Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On Not Burning Down the House

Dear John,
 
I feel much better today. I had a good, busy day at work, and got off in time to get my paycheck in the bank, pay the mortgage, and have $20 left over for groceries.
 
I still don't now how I'm going to manage, but today I feel more sure that God does. Last night I felt a lot better after talking to you the second time - thank you for praying for me. After bedtime prayers, I felt almost normal. The animals could tell I was struggling yesterday, and all of them slept piled up on me all night. It's entirely due to them that I've been able to keep the thermostat at 62 all winter - them, and fingerless gloves. I slept well. It was windy and rainy, and I never heard a thing.
 
I'm looking forward to doing some serious spring cleaning. I haven't done the move-everything-scrub-everything cleaning for a few years. First there was that 6-month fibro flare in 2010, then I broke my collarbone in 2011, you got sick and the world fell off its axis, and I've been treading water ever since. I'd hoped to get some cleaning done last summer, but mowing was all the fibro could handle. Since I have that covered this year, I should have the energy for some deep cleaning, and for some gardening, too.
 
I'm going to use the POW cleaning method. That sounds terribly politically incorrect, but you know what I'm talking about. When my uncles were in the war, they worked stateside in chemical research on really evil things like developing substitute cheese for GIs to eat. And they were assigned a Japanese POW to serve as their houseboy. The house had six rooms; he cleaned one room a week.
 
I'm going to do the same thing. That way I will be room-focused instead of task-focused. It works most of the time to focus on chores - sweep, vacuum, clean bathrooms, wash windows. But that misses things you need to do less often, like the lamp globes and clean air return vents and the glass in the picture frames. Each room has cleaning issues specific to it, and that sort of thing gets missed. By me, anyway.
 
So I'm going to use my spring days off to take one room at a time and give it a thorough cleaning. I'll still do all the windows in one day. The garage will need a day, too - I can't wait until it's warm enough to clean it. I need to sweep it out, and I'm going to get out the hose and wash down the floor and get all the salt and dirt off. I'll need a day for the basement - that will include taking the furnace filters outside and hosing them down. I'll probably group that with hosing down the air conditioning unit. And there are the flower beds to do when they get dry enough - there's still some snow piled up in them.
 
I'm clearly better. I'm looking forward to spring cleaning. It does have the advantage of immediate gratification. And it satisfies my anal-retentive heart. Now that the light is coming back and the days are getting longer, I can see what needs cleaning. And I care about it, and that's progress.
 
So it seems that I'm being normal, at least about the grief thing. I'm getting better on the average, with lots of detours into good times and bad times. But the overall movement is in the right direction, and that's what matters. I will keep on keeping on, putting my stubbornness to good use.
 
Adore you stubbornly,
Joan.

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