I’m letting someone help me and now I’m not quite so psycho. Coincidence?

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.

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  • Reply Cassi April 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I love this post 🙂 Both for the fact that asking for help is one of the hardest things we do, and also because I also hate to clean. And our house shows it. Good for you!

  • Reply Anonymous April 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I decided long ago that I do not want to:
    1) Clean my own house
    2) Mow my own lawn

    So those are two things I always pay to have done, and I have never looked back.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin April 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    So true. Letting go and allowing another person can be SO rewarding. I'm glad you did it. I bet Valencia is, too!

  • Reply Suburban Correspondent April 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Such a good point. And as we get older and care for others, it can be rejuvenating to let someone else care for us. At least, that's how I justify my pedicure habit.

  • Reply Kari April 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Can I have a Valencia who can come run my entire life?
    What?
    No?
    Crickets.
    Carry on.

  • Reply cookingwithgas April 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I miss those days.
    I had to give mine up when income became less and less.
    I loved her ways.
    Someday maybe, someday.

    We had to give up the mower too…..such is life.
    Enjoy.

  • Reply slow panic April 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    i wish i would tired clean instead of tired eat, tired watch tv and tired play games on my phone…..

    love this post.

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) April 17, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I angry-clean, but since I don't like cleaning and have low standards, I have to be really mad to angry-clean.
    I miss living in El Paso when a wonderful woman named Juanita came to our house. She was happy for the work and I was more than happy to pay her. I miss her and imagine that Valencia is equally wonderful.

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