Last weekend I was busy with work which just means all the routine household things were at a standstill until I was on my stretch of days off . Shift work does have it’s benefits, like more than 2 days of in a row, but the days that I do work are all sleep/eat/work and repeat. The dust bunnies become giants by the time I get off of my last night shift! Funny enough, I’m the only person in our family that sees them!
Yesterday I totally was feeling overwhelmed with all of the things that I wanted to get done in our home and felt like I was going around in circles trying to do it. It took me on and off through the whole day to eventually get through about 75% of what I intended to do, and I decided that was pretty decent and threw in the towel.
The problem with housework is that it’s never ending and it always waits for you. I remember ‘the good old days’ when I lived alone in a one bedroom apartment in Vancouver’s West End. I’d go off to work and my apartment would stay amazingly beautiful and clean. No one accidentally peed on the bathroom floor and forgot to clean it up, counters were kept impressively free of crumbs and my bed was made before heading off to work. 13 hours later I’d come home and it was like time had stood still.
I go back and forth between just accepting that living in an apartment with a young family will create mess and that maybe it’s not possible to live totally mess free. That is the sensible part of me that says that. This morning after taking Ben to school I decided to test out that idea. I did a minimal tidy job on breakfast dishes and miscellaneous mess and packed Josie up for a park play date and just went outside.
This turned out to be the best idea and totally made me stop focusing on what I felt like I should be doing (cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, blah!). Of course, the amazing sunshine was definitely a mood booster but so was not focusing on wiping up bathroom floors and washing up dishes and getting the toys picked up. Sometimes apartment living can be hard as we really live hard in the space that we have.
Josie and I had an absolutely fabulous time walking the seawall, being silly and playing at the park until it was time for lunch. When we walked through the front door I still saw the breakfast crumbs sitting around but I actually felt sort of refreshed and I was very happy with my decision to let some things go. I would rather feel the happiness of having fun with my kids than the weight of my ‘to do’ list than can be done at some other time. Plus, the longer that you’re out of your home the less mess that accumulates. How is that for forward thinking?
The next time you feel overwhelmed, tired, stressed…whatever the case may be… I totally encourage you to just go outside. Something magical happens when you let yourself get caught up in the moment and temporarily clear the distractions that can make you feel overwhelmed.