It has been brought to my attention that I don't know a thing about time management, also known as "setting priorities". One quick glance around my house is all you'd need to become convinced.
It's been said that nobody ever laid on his/her deathbed and bemoaned the fact that he/she hadn't spent more time at the office. But here's what I need to know: did anyone, just before meeting one's Maker, ever regret poor housekeeping?
This is a true concern of mine. I don't know how important housekeeping is, if at all. I have heard convincing arguments both ways.
More than one upstanding citizen has assured me that "the housekeeping can wait. It'll still be there when your child grows up, and you can take care of it then."
Is it true that I'm allowed to let it go for eleven more years? Can these people be serious? Should I not fear condemnation by the Board of Health, or arrest for child endangerment? (My child, incidentally, has become highy adept at leaping from one clearing of floor space to another, skillfully avoiding toppling my stacks of papers, books, magazines and dirtying my piles of laundry. I should think that this unusual ability could serve him well. At the very least, he has attained a lean, muscular appearance unlike that of many of his classmates.)
Then there are those who express horror at my housekeeping. One ex-boyfriend on a recent visit from Montana suggested that I drop everything else, take a leave of absence (unpaid of course) from work, and get my everloving shit together.
What's a woman to do? If I did take a leave of absence, I can see it now: I'd be sitting around surfing,reading and thinking, sipping Starbucks, having a great old time. As my dear friend TA puts it, I'm somebody who "needs a lot of down time". Even given all the time in the world, I'd still be far behind in my housekeeping, because it just is not a high priority in my life.
Today, for example, I could conceivably have cleaned all day. But this morning, while the child was occupied, I tried to catch up on reading my favorite blogs, including The Daily Blog with Kelly Bell. Kelley described, in one of her recent posts, an incredible childhood experience in the woods in which she saved an owl from a group of attacking birds, and the owl found a way to very clearly thank her. Inspired, I decided I had to take my child for a hike in the woods. The frigid, blustery air just added to the adventure. We didn't save any owls, but I bet my child is going to remember today's invigorating hike for years. It was time well-spent, in betty's book.
Many spiritual masters espouse cleaning house, in both the literal and figurative sense. I'm better at the figurative. Yes, I'd love to have an immaculate, uncluttered house, but I seem to lack the wherewithal to bring it about. I lack the necessary motivation to prioritize it and the skills required to pull it off in a timely fashion.
If physical housekeeping is deserving of a higher priority than I am currently assigning it, I truly want to know.