That’s not dust, it’s “Patina”.

June 23, 2007 at 10:52 am (General, The Environment)

My house is a mess. Lots of people’s homes are these days. (Just do a Google Image search on “messy house”. I told you. 678,000 images. Hah!) Most people are wrapped up in that frenzy of activity that our modern world seems to expect of them. Housework is on the list, but it can usually be ignored until you want to have the friends and family over for a barbecue.

Not my momYesterday, I was looking briefly at my mess – the dust bunnies, dirty dishes, unfolded laundry – and made the mistake of comparing my housekeeping to that of my late mother. I grew up in the ’60s & ’70s, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom, cooking, cleaning, all that “Leave it To Beaver” jazz we associate with the ’60s. But before despair set in, some self-defending synapse sparked somewhere in the cobwebby recesses of my brain, and belched out the square footage of my home. About 1500 square feet. My eyes flew wide, and my jaw fell. Could it be?

I called my dad to check. Sure enough, the spotless home I remember from my early childhood was about 700 square feet. Not only did mom have way more time to clean than I do, she had help (my sister and I) and – the most important revelation – she NEVER had to clean a house as big as mine! Wow. Talk about a liberating thought.

So I called my sister, too. She was delighted to share my epiphany, and added that mom seldom mowed the lawn, like we do. That was a task for me or dad. Our yards are bigger now, too. Hell, the mini-lawn we had in Portland could be mowed in 20 minutes with a pair of blunt scissors.

Sweep it!Now I feel quite a bit better about my housekeeping, having gained a new perspective on it. And though it’s not an original thought, when I’m on my deathbed, I am not going to be thinking, “I sure wish I had spent more time cleaning my house”.

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