spring fever

as clean as it gets

I am not a scheduled person. I don’t do well with too much order, too much repetition. I love the idea of eating the same breakfast every day, the same lunch, but after a week or so I break out of. I love the idea of an organized week – washing bathrooms every wednesday, buying groceries every thursday – but I can never hold to it. By the zodiac, I am a Capricorn, but only missed the realm of Sagittarius by two days, and it definitely influences my center of gravity, my orbit.

Yes, this week there’s been oatmeal for breakfast every day and salad for lunch every day. There is a walk in the morning every day. The dishes are washed and the kitchen made spotless twice a day – one in the afternoon, once after dinner.

But there was a run on a misty Tuesday afternoon with no dog and no baby, a run, a run, a glorious run. And at the end of it I stripped off all but my underwear and bra and ran into the sea. If half a dozen houses on the bluffs weren’t there, I wouldn’t have worn anything. I needed it. I needed it. I forget how much I need it.

I have been writing. I have been knitting an octopus. I haven’t swept the house in nearly a week. I had a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast.

“I don’t care,” he says, about the housekeeping, “as long as you’re happy.”

So I’m trying to be happy. To love my house as it is the way I’ve been learning to love my body as it is. Our house is warm, cozy, lived-in. There are Things on Surfaces because we use them – his National Geographics, my books of poetry and history, the baby’s toys, my sewing machine, his brewing supplies, endless cups of water and mugs of tea. They are on tabletops because we use them. There will never be a good place to stash my current knitting project because it needs to be in reach – not just in the living room, but available to me even when I find myself trapped under a nursing/sleeping baby and only able to stretch my hands so far.

We are not slobs. We are not unsanitary. I sweep away cobwebs when I find them. There’s no food rotting in our kitchen. Our bathrooms are cleaned often enough. But my house is not spotless. It never will be, because we live here.

And outside. We live outside, too. Because we are entering the few months when we can be outside most of the day, when it is warm enough, when honeysuckle is blooming and my swiss chard is bursting.

I feel better.


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