Like a lot of people, I have trouble accepting help. As kind of a bossypants control freak, it’s sometimes nice that my kitchen is the size of Kleenex. I can use the close quarters as an excuse to ask people to get out of my space and my way. I’m a grown-ass lady and I take care of my own shit.
So, accepting help? No way. Asking for help? You have got to be kidding. And delegating? Well, let’s just say that was a hard-earned ability when I was a groan-up working at Corporate Behemoth. It’s taking me years to master side plank in yoga, and it took me years to master delegation at work, too.
Now that I’m self-employed, there’s really no delegation to be done. The dogs don’t pull their weight, but I’ve mostly made peace with it. And around the house? Well, in theory, it should be a lot easier to take care of stuff since I’m here all the time. My advice for anyone who works from home? If you’re having a bad work day, throw in a load of laundry. At least you’ll be able to say you accomplished something.
Laundry is fine. But I hate cleaning.
My Guy has helped me identify my 1 and, of course, only psycho bad habit: I tired clean. When I should just go to bed or at least sit on the couch, you can find me cleaning a toilet somewhere. It’s my meager effort to have control when I’m feeling frayed. Unlike laundry, it doesn’t make me feel productive – it just makes me angry. Who is this MAN living in my HOUSE who makes things DIRTY? Who are these DOGS who just SHED EVERYWHERE and don’t even have JOBS?
I don’t think tired cleaning is acknowledged by the DSM-5, but it should be.
I’ve been on a collision course for some time. Years, really.
And I’ve had the card of a highly recommended cleaning woman. This card has been in my desk drawer for more than a year. About once a month, I’d take the card out, look at it, and then put it back in the drawer.
About two months ago, I snapped.
I was tired cleaning and basically hit rock bottom, like a junkie. Our shower was scummy and I was mad. Neither of us had the energy to clean after working long days. We had the financial means to pay someone to help us. And I was so tired that my pride, my bossypantsness, my need for control just fell away. I gave in.
Valencia came to clean. The first time, it took her 6 hours to clean our trust-me-not-large house. It was just that dirty. But Valencia was kind and the dogs loved her – except when she vacuumed. I worked while she cleaned.
Sitting at my desk, something inside me just popped. I realized that true luxury isn’t a yacht or partying with rappers – because I totally thought it was, right? No. True luxury is opening yourself up to having someone else give to you.
|Not a staged photo.|
Valencia has thanked me for the opportunity to clean, but holy bananas. Having her clean my house is like getting a massage, but maybe even better. It’s like how I would feel sitting at my grandparents’ dinette on a dark, chilly morning, knowing that my grandpa was making the world’s best oatmeal for me. He didn’t do anything remarkable to the oatmeal – he just cooked up some Quaker Oats. But that oatmeal is still the best oatmeal I’ve ever had. It was a gift to me, a simple act of service. And as a little kid, I had the good sense to sit and wait for the oatmeal, and then devour it.
So, I’m practicing this long-lost skill. Valencia comes to work her magic, and I work at my computer. And every now and then, I revel in the fact that my house is being cleaned by someone who is not me, by someone who is glad to do it. And it’s a great fit. And all I had to do was let go.