In my family, the notoriously “messy one” is me. It wouldn’t bother me, except that in their minds, being the “messy one” is a result of also being the “lazy one”. Let’s outline a day in the life and see what you think:
6AM alarm: snooze til 6:30 when I actually get up to do homework, shower and get ready (and check my blog obviously).
9 AM: leave for school
9:25AM- 1:30PM: class with no lunch break. Boo.
2 PM: made it home, now let’s finally have some lunch before I leave for work
2:30PM: leave for work
3PM-10PM: working at the stupid pharmacy job that I hate… and am leaving soon
10:30PM: home again, homework, quick snack, bed
REPEAT, working my second job every other day instead of the pharmacy
So there it is. Full time scholar, part-time employee at two jobs. That’s what I do. No cleaning mentioned because there is simply no time. Dishes pile up. Laundry piles up. Nothing I can do. I have chemistry homework and a lab to write. That is my priority. Do you think I’m a lazy, slacking, mess of a person?
To be perfectly honest with you, even if I did have the time to be doing those neglected chores, I wouldn’t do them. I’d be off doing things that make me feel like I’m leading a fulfilling life: meeting up with friends, going for a walk and/or jog, reading, learning a new language, writing a pen pal (any takers?), learning to cook something fancy and new from my vegan cookbook… the options are endless.
And I wouldn’t regret it. If anyone reading this post right now truly believes that when he or she is 110, on their deathbed, reliving memories and (hopefully) fulfilled wishes, they will dwell on the regret of not having kept a spotless house at all times, then I want those people to click the little red “x” at the top right corner of this screen and never return. Because that is simply atrocious.
My family, as do other people, always judge neighbors and friends on how neatly they keep their house. My mom came home from bringing the neighbors some of my sister’s hand-me-downs one time and said “Oh my God, that was disgusting. I was embarrassed for her at how messy her house was. She doesn’t even work, what is she doing all day?”
And my answer: living a much better life than those of us who slave away over the stupid details, as if the queen is coming over with her precious white gloves, or the photographer from Martha Stuart Magazine could show up to photograph our little ordinary suburban house any day.
My neighbor is probably a genius, inventing time machines and using them to uncover secrets of the past: how Stonehenge came about, how the pyramids were build, decoding ancient languages allowing us to understand more about our own history.
She really could be doing that.
I mean, I’m not an animal. I do enough to get by: I do laundry and dishes just often enough to make sure I have clean clothes to wear, and dishes to eat off of. I also do a regular Spring and Fall cleaning. Last Fall I tackled the Tupperware cabinet and recycled everything that didn’t have a matching cover, and eliminated everything in the “junk drawer” to create a new and improved Saran wrap/sandwich bag/tin foil drawer. This Spring I donated two trash bags full of clothes to make room for all my newer clothes that almost never make it into my dresser, and cleared off my shelves to make room for all my art supplies which had previously been taking over the house.
But I also find a certain safety in my own mess.
So the next time any one of you finds that little voice in your head judging someone based on how messy their house is, I want you to pretend it’s backwards day. If the house is messy, this person obviously leads an awesome life. If the house is picture perfect and spotless, how pathetic these people are. Because while people normally think that with a perfect looking house comes a perfectly lived life… in today’s reality, it’s impossibly time-consuming to have both. Which one do you choose?