A while back I posted here that I was trying something new: cleaning the kitchen throughout the day, rather than waiting for the Point Of No Return, usually hitting it right before Phillip got home, throwing everything in the dishwasher, putting all the food and dishes away, but ignoring most of the clutter because come on. Clutter is a way of life.
So that didn't last very long. I felt like all I was doing with my days was cleaning the kitchen. Feeling good about having a clean kitchen came at too high a price, it felt like, and I slowly (okay, quickly) returned to my lazy eh-I'll-get-to-it-eventually habits.
THEN. Katie, the FPC, and I made the decision that our cottage food industry would use my kitchen instead of hers. And I started to get a little nervous.
A few days after that decision I went full OCD on my kitchen, throwing out everything sitting on the window sills or counters that I could reasonably throw out, washing everything, wiping down every surface, sweeping, organizing, using half a container of those Lysol wipes.
I haven't stopped.
Just this afternoon while Emma napped and my kids played on my computer, I used up another half container of Lysol wipes. (I think it's the smell. The smell proves it's clean.) I think it's been about two weeks, which is longer than any cleaning promise I've ever endeavored to keep. And I feel GOOD about it. I can't really explain why. I am most certainly spending more time cleaning my kitchen than I did even during that couple of days I blogged about it. It just feels different. Even though I know everyone I live with is conspiring to dirty it immediately, it still feels WORTH it to keep it looking fresh and uncluttered and clean. It's IMPORTANT. It's POSSIBLE. I feel BETTER about LIFE.
(I have noticed, however, that the rest of my house remains an unholy dump. I've recently realized that at this stage of life I cannot have all the things clean at the same time. Ever. I can have a sparkling kitchen, but my living room will be a disaster. I can clean up the kids' room, but the playroom will be littered in junk. It's just not going to happen and I think I'm okay with that and what is most amazing about the last two weeks is that instead of moaning about just wanting a housecleaner for my kitchen and bathrooms, I've started thinking I only need the imaginary houscleaner for the bathrooms. SO. There is PROGRESS, at least.)
Anyway. As I was wiping down my hateful tile counters with the ancient disgusting grout (UGH! MY KINGDOM FOR GLEAMING WHITE QUARTZ!) I was thinking about my housework struggle and how it (kind of sort of a little bit) mirrors my weight loss struggle.
BECAUSE. I happened to go out with my two beautiful, slender, stylish, who-knows-why-they-keep-this-chubby-white-girl-around friends and confessed, because confession is good, that I am Struggling. With myself. And how I look. And how it's beginning to feel less like hating how I look than hating that I let myself look this way. That maybe something happened in my Hot By 30 days and I started to believe something, maybe, that wasn't true, and now that most of that weight is back I'm some sort of Moral Failure. A Disappointment. A Laughingstock. Which sounds terribly dramatic and even a little silly when I write it out, but is TOTALLY the way it sounds in my head.
I also confessed to not giving a flying you know what about what I eat these days, to the point where maybe something's Wrong. I asked my friends, "Am I USING food? Do I have that Twisted Emotional Relationship with food now?" But one of them said, "Hey, if *I* had spent an entire year doing all the things that had worked before to lose weight and nothing happened, I'd eat whatever I wanted too."
And that... that was helpful. That was REALLY helpful. I knew I'd given up, but she helped me figure out WHY. It wasn't hard to see, but it was helpful for someone else to say it. And they said all the right things too, the things you want your friends to say when you're having a rough time. I went home feeling like yeah, I AM in this place, but maybe I won't ALWAYS be here.
Because it's happened with cleaning my kitchen. The caring piece suddenly matched with the possibility piece. Too simplistic? Awkward comparison? I don't know, it's working for me right now. What I care about, what feels possible, what IS possible, what is important, what needs to happen - those things are not at ALL lined up. Not in my brain, not in real life. But I keep catching glimpses of MAYBE and SOMEDAY and in the meantime I sign up for Stitch Fix and learn how to do a smoky eye and start a Christmas party spreadsheet and press forward.