Friday, May 16, 2008

On housekeeping: dusting off the motivation (part two)

And now, the exciting conclusion!

As the days and weeks passed between the decision to have S. and B. over for dessert and D Day itself, I had the best intentions to prep for the event. Every time I had a free evening or Sunday, my head flooded with all of the possibilities of what I could do to get ready for dessert night: shred extraneous papers, pick out some recipes, put pictures in the frames I'd purchased that still held the stock black-and-white photos of blissful faces. At the same time, other diversions tempted me: riding my bike, seeing a show, hanging out with friends, and oh yeah, catching up on the whereabouts of the cast of The Facts of Life on Wikipedia.

Having so many options rendered me indecisive. Or rather, I gravitated to the activities that immediately gratified me (= not party prep!). But fortunately, a few days before the party, I selected recipes and motivated myself to the grocery store to make the desserts. Oh yeah, did I mention that I was going to make three types of desserts for the three of us? I figured that if I was going to be all Martha Stewart, I was going full throttle - minus the prison sentence, of course.

Because I purchased all of the necessary foodstuffs, I developed a false sense of security about having everything ready dessert night. My place still required ample tidying, yet I put it off until the night before, when a feeling of dream washed over me. Indeed, I attributed all of the disorder to be the cause of this feeling. But actually, the thought of going to the office the following day weighed on me. After significantly pulling my weight over the past several months, I'd reached a huge lull. As a result of all of my feelings, I did the most logical thing.

I called in sick. Sick of work, that is! (Note: I don't normally advocate absenteeism, but sometimes you have to listen to your gut.)

And so I happily spent all of dessert day mopping, baking, cleaning, and generally prettying things up. Admittedly, I enjoyed every minute of it. But then again, I know that I wouldn't have enjoyed doing all of this on a non-work day. Being home when I wasn't supposed to be made it all fun.

Dessert night was a hit. S. and B. had just assumed that I bought the desserts, but seeing the products conceived in my kitchen bowled them over. As we chowed down my sugary treats and gossiped and laughed, I knew that all of the effort had paid off.

Gearing up for this event served as an excellent shot of motivation to keep atop my housekeeping. So far, I think I've been doing OK. When I come home at the end of the day, I have more of a feeling of calm when I see less stuff sitting around. In order to keep things in order, I'm aiming to spend 20 minutes a day on housekeeping. Although, as my head's about to hit the keyboard, I'm giving myself tonight off for good behavior. I'm sure Martha Stewart would understand that all too well!


Anonymous said...

Glad your get-together was a success. I can be just like you. It's hard for me to clean unless I actually "see" dirt or a mess. A housecleaner is coming here in a short bit to give me a quote on monthly housecleaning. I have to get off the computer and make my master bedroom/bathroom look at least presentable. My son laughs that I have to clean for the housecleaner. I'm the stay at home Mom with three busy kids, shedding dog, husband with late hours, etc. I hate cleaning, and of late I'm thinking I should spend more of my limited free time on my dream of writing a children's book and/or greeting cards than on making lists/schedules for myself and the kids. And, totally off topic, you might want to check out Nancy Ratey's new book The Disorganized Mind - A self-coaching book for ADD folks. Take care. Have a great holiday weekend.

ADD Libber said...

Hi Anonymous!

Good for you for pursuing a housecleaner. My coach has been encouraging me to do the same, and I'm definitely considering it. Your dream of writing books and greeting cards sounds wonderful and a fantastic way to spend your free time. ADDers like to focus our attention on the things that interest us most, so it's great that your interest is a creative one and not cleaning!

In addition, I think that being a "household executive" like you are is a challenging job. Getting myself out the door every morning is enough of an Olympic event, never mind managing things for four people and a pet. I'm always impressed with how my friends with kids manage things, and I would say the same thing about you as well :-)

Re: Nancy Ratey's book - thanks for the tip. One night last week, I was in Borders checking out ADD books. In a very non ADD fashion, Borders organizes the "psychology" section alphabetically, in contrast to Barnes & Noble's grouping books by subject. Anyway, I'd just opened her book when the store announced that it was about to close for the evening, so I will be sure to go back and check it out. Have a lovely weekend, too!

Anonymous said...

It's me again. The SAHM, 3 kids, dog, etc. More on the book - it's unbelievable! Addresses all the symptoms of ADHD and provides case studies as examples of how to deal with them. Love it. Can't put it down. My husband has ADHD too, but he is reluctant to admit it right now. Some or all of my kids probably do too. Through meds, therapy, self education, etc. I'm trying to make our family life better. Ironically, I provide my therapist with alot of the ADHD materials I have researched/benefitted from. I need her though on an emotional level to boost my self-esteem, etc. It's a journey, but it's so wonderful to finally be seeing progress and looking forward to using my "real" talents again.