have been scouring the web (namely, Pinterest) for examples of chore lists by day, week, month and year.

But I'm still trying to figure out what makes the most sense for me. Since I have been more of a "party cleaner" in the past, I don't even know where to begin. Do kitchen floors and bathroom floors need to be mopped (or scrubbed on your hands and knees as I've been doing lately) weekly? Or is this something you can get away with every other week or even longer if you sweep and swiffer in between?

How often do you clean your toilets, scrub your floors, vacuum your carpet, change your sheets. What about cleaning out your refrigerator and microwave? Do you have one day designated to cleaning each week, or do you try to do a little each day?

I would love your feedback and am excited to share with you my progress with this task.

Yes, life may be too short to clean your own house, but it isn't going to clean itself, either.

Thirty and growing

I say quite often that I don't like to think about getting "old." It's really sad watching other people struggle with the ailments that come with old age. That being said, I actually enjoy many aspects of getting older.

I turned the big 3-0 this year. Well, actually, last year. Oh yeah, Happy New Year! I'm just going to ignore the fact that I haven't blogged in six months or so and pick up where we left off. Sound good?

Me on my 30th birthday. I think the baby monitor
in the background accurately describes my life at 30.
I did A LOT of reflecting before turning 30. More than I thought I would. For the first 29 years of my life, 30 always seemed really old. Until I was turning 30. Then it didn't seem old at all. Maybe all of the big milestone birthdays feel that way. After all, you're only as old as you feel, right?

I did find two grey hairs in my eyebrows tonight, though. And that sure made me FEEL old. Until I tweezed them and vowed to forget I ever saw them. What grey eyebrows? I don't know what you're talking about...

I try to pray every night before going to bed and one of my reoccurring prayers is for help becoming the best version of me that I can be. I know that we are works in progress until the day we die and I want to continue striving to learn and grow with each day. Sometimes this causes me to really over-think and stress about situations which isn't good either, but I really try to learn from all of my experiences and improve upon my weaknesses.

Here are some of the things I have learned about myself in the last decade:

I need to make lists to get things done. I get overwhelmed easily and when I feel overwhelmed, I do nothing which then makes me feel more anxious. So both personally and professionally, I need to make lists and get things out of the chaos in my mind and onto a piece of paper that I can then cross off when the task is completed.

I need to do things right away when I'm thinking about them instead of putting them off. For example, when I buy fresh produce or fruit at the grocery store, I need to clean it and cut it right away or else it will go bad before it gets eaten. I don't even like to think about how much fresh food I have wasted as a result of putting off this process.

I have learned that I need to forgive myself and accept the fact that I am not perfect. Of course I know that I am not, but yet, I strive to be and when I inevitably fall short (quite often), there is no one harder on me than I am on myself.

One of the most important things I have learned is that I have the ability to take control of my thoughts and feelings. It mind sound crazy or something that should be really simple but for most of my life, I have struggled with letting my thoughts and feelings control me - like I was a helpless victim at the mercy of whatever life threw at me.

But as I've gotten older, I have realized that I do have the ability to take control of my thoughts and I can determine my attitude. Just because I have come to this realization doesn't mean it is easy, though. It's hard to change your way of thinking, especially when it happens so involuntarily at times.

We had a long-term substitute teacher in eighth grade who said, "your attitude is everything." It took me about 15 years to fully understand how right she was. We can't always control some of the situations life throws at us, but the one thing we can control is how we respond.

In my next thirty years, I hope to continue to self-reflect, learn, grow and strive to become the best version of myself.