For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Friday, April 13, 2007

What a mess!

I’ve managed not to get involved for a long, long time.
I tried to keep to myself, do my own things, turn a blind eye.
But honestly, I couldn’t bear just standing by and watching things go totally wrong, so I finally gave in to this lingering and ever increasing urge and stepped in.
After all, my sanity and peace of mind is at stake here. And that of my children.
So, eventhough there’s a deadline coming up, I put my work on hold and went out there to do what had to be done.
After all, one has to get ones priorities right.

We made a start with tidying up the yard, the porch, the garage, the boiler room and the utility room.
For months and months now, Ken’s been meaning to do it - or so he says. The idea was to create more storage space by throwing away all the unwanted and/or broken stuff and tidying up the rest. But every time it looks as if the moment is right, something else pops up that just can’t wait and has to be done at that particular moment.
The problem is that if any member of this family - except me, of course - has something they have no immediate use or need for, but don’t want to throw away - because, oh no, we don’t throw things away, you never know when it might come in handy - they’ll dump it in either one of the abovementioned places. Isn’t it wonderful that we have this huge place with so much storage room?
Yes, wonderful. But our family - and especially Ken - have this special talent to fill any space in no time. Because Ken’s mainly in charge of the household I make a genuine effort not to let it bother me. But last week even Ken thought it was getting to a point where ridiculous was the only way to describe the state of our storage rooms. I think that was after he’d spent hours searching for a particular attachment for the hosepipe that he was sure should be in the garage... or in the boiler room... or had he seen it in the utility room?

So with the help of Owen and Myrna he made a start. And because of my deadline I was excused from this Mission Impossible. But I couldn’t help noticing that within no time the children were doing their own things again. And every time I went in to see how Ken was doing, this huge pile of undefined stuff would be in another place and Ken would be engrossed in something totally irrelevant in my eyes. I’ve been told that that’s a man thing, but the only other man I’ve ever lived in the same house with was my dad, and he was the most tidy and organised person you could ever meet.
Anyway, yesterday, I couldn’t bear it anymore and I rolled up my sleeves - and later took of my fleece altogether - and starting doing what I’m good at. Ordering people around and putting together a plan of what had to be done first and what could be left until later. And within a very short time the yard was filled with carefully sorted heaps, and that was only half the contents of the garage and porch, and the things that were packed on top of the fridge and the cupboard in the utility room. Then I got the dreaded black bags out and committed a great crime in the eyes of Ken by throwing away everything that was too filthy to even consider cleaning up, too eaten up by the mice, too far beyond recognition even for Ken to know what it was and several other items that came apart as soon as I picked them up.

The Mess Master Amazed

The rest was put in mouse-proof boxes or returned to the place where it should be living. Needless to say we retrieved quite a few missing items... At the end of the day even Ken agreed that 'de-cluttering' is a good thing to do and he could see the advantage of being able to move around in the garage. Also, the porch and the utility room looked so much lighter and brighter now. Luckily it was rubbish collection day today, and the other good thing is that we haven't got a limitation on the amount of rubbish we can put outside (yet).

Here's Old Faithful, contently grinning at the results of a day's hard work

I'm sure at least some members of the FOC Washing Line Fanclub will agree with me that this is a far prettier sight than a yard full of rubbish... eventhough I'm way beyond the point of nappies...

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Sounds like here:) I have had to take on Project Manager role or nothing would get done.