As I sorted clothes prior to doing laundry this morning, after having gotten up, fed the cats, made the bed and the rest of my morning routine, my mind drifted back to part of a conversation I had with a friend last night and I began to grin.
She commented on my efficiency and I laughed and said that I have a lot of lazy days when I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing (though, admittedly, at the very least, the bed gets made and the kitchen gets put to rights). Sure, when I was working outside the house, I filled my refrigerator with two or three days worth of meals that I could just grab and go with in the morning, but that was still laziness. It meant that I could nibble on my lunch whenever I felt like it and get my daily meditation in during my lunch hour. It also meant that I could do the same with my breakfast which I tend to drag out if it’s more than a carton of yogurt as it is nowadays.
Now that it’s spring, and as hot as summer, I’m already on my second batch of gazpacho, but again, I consider that laziness too, coupled with simple economics. For less than 30 bucks and about 2 hours of chopping, I end up with enough fresh, healthy vegetables (and fruit if you want to get technical, since it’s mostly tomatoes) to last me a week. All I have to do if I get hungry is ladle up a bowl of the soup, toss a dollop of fat free greek yogurt on top and I’m good. I do the same thing with dinner stuff. I always make enough so there’s leftovers and at least one dinner is just heated up.
The long and short of this is, one person’s laziness or simple expediency (why make a little when a lot will feed me for a few days?) is another person’s efficiency. To me, the ones who amaze me and leave me awestruck over their efficiency are those who have immaculate houses, busy lives, jobs (either at home with the kids or out in public) and just seem to have their lives in perfect order. But appearances can be deceiving.
None of us can do it all, so we choose what’s important to us and don’t spend a lot of time fretting over what doesn’t get done? Or do we? I look at my yard and keep telling myself I need to get out and pull weeds, trim rosebushes and maybe put in a vegetable garden. But has it gotten done? Nope. I look at the floors in my house (which these days is everything except my bedroom) and think “I really need to lock the cats in the bedroom and give this place a good scrubbing!” But as of today, the need remains.
Sure, there are a few superwomen out there who can keep all of the balls in the air, and have homes which run like clockwork, perfect kids, a devoted husband and no financial stresses, but honestly, how many of those are there? And how many of those have maids and gardeners who do more than just mow the lawns twice a month?
It’s all a matter of priorities and nobody can tell you what is important except you, yourself. Sure, I’d like to have a cleaner, more organized house, but until it becomes a priority, I keep up with the things that are important and try not to sweat the rest. At the moment, I always have clean clothes to wear, my bed is made every morning, my kitchen is ready for just about any cooking project I might want to undertake, the sandboxes are scooped regularly and the wads of fur are vacuumed up once a week. Much of that is an improvement over what I did previously, and as the decluttering continues and my space becomes easier to maintain, I know that more will become habit as I find that doing some things makes others easier.
I believe that we all do the best we can and frankly, if maintaining an image of perfection doesn’t make you happy, I can’t really see the purpose in it, but as you may have seen from previous posts, I’ve never been one who sees outward appearances or the neatness of my home as indications of a person’s character. Those who do will likely find other friends than me, and that’s ok, as I will find others who love each other for their warm, loving heart and willingness to drop everything for a friend.
Many of my friends do have gorgeous, immaculate homes, but I have to believe that there are days when they just leave a mess somewhere because other things require their attention. Many also have some kind of cleaning service which comes in regularly. I tried that once, and though it meant my house was cleaner, I wasn’t really happy with that solution either.
It’s a funny thing about life, though. If we can sit back and be quiet for a minute, we will find our own balance.
My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for the low stress lifestyle I’ve achieved.
2. I am grateful for friends who can love and accept me as I am, sloppiness and all.
3. I am grateful for finding my own version of efficieny.
4. I am grateful for continuing to find ways to improve my surroundings.
5. I am grateful for getting to spend a couple of days with the kids!
Love and light.