Today is the last day of our family vacation at home, and tomorrow it’s back to work and daycare for the three of us. It is a day for taking down the Christmas decorations, sweeping up all of the (many, many) needles because I insist on a real tree, getting the laundry done, doing some cooking for the week, and generally doing the tidying up that we so decadently let go over our break.
It was satisfying to take down the tree, freeing up a few precious square feet of floor space that we forgot we had, and letting the sunshine pour in through the unblocked windows. Ahem. It was also nice to get the new toys put away, decrumb surfaces, and give the bathroom a much-needed cleaning.
Will this be the post where I find the fabulous in cleaning my toilet? No, no it will not. I might never write that post.
This is the post where I discuss what a fabulous thing it is to set about completing a task like housecleaning, and along the way you are able to put your hands on everything you need. Laundry detergent? Check. Working vaccuum? Check. Proper cleaning supplies for all surfaces? Check. Ingredients for the meal I want to prepare? Check. Willing helpers? Check.
The phenomenon described above is not an everyday occurrence around the Fabulous household, and I think the factors that contributed to it deserve some individual attention, in the form of a numbered list.
1) We live in a place where there are items that are readily available and affordable to make these tasks more pleasant and time-efficient. I think that it is not realistic or helpful to be so relentlessly positive that I reframe every undesirable chore and action by looking at it in this context (“I shouldn’t complain about cleaning cat vomit off the rug! At least I have a rug, and can afford food for my cat to binge on and purge!”), but I am grateful for it nonetheless.
2) We have the financial means to shop in bulk, and the storage space to keep large amounts of things on hand. I like the environmental, economical, and time saving features of buying things in large quantities. While I will not claim to know what it’s like to live in abject poverty, there were cash-strapped days in my not-so-distant past where my fellow grad assistant roommate and I had no money for groceries (though we did have a breadmaker and mix and some fancy jam that carried us through – strange times). I certainly wasn’t in a position until recently to outlay any sort of money on a huge tub of laundry detergent, nor did I have the space to keep it in. The fact that I will probably not have to buy laundry detergent again for years is oddly thrilling.
3) My husband (should I refer to him as Mr. Fabulous? That seems a little lame) and I have made a lot of progress in the last many months on who knows where the butter is. It’s an ongoing process, but we’re in a good groove with dividing household labor 51%/49%, with both of us trying to do the 51%.
4) I have made big strides with overall organization and planning ahead. Please forgive my immodest moment, but I take some pride in this. In a lot of areas of my life I rely on my memory to get me out of jams where I have been disorganized or not planned appropriately. Sometimes, this is not possible. My first vacation that I took without my parents was in my late teens, and I went to Disneyworld with some friends. I totally neglected to pack underwear. There is no way to fake underwear. Nor is there any way to procure (adult) underwear when you are marooned in Disneyworld in 1996. With a suitcase full of cute sundresses. Fourteen years later, I have the ingredients in my cupboard to make a spontaneous cake or pot of chili, and my baby has not yet once had to go diaperless out in public. Excuse me while I go pat myself on the back.
So, Fabulous Thing #3: Having the means, the motivation, and the mate to set my house back in order.