Friday, July 20, 2007

I can't explain it.

Sometimes I have strange priorities when it comes to housekeeping. Yesterday, for instance, I was bothered by the state of our heat vents. They've been bugging me for a while. It was one of those things that I've noticed while in the middle of other tasks, and I've made a mental note to clean them. That's been going on for a while now. I feel like it's a task that keeps popping up on my to do list, and I keep hitting the "Remind Me Again in One Week" button, a la MS Outlook. But yesterday I couldn't look at them any longer. They had to be cleaned. I only cleaned three of the nine vents, but they are the three that have been bugging me - the bathroom and dining room vents. It took longer than I expected, too.

So this is what I find interesting. I really wanted to clean the vents. The dust and grime that had built up in them was disgusting. But in the overall cleanliness and appearance of the house, the vents are small fry. Right now my kitchen is a big mess...but my vents are clean! Is that nitpicky?

I kind of enjoy the challenge of balancing the big picture work and the detailed work of running a home. Sometimes it's frustrating, especially when I overwhelm myself by listing all of the things that I'd like to clean on a regular basis; but for the most part, it's a satisfying tension. If I only took care of the details, then my family would live in chaos. There would be no clean dishes, no clean laundry, the floors would be gross. But if I only took care of the big ticket items, then I would feel like I was doing a mediocre job. I certainly haven't found that perfect balance yet, and my house is nowhere near as regularly clean as I would like it to be, but I am enjoying the learning process and the balancing act.

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