I’ve heard it said that, “an immaculate house is a sure sign of a wasted life”. I’m not sure who said it (and dear Google isn’t being very helpful) but I like it.
My apartment is, often, in a general state of messiness. It’s not dirty, but it’s definitely not immaculate.
Right now there are dishes in my sink, my floor needs to be vacuumed and there’s a pile of unfolded laundry on my unmade bed. I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is.
This is all because I decided to spend last night playing with my dog, going to a pilates class, grocery shopping, reading from a good book, all before going to bed early so I could wake up at 5:30 a.m. to go for a run before getting ready for work.
I may be disenchanted with the notion of a perpetually clean home, but you definitely can’t accuse me of being lazy.
Unless you’re my step dad, in which case I’m mostly just “domestically challenged”. That is also kind of true but that tends to refer more to my inability to cook (something else I’m not proud of QUIT JUDGING ME) and that is totally not the point here.
Still, amid leading a life of assumed adventure (and maybe struggling with a few challenges, domestically speaking), there are times in my life when my cavalier attitude toward the state of my home vanishes wholly and completely.
Two times, specifically:
1) When I’m procrastinating. This is a given. If I have something to do that I really don’t want to do, come visit. The place will truly be immaculate and my life, most certainly, wasted.
2) This is the most serious of situations: I am stressed.
Cleaning, above all else, is my coping mechanism when things go wrong. Nothing quells the storm of a bad mood or gives distraction to nervous jitters like cleaning house.
When something in my life goes awry, my inner Monica Geller rears her frazzled head and reached for the yellow rubber gloves.
Take last week, for example. I spent a morning working from home. I had been working since 6 a.m. and was spun on panic over some technical difficulties that I just could not overcome to save my nerves. I eventually found help in some wonderful local tech wizards who took the project from my shaking hands and said, “Sit tight, we’ll call you when we’re done.”
That was it. I was left with a bad situation that was suddenly completely outside of my control for an indeterminate amount of time.
That is not a feeling I enjoy.
So, I cleaned.
I scrubbed the bathtub, polished the sink, washed the dishes and was juuuuust reaching for the vacuum when the phone rang. I have never been so happy to hear my phone ring.
I suppose that, as far as coping mechanisms go, launching myself into a frenzy of cleaning isn’t the worst thing I could be doing. But if a messy apartment is a sign of not only a life well lived but also a quiet, unstressed mind, I think we should all be grateful for a little mess now and then.
What about you? Are you on Team Mess or Team Tidy? (don’t worry, I won’t judge) And, more importantly, how do you cope when life gets stressful? Any other Monicas out there?