Lying in bed. Well, on top of partially re-made bed. Minus cover-less duvet. Taking it easy. Me and the cat, both.
See, I was having a lovely day at home and doing a spot of spring cleaning. But I had to pause for an appointment to donate blood. Off I went and was thoroughly enjoying myself. Enjoying? Oh yes, because fate smiled on me and gave me a venue of the very posh boys' school nearby, where I had the pleasure of secretly watching the sixth formers and reminiscing about youth. I'm sure boys didn't look that good when I was 17.
Plus you get to lie down and read your book uninterrupted AND drink tea and eat biscuits. What's not to like? Nothing, until I'd finished up and was enjoying my custard creams when one of the nurses looked down and asked 'Is that pen on your jeans?' and when I looked, the alleged pen was suspiciously red and blood was dripping out of my arm and all over my shirt, the chair and the floor. Clearly I was having a more generous blood donation day than I had planned.
It wasn't serious - just dramatic, but I've abandoned the spring cleaning (I'm citing on medical advice - any excuse). And delegated dinner-preparation. Score one for me! But my gleefulness about having to put down my metaphorical rubber gloves is symptomatic of an on-going ailment. See, I really really don't like housework.
Living in a clean house, I like. The tedium of the ongoing drudgery required to keep it that way, well count me out.
I have a friend, L, who lives in an immaculate house. She is a natural born cleaner - and for her, it's effortless. When she fills her kettle, she wipes the drip off the lip of the water filter. I always used to think this was the height of neurotic cleanliness. Until I spent time this morning, chiseling the limescale off the spout of my own filter jug. Now whose way seems better?
I've been thinking a lot about these things, since I came across Housework Blues - a survival guide. It's a fascinating read - and one that has had me nodding my head in agreement more times than I can count.
It's not a book which tells you how to polish silver or remove stains (though today, that knowledge might have helped my poor shirt). What it does, seems to me to be much more valuable. Very calmly, Danielle Raine presents housework as inevitable. What she does is tackle our attitudes towards it (and our excuses for not doing it). Do any of these ring a bell?
And slowly slowly, I think perhaps I may be moving towards embracing it. Because there are chores which I do regard as a pleasure (hanging the washing on the line springs to mind). And it's a pity to waste so much energy being cranky about the jobs I love less.
* Overwhelmed (there's too much to do)
* Injustice (why should I do it all?)
* Futility (it'll only get dirty again)
* No energy (I can't be bothered)
* Boredom (it's so monotonous)
* Inferiority (I'm no good at this)
* Superiority (it's a waste of my brain and talents)
* No motivation (I'd rather do something else)
Make peace with housework - sounds good, doesn't it? Are you at peace with yours?