In Defense of Ridiculously High Standards
Just a short note about fighting the good fight against the kid's mess in our home (sticker covered, grease spots on the couch, mangy walled, tattered furniture, trail of crumbs in every hallway, parents around the world, you feel me?). Aim high. Aim for clean floors and clear counters smudge and free light switch plates. Clorox commercial clean. Yes, I'm serious.
My father is an extreme optimist and I take after him. Ridiculously high goals haven't gotten me fame and fortune but they kept me fairly happy and have staved off depression. For who can be depressed, while struggling toward an impossible dream?
Just ask Jack.
I played this song (my mother's Jack Jones album) over and over in my preteen years. Drawn initially by the handsome face on the album cover, I loved the "Impossible Dream" by Jack Jones. While I would eventually abandon Jack for The Cure (hey, it was the late 80s. I was 15.) the optimist shouldn't be squelched.
I strive for a clean and peaceful home. Even with two boys under the age of 7. This may seem impractical.
I'd argue that it has three major benefits:
It keeps me moving. For a gal who's struggled with serious depression that renders complete inertia, anything that keeps me moving and puttering about is a sign of good mental health.
I am in touch with the state of every part of my home and this encourages me to keep things minimal, so there's less to manage.
When I care for my home, it's an act of gratitude for what I have. In the age of hyperconsumerism, where we buy more than we need, I find seeing that I have all I need rids the itch to buy more.
Is it ever perfect in my home? Yes. After they go to bed. It's perfect because I have them clean up, then I clean up after their clean up. We can at least start the next day right.
A perfect day is when I can plop on my Room and Board couch and not have a tiny plastic cannon wedged up my butt. Or twist my ankle stepping on a lego man holding a sword. (It's not enough that he's a tiny painful plastic square man, he has to hold a sword too?) Not even able to truly express my pain as I would have in the pre-kid era, I have to scream "what the frick?" while the boys stare at me from the other room with blank expressions.
Or, momentarily, I give up and read this.
Or this hilarious Argentinian Coke commercial, which never fails to make me laugh and weep.
And afterwards, even though I lose the good fight every day starting right after breakfast, I can at least laugh from the deepest part of my gut.