Jack of Many Trades

Accepting Limits... Maybe

Originally posted: 2018-05-28

I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so. Some things I cannot change but till I try I'll never know.

I have a new favorite homemaking blog.

I realize that I... often have a new favorite homemaking blog, or book, or youtube channel. I want to be a good homekeeper. I want to be able to maintain hearth and home as a devotional act for my hearth powers. I want to live in a place where I can have people over for game night without embarrassment. I want to not relive my dad's criticisms of my teenage bedroom housekeeping every time I walk in the door.

At a minimum I'd like to not step on Shopkins in three separate rooms.

So here we go again, right? I sweep through organization and decor books like a chaos magician, throwing myself into something and coming up for air on the other side of the pool, dragging two or three useful things out of the water to keep going forward.

My new favorite blog is called A Slob Comes Clean, and the lightbulb was a recent post on stating the obvious:

“Unload the dishwasher” assumes that at some point, I loaded it. That dishes are already done.

And the absence of “do the dishes” on this list confirms what I have suspected: people whose homes stay under control don’t consider it an option to not do the dishes.

Do the dishes was too obvious for this list. I mean, who doesn’t know you have to do the dishes???

Obviously, no one could need something that obvious on a list.

Except that I didn’t know.

Until I started doing the dishes. Until I stopped trying to find a better way to keep my kitchen clean than just doing the dishes. Every single day. No matter how many there were to do.

This was the same principal I apply to my spiritual life - to do the daily offering, to light the candles - and the mantra of chop wood, carry water applied to, you know, actually chopping wood and carrying water. And by wood I mean washing dishes, and by water I mean putting the fucking Shopkins away again.

Yes, sometimes it gets away from me. I need a reminder that all you have to do to start doing it again is start. And then just... do it, as much as life lets you, and the tomorrow you do it again.

Accepting that there's no magic that will get rid of that critical voice in my head goes just as much for housecleaning as for anything else. The thing about meds, as always, is that they don't get rid of the intrusive thoughts. They just give me the distance and one by one I'm realizing that something I thought was me isn't really me at all. Sometimes that means I can do things I didn't think were possible.

Sometimes that means accepting limits, too. Sometimes I will put something that isn't dishwasher safe in the dishwasher. Sometimes I won't follow through on my meal plans. Sometimes "clean enough" is okay.

And I've accepted I'll probably be stepping on Shopkins, or Legos, or doll chairs for the next ten years. That's the price of admission for the good parts of parenting, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Accepting and celebrating that life is something that is happening is part of understanding the Hearth too. The hearthfire bakes bread but also burns it. It's all life.