When I go to sleep at night, the road back from from the place I want to live flashes before me. Big tall trees on either side of the road but it’s like I’m flying so fast, they all blur. And my fear is, something’s gonna jump out in front of me and I’ll hit it. The faster I go, the more things I see threatening to jump out. I know I have to keep going. Moving forward.
I am not a perfect person. I am many things, and germophobe is one of them. You know those people who can’t go out of their house because they’re scared of germs? I’m not there yet, but I can see there from here. Germophobia is different for different people.
For me, I have trouble with –
– door handles
– sponges, teatowels, tablecloths
– food preparation – things have to be clean, clean chopping boards, clean knives, clean utensils
– needing to have clean hands
– people sneezing in my presence
– germ overload when I touch too many dirty things I begin to freak out
– getting to a place where I throw my hands in the air and say “I can’t deal with this” (such a place might be called germ overload)
I am in the process of making positive changes in many areas in my life, and today I have taken a big step towards a goal I set myself recently, which is having a cleaner house. You see for me, it is easier to live with dusty surfaces than to clean them. Cleaning becomes a big deal because if I am going to do it, I want to do it 100% all the time but I don’t have the energy to do this. An Olympic athlete does not have the energy to make things as clean as I would like them.
I have recently decided this all or nothing approach is a really bad idea. ;) Spending 8 hours cleaning one bathroom is really not for me and in the past, it has been easier for me to just throw my hands in the air and say “I can’t face cleaning it” than to do a “lesser” job.
Carl Jung said – “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”
I accept that I have a problem with cleaning. I accept that I am a germophobe. I accept that it is better for things to be somewhat clean than absolutely spotless or very unclean.
The serenity prayer says “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
I cannot magically snap my fingers and make myself a non-germophobe. I have to take baby steps towards making things better, and I have the courage and will to do this. I can create positive change. I cannot solve all the problems in the world, but this I can work on.
So recently I accepted that wiping things down with an anti-bacterial cloth once a week was a good idea and a positive change that I could make that would help me get to a place where I wasn’t throwing my hands in the air, unable to act. Over the past couple of weeks I have spent some time cleaning things obsessively.
3 days to do my bookshelves, come on you guys, that is NOT normal, it is not like I have an entire library here, there’s two book shelves with a total of 24 alcoves in them. Not only did I clean the shelves, I cleaned each book, each ornament on the shelves, all the picture frames, anything nearby. Obsessively. They are now spotless, and this means I can just wipe the shelves over, wipe the books which are getting dusty. If I do that once a week, I’ll feel a lot better.
Today I tackled the difficult subject of the bathrooms. I have been putting it off. The other day the other half said to me that he had no idea how someone who claimed to be a germophobe could live with such a bathroom situation. They were filthy. I said this germophobe could not live with having to clean these bathrooms. Whoever designed them is a real idiot. There are many spots for germs to hide. To clean the vanity tops usually takes me 2 hours alone and it is backbreaking because of the height of the darned things. They were designed for very short people.
That’s not even getting into cleaning the toilets. There’s not enough anti-bacterial hand wash in the world for me to cope with that. So I’d rather put it off, and put it off, and keep putting it off until I can’t take anymore.
When one does put in the hard yards and does the work, one feels a real sense of accomplishment. Now, I intend a quick wipe over once a week, and then I won’t have to do this evil backbreaking hours of work chore because it won’t get that bad. The trouble is having stuff on top of the vanity means you have to move all that stuff when you want to clean it. That’s what was stopping me from cleaning the bookshelves for so long. Too much stuff in the way which I’d have to move, and clean. I’m thinking a box with a lid would be a lot easier.
I just went into the bathroom before to wash my hands, and took great pleasure in the clean surfaces. I have to remember that when I start to think I can’t reach this goal. I can reach it. I know I can. And who put can’t in my vocabulary? I don’t like that word. Will not, sure. May not, fine. Do not, okie dokie. Can not – it has to be one of the previous three.
I’m so tired. I’ve been up since 7:30am and most of the afternoon was spent in a cleaning frenzy. I’m going to sleep for hours. ;) Tomorrow it’s weekly wrap up time.