My poor husband. He is having to work overtime and he's getting his days off switched at the start of the next pay period, which means he's worked 14 days with one day off in there somewhere. He's thankful. He's tired. He's trying so hard not to be cranky. So this morning as he's getting ready for yet another workday in a long string of days, I asked him, "Is there anything I can do to make your day a little easier?"
He smiled, relieved, and said there was--I could clean "the spot." (ack!)
(not mine, not my house, I'm not cleaning that)
Every home has one, that spot that gathers papers and randomness. My spot is the useless "bar" in my kitchen. It's too tall to use for kitchen work like cutting, mixing, or kneading and too shallow in leg room to use as any kind of table. It's tall enough to lean on but positioned oddly enough in the room that you'd actually be leaning away from any place any person would likely be. You could gaze thoughtfully into the clock face while leaning, but that's about it. The bar is just there for dust and detritus.
I dump my purse on it, the diaper bag, my bills, my keys, the box of tissues, the kids' schoolwork, the family datebook, the address book, the pens, my keys?, catalogs and magazines I'm going to get to, the glue I want to stash out of the kids reach, that slip of paper with that guy's number on it I'm supposed to call for that thing I can't remember now but it's right next to the hairbrush that's not put away again, girls, how many times do I have to ask you to put your things away when you're done with them and here is that paper I needed last week with the directions to that store I guess I can just toss that later after I find my keys, oh yeah this business card I need to save that number to put into my phone, and have you seen my stupid keys for crying out loud? I put them right here on the bar!
He wanted me to clean that up. As much as my heart sank when he said that, I realized it was the least I could do. The bar is central to the house. If it is a mess, the whole house looks messy. Visually, it's unappealing, and it's my mess. So, after avoiding it for most of the day, I managed to get it all cleaned up during the younger kids' naps. Most of it was attractive trash--it looked too good to toss directly from the mailbox to the trash bin but age had worn away its appeals--the rest was mostly filing that needing doing and a few odds and ends that quickly found their long lost homes. I was done in less than an hour--probably much less time than I would have spent looking for stuff that the stuff pile would have eaten this week.
My husband was so happy to actually see the surface of the bar when he came home today, I almost didn't have the heart to tell him he'd actually done me the favor. He's saved me a lot of frustration this upcoming week.