Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Visible Progress

I had a routine in college. Whenever I got stressed out, I would scrub the tub in our dorm room (I lived in a suit with four other girls, but it had its own bathroom), then take a nice long soak.

It all started my freshman year. I had taken some Comet and the blue scrubby side of a sponge and started cleaning. As I did, you could literally see the dirt coming off as I wiped. It was disgusting. I have serious doubts that that tub had ever been cleaned since being installed in the 60's. When I finished with it, though, it was gleaming white. This made the results of my scrubbing easy to see. I knew that I was accomplishing something.

With four girls taking at least one, sometimes two showers a day, dirt built up in that tub pretty quickly, too. I think all the glaze had worn off the porcelain over the years, so it was pretty porous. It was always ready for a good scrubbing whenever I needed to work off the stress.

Then, when I was done, I could fill it with bubbles and take a nice long bath in the clean tub with a good book. The tub was deep, wide, and had the perfect back for lounging against. *sigh*

Nowadays, that doesn't really work. Not only is our tub shallow and narrow, it doesn't have a slanted side to lean against at all. I do still manage to take a bath, but it isn't nearly as relaxing. But the biggest problem is the color.

My bathtub is teal. That's right. Teal. You can't even see the dirt until you can also feel it. So, when I clean it, there is no visible sign of progress. In fact, if I miss spot, I won't even know until I notice that it is feeling rough with grime. Something that happens all to often. So, what is the result? I don't clean my tub as often as I should. Sometimes it won't get cleaned at all until I can feel the grime. Not just because you can't see the dirt, but because you can't see the results of all that hard work.

My ugly teal bathtub.  Notice how the back doesn't slant at all so you can lay back and relax?
This mentality is too often the case in my life. Especially in housekeeping. I want visible results! I want the big projects - the ones were my husband comes home and says, "You worked hard on that!" or "That looks really good!" or at least can notice that something has been done that day.  It is the everyday maintenance that I struggle with.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't let things get bad just so I, when I finally clean it, I get an atta' girl.  It is just hard for me to feel motivated to clean something when even I can't tell that anything has been done!

This is an area that I really struggle with.  I love having a clean house.  But, I have a hard time making myself clean something that already looks clean (or at least good enough).  Add to this the fact that I often don't see messes until they become disasters, and you have the makings of a bad housekeeper.

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