I've come to grips with a very real and plain truth.
I am a messy person.
I've been dancing, swinging, skipping, tossing around this fact for years now. Anyone who knows me knows that this is an obvious fact, but I've been in denial.
This is what I tell myself:
I am busy, I don't have time to clean. I like to cook, so my kitchen is naturally messy. I live in Hawaii, so there are going to be piles of ants in every corner. I just cleaned the floor yesterday and it is already dirty, which means it is impossible to keep clean. I am planning on cleaning the fridge tomorrow. I am making a plan to clean one room each day this week. Amaya will just mess everything up anyway.
Now, this is not even close to the same thing as not knowing how to clean. In fact, when I do clean, I clean pretty thoroughly, which means I lift up the toaster to sweep the crumbs out from underneath it. I do care a lot about the floor of the house, so I will scrub it regularly. This keeps it clean for exactly 4 hours at a time.
But I will completely ignore other things, and make more work for myself later. I put papers into piles that I need to sort later, I put books on top of the stack in the shelf, and I empty my pockets on top of my dresser every evening. I usually get to this point where I see a pile, and I just throw something else into it, because obviously I have to clean up that pile and I might as well do it all at once.
So in this realization, I've also come to see some other truths that hold our universe together.
1. I don't have time to clean, but people who are clean and don't have time to clean clean anyway.
2. Paperclips, rubberbands, and other things that hold other things together attract others of their kind and make a mess in miscellaneous areas. And if you throw them away, you will grow new ones soon enough.
3. If you spend an hour cleaning the bathroom and get rid of all of the dead ant piles in the corners, they will rebel and stray their crumpled bodies all over the floor in protest of you interrupting their sacred burial ground.
4. Having a place where you keep things that you don't know where they go to also means that you will never find where these things go to (and take up valuable space in a drawer). However, if you throw these things away, you will immediately find whatever they go to, and you will absolutely need them and hate yourself for throwing them away.
5. Just because you are too short to see the top of the fridge does not mean that the top of the fridge is clean. In fact, you have been putting cereal boxes up there for months assuming it was a clean and bug free place to keep things, but once you stand on a chair and look, you will see several cockroaches running to another place you can't see the top of.
6. Cleaning your house just makes you aware of all the things you still need to clean. Even if you tell yourself you will clean the inside of the fridge tomorrow, in the meantime, ants and cockroaches will be busy making little piles inside the cupboard you cleaned today. And don't even get me started on the windows. There is no being DONE with cleaning.
7. The only time your house will be clean is when you move out, take all of your stuff to your new place, and scrub everything top to bottom.
So this morning Jake and I ignored Amaya entirely and cleaned the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I organized every pile and put things away and scrubbed the surfaces. We ignored the windows and the inside of the fridge and only cleaned some of the cupboards.
Telling yourself that you are going to change and become a clean person is much like breaking an addiction. Good intentions, written goals, positive self-talk all come down to you, and something that needs to be cleaned up.
Does it really matter if I put this paperclip on top of the bookcase?