I was looking at maid services.
My house was the mess of someone who was living and not handling it, of big jobs done regularly (old books and clothes tossed, Tupperware had all its lids) and the every day abandoned. My kitchen was a perpetual horror show because not washing dishes is a rebellion against my father and no one tells a rebel when to *stop.* I do not like mess. I want big spaces with nothing in the middle of the room or set on the floor, minimal risk of breaking a toe or misplacing a necessary item. Mess is brain static and it loomed in front of all the other shit that felt important to me that I had not touched in months.
I wondered how to fit it into my budget, when they would come over (arrange around the dog, hosted events), and the emotional calculus, cost, and anxiety was greater than my guilt as a Housekeeper. I would like to be worthy of holding keys, my own or another’s.
It has been several months and my house is very clean. There is a made bed. There is an empty sink. There are dusted baseboards and washed windows. I do things in 2-10 minute increments constantly.
I find myself being a Clean Person and it’s much, much better than being Chaotic. But I am annoying the shit out of myself because I’m now one of those people who has counter space to cook often. I’m learning a language. I work out every day unless I’m ill. I average 5000 words a week.
This is on top of all the other weird shit I do that already had people asking if I sleep.
Which I do. Often. Luxuriously. I love sleep. It’s the only relaxation I get.
There are positive side effects to all this. Having my floors clear of clothes and cookies on the counter, I am more comfortable in the judgement of others. I don’t dress as well. I often go without makeup. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but we’re all under glass and terrified someone will see the slop of our private selves.
Does this all sound self-righteous? It should! It is! It is revolting how smug I catch myself being. I would do myself an injury if I thought, “This was me all along – I just had to unlock it,” because that is bullshit. I was never This until one ugly side of the scale outweighed another. Being able to clean and yet paying someone to come stare at my mess and fix it seemed fetishistic.
I would make a terrible therapist. I never really fix my shit, I just weaponize it.