A weekly column celebrating the neat freak in all of us.
I’ve been thinking about Maintenance lately. Not the high mai/ low mai we talked about on the Joy the Baker podcast recently. The kind of maintenance that we all encounter. The real stuff like… keeping a home, keeping a life, raising a child, doing chores, maintaining relationships…
Sometimes it all gets to be too much, doesn’t it? Sometimes I have to plan a date with a friend weeks or months in advance. When did that start to happen?
As I get older, I am starting to understand that life takes maintenance. I mean…I already knew this, but more and more things pop up everyday. I’ve found that dealing with things in an organized manner prevents me from feeling absolutely overwhelmed. Not only do I start with a TO-DO list, I TRY as hard as I can to remember that life is a constant ebb & flow. One day will be busier than the next and if I don’t go with the flow, I’ll be eaten alive. Of course, it’s easier said than done.
I get into these patterns of organizing my life. Forming rules in my head of things like “Tuesday is my laundry day, Monday is my night off, Thursday is the day reserved for recipe making & photo editing, etc.” I find it helps me nail down my tasks and prioritize. When I feel like I have a lot to do and I’m not getting anything done, I start making up these rules. But life gets in the way and sometimes I get upset that my day of laundry got interrupted by a work day and now I have to fit it in during another day that week.
This is where the mental shift needs to occur. When I was younger and didn’t have a kid, it was important to me to maintain our home. I felt like our house had to be at a specific level of clean before I could even entertain the IDEA of entertaining. Spending the first year with a child, I was so lucky to have so many people come over & hang out with us when we couldn’t leave the house as easily. It made me realize that people don’t care about the cleanliness of my house as much as I do. They were here to see ME and not how clean my kitchen floor was. This is one example of how I shifted my thought process and decided it was much more important for me to have social interaction & maintain friendships than it was to have clean floors.
So what if I don’t have a whole closet full of clean clothes! What matters is that we all have something to wear tomorrow.
I assume that as I age, there will be more things I decide to let go of. My priorities will change and what I think of as important might not same in the future. Things will get done, just not always in the time I originally allotted for them.
So I have a few questions for you—
How do you maintain according to a schedule and still navigate when unexpected obstacles pop up?
What are some of the things you put at the bottom of your list now that you’ve gotten older?