Here is a shocker.
I dislike domestic duties, enormously.
Even as a married man, I would shy away from certain household chores. I have never minded cooking, I have known all my dishwashers intimately and putting the bins out was only ever a little more than a minor annoyance.
Washing clothes became easy too, after a successful induction into that area, I mean, it does not really take a long time to load, and unload a washer. Irritating for sure, but palatable.
Ironing was not something I could do when I first moved out to live with Samantha. And my induction into that field was less than successful. Injuries, burnt clothes, fingers and even the ‘successful’ items looking like they had been folded at random, rather than flattened.
Eventually, and as we had a healthy income, that duty was subcontracted out.
Cleaning is something I would avoid to the best of my dodging ability, which I should mention, is immense.
I was not above begging, bribing and generally going AWOL when surfaces needed wiping, carpets vacuuming and toilets scrubbing.
Problem is now, I have no one to barter with.
My son is not frightened of many things, but the vacuum is one of them. He must have inherited my anti-cleaning genes.
As a young widower I am still surprised, by other peoples’ surprise at my level of domestication.
Not sure who people think is cooking for me, cleaning, washing and ironing my clothes. If anyone knows any domestic fairies, I am all ears – that is not true, whilst bigger than average, I do have all the other body parts actually.
Not giving the wrong impression, I am certainly not on top of everything at home, all of the time.
Generally the clothes wash-dry-iron-put-away cycle is always in operation, and that one does not slide too far.
Tidying is not too bad either, not as good, but fairly regular.
Cleaning is the one that causes me the most grief.
It is always a fight, one I have with myself, to stay on top of it. The minute something is spotless, it is dirty again.
I concentrate on the kitchen, and on the rare occasions I do get on top, my discipline of cleaning while I go does seem to get a little renewed impetus. But it does not last for long, at least, it does not seem to.
My latest approach has been to try and numb myself to the actual task at hand, and just allocate a period of time - at the moment in no more than 60 minute bursts - and just clean until that time elapses.
The reality is that cleaning is going to be my responsibility for some time, I do dream of a far away time where I allocate funds for a cleaner, but I would have to be earning significantly more than I do now, to be at peace with that.
Thus I need to be able to tolerate the cleaning, and also get it done to an acceptable standard, without imploding with inner rage.
I am comforting myself, with some previous experience, in a totally unrelated field.
Hopeful of a successful analogy.
In my youth, and into my twenties I played cricket. Not everyone will understand the game, but essentially it is all about the batting, the bowling and generally the fielding gets in the way.
As a youngster I used to dread fielding, as I knew my bowling time would be limited, based on ability and the rules that children can only be used sparingly.
So, I would often be looking at three hours of fielding, for a few minutes of something I enjoyed.
I would mutter to myself in the field, not try very hard, and often be caught on my heels when I should have prepared for the ball coming my way.
My catching and throwing acumen was always pretty good, I would be trusted with the catching positions, rather than being ‘hidden’ in the field. But I suppose, like many youngsters, I would frustrate my team mates and my captain.
And that eventually dawned on me, and as I was not about to give up the game, I decided that I should actually make more of an effort in the field, and try to actually enjoy it.
I would focus on the amount of time, or overs left to elapse, and stay motivated that way.
It really worked for me, and I think improved my all round game. And I know of a few occasions when the captain would go looking for someone to bowl, and as my effort had stood out above those muttering self-loathing sentiment, I would get the ball.
Now I am hoping that my form in the past, can be applied here too.
Not that I expect to ever be actually enjoying the cleaning, more to grow an appreciation of its role within contributing to a happy home.
Now, howzat for a parallel?
Monday, 18 May 2009
Here is a shocker.