It is nice when the house is clean. I don’t clean for my husband. I don’t necessarily clean for company, although the anticipation of company usually inspires me to clean. I clean because sometimes, messes pile up, and cleaning just must be done.

It’s nice when my husband appreciates my efforts. And it’s nice when he makes his own, although his efforts seem to occur a tad less frequently than I might hope. But I can’t change that, and I love him even if he doesn’t get as much done as he might plan to the day before. We all do that, I think. We make plans and have these expectations that tomorrow will be the day we have the energy and the inspiration to clean things, or organize things, or go through some old junk and finally throw it out. Suddenly the morning comes and we find ourselves distracted by breakfast, work, homework, the softness of the sofa, the novel on the table, or What Not to Wear reruns on TLC. I think it happens to the best of us, really.

But the thing is, a clean house really is a nicer environment. I just wish I was better at maintaining the clean once I get it. And maybe that’s where some combined maintenance effort from both me and my spouse might come in handy. Of course, between the two of us, there are twice as many daily distractions, twice as many excuses not to throw away the junk mail, not to load the dishwasher, not to empty the dryer.

I think it’s gotten a little better than it used to be. I do actually try to do at least some kind of housework every weekend. Since now I usually get to spend both Saturday and Sunday at home. And James usually works at least one weekend shift, which leaves me to do things my way, at my pace. I prefer to clean alone. And I think that James prefers it this way, too. Because when I get bitten by the cleaning bug, James feels lazy and guilty for not having been bitten, himself. And the same is true for me when the inspiration hits him.

But I guess the point of this is that writing things down tends to help get things going. Telling the Internet that I don’t always have a sparkling clean home (who does?) might help me try to keep up the illusion that I actually do maintain a spotless household. Or, it might make me feel a little less guilty for those chapters I read or those makeovers I just can’t help but enjoy watching. It would be nice, instead of procrastinating in favor of other distractions, if I could maintain the clean and devote myself more fully to the pastimes that I really enjoy. Perhaps this is the impossible dream. But maybe, just maybe there is a way to realize it. I just have to figure out what that is.


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