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 Post subject: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:57 am 
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Used to be the most house-proud, clean and tidy person you could meet - robot-style. Therapy helped me to get in touch with feelings, and I found that I actually hated doing housework and resented making so much effort to keep house, when you have kids and get "no thanks" for it. When I got really sick, it took all of my energy to just get through the day and I started letting things slip, then I injured my wrist in May last year and have been using it as an excuse to slack off even more and have let things slip really badly.

Got to thinking about it the other night. I hate all the mess around me and decided that I needed to find positive feelings about keeping the home clean and tidy, from within myself. I'm not just surviving each day anymore and I should have tons of energy to do stuff, but I haven't been. I was feeling a bit over-whelmed by how much needed doing, that I didn't know where to start.

Have given myself a real attitude check in the past few days. I've got to stop focusing on the flaws, the negatives, to the exclusion of seeing the positives and the good stuff. I need to learn to have a more balanced view of myself. I think I've slumped into a very depressive state of late, and it's time to take action and get out of it. I'm going to try to do that without meds. Will try the mind over mood stuff first for a while, but will ask my GP to refer me back to Mental Health to see a PDoc if this isn't effective. What I've realised is that I'm far more compassionate, tolerant, accepting and patient with others and it's time I started treating myself in the same manner. Yeah, I've got a few issues still, but they aren't the whole of me. I've got a lot of positive qualities about me too. Time to do things that I don't particularly enjoy to do (like the housework) and find something positive in doing it. I've got to get myself out of this rut.

So, I gave myself a kick in the butt and thought long and hard about it and then decided that it was time to stop making excuses. I want to get things back to a basic level of cleanliness/tidyness, so that the daily/weekly upkeep isn't such a huge, over-whelming job.

So, I made a start today. Probably over-did it, because my wrist is killing me now, but it was really pleasing to see 5 of the smaller rooms in the house looking tidy and cleaner. I have 5 much larger rooms to tackle - 1 a day for the next 5 days. I'll have Sunday off. I've made a plan to tackle X room(s) on X days, and then to go back to the same room(s) on the same day each week, and I'm guessing with time (maybe a month or so), the amount of time needed to maintain each room will decrease.

So what positives did I get out of the work I did today?
* The rooms look great and I feel more comfortable in them, without all the clutter;
* My H was really happy and thanked me for doing such a great job, although he was a bit concerned about having over-done things with my wrist still not fully re-habilitated.
* My son is a chronic asthmatic; and no doubt will benefit from a cleaner (less dusty) environment. ( I did his room today :) )
* I will feel more comfortable when people come over to visit because there isn't so much mess and clutter.
* I'm hoping some of this will rub off on the kids. If mom is more interested in keeping the home clean & tidy, they might also be inclined to be less messy (I think this might be wishful thinking though! LOL!) As it was: If my room was a mess, and I didn't have to clean/tidy mine, why should they? Good point!
* I feel like I've done something productive with my day, instead of sitting around, getting bored, sleeping too much and feeling bad about myself for having done nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:31 am 
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Amanda wrote:
I've got to stop focusing on the flaws, the negatives, to the exclusion of seeing the positives and the good stuff. I need to learn to have a more balanced view of myself. I think I've slumped into a very depressive state of late, and it's time to take action and get out of it. I'm going to try to do that without meds. Will try the mind over mood stuff first for a while, but will ask my GP to refer me back to Mental Health to see a PDoc if this isn't effective. What I've realised is that I'm far more compassionate, tolerant, accepting and patient with others and it's time I started treating myself in the same manner. Yeah, I've got a few issues still, but they aren't the whole of me. I've got a lot of positive qualities about me too.

That's fabulous, Amanda! All of it, every little bit. I just hope your wrist doesn't suffer from this newfound outlook too much! Your wrist isn't the whole of you (i.e., don't coddle or cater to it) but it is still part of you (be cognizant and aware of its limitations & effects on the rest of you.)

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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:17 pm 
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I like how you broke down the work into more manageable tasks, even if you may have overdone it with your wrist a bit. Now that I am home again after working at camp all summer, I have a huge mess to clean and I am not feeling very motivated to get started yet. I will need my kids to help and they also have not been home making the mess all summer so they will resent me asking them to help. My husband and our three dogs are the ones who have made such a mess of the house but none of them will be doing any of the housework! My kids are responsible for the mess in their rooms but as long as I can close their doors, I can overlook that mess to a point.

I have to pick up my older daughter today and run some other errands before then so I am planning to start major house cleaning tomorrow (both my daughter and I have been cleaning at camps the past few days so we are going to have some family time this evening while my husband is at work). I wish my husband would move out because I resent him leaving all his dirty dishes and leaving such a mess in the kitchen but I would not even have a house to live in without a second income so I have to resign myself to doing what I need to do to make my own living space a place I can be proud of even if it doesn't matter to him.

I am wondering if you have the same problem I have with picking up after other people. It seems the more determined I am to keep things clean, the more lazy my family gets and instead of helping me pick up they leave it all to me. Then I feel "used" and begin to think that my wanting things clean is selfish if the rest of my family does not care about having a clean house. I tend to come to the conclusion that I am exhausting myself with my own expectations and spending too much time angry with my family so that in the end I have tried learning to live with a messy house instead. I stop cleaning just to see if my efforts even matter to anyone but then it gets to the point where I become overwhelmed with the clutter and mess. The mess then causes me to become so overwhelmed and depressed that I can't seem to take the steps needed to find a balance again.

Your list of positives has just motivated me to start a list so I can divide up the tasks into more manageable sizes and check them off as I complete them. If I can focus on one room at a time instead of seeing how messy the whole house is right now, I may be able to do something about my messy house, just the way you have done with yours. It is far easier to maintain cleanliness than to let things get out of control but it is far beyond that point now. Ideally I would like to have a yard sale to get rid of things and get some money but I don't have the energy to tackle that right now.

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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:45 am 
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Day 2 - Another whole room is tidy and clean, and I made a good start on another. Tommorrow I have 3 appointments in town and am meeting a friend for lunch, so I probably won't be getting much done tomorrow. I work Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 3-8, so may not get much done on those days either, but the main thing is, I've started and I'm thrilled to bits with how it looks thus far.

I'm not sure what the physio is going to say when I see her tomorrow. I'm hoping that she'll be pleased with the progress, as all this cleaning and sorting has loosened up my wrist considerably and I'm able to bend it a lot more than I was before. It doesn't seem to be hurting so much tonight either. :)
Denim Blue wrote:
I am wondering if you have the same problem I have with picking up after other people. It seems the more determined I am to keep things clean, the more lazy my family gets and instead of helping me pick up they leave it all to me. Then I feel "used" and begin to think that my wanting things clean is selfish if the rest of my family does not care about having a clean house. I tend to come to the conclusion that I am exhausting myself with my own expectations and spending too much time angry with my family so that in the end I have tried learning to live with a messy house instead. I stop cleaning just to see if my efforts even matter to anyone but then it gets to the point where I become overwhelmed with the clutter and mess. The mess then causes me to become so overwhelmed and depressed that I can't seem to take the steps needed to find a balance again.

Bingo, you hit the nail on the head.

DenimBlue - I'm glad that my post has inspired you. I think when you look at the "whole picture" it does get over-whelming; so breaking it up into managable chunks has definitely made it easier for me to get started; and the results in each single room that is done, is enough to inspire one to get stuck into the others.

My eldest D (trying to wheedle her way out of going to bed this evening) even got stuck in and helped me for a bit tonight. :)

Ash - Thanks. The attitude check was long overdue. I'm consciously making the effort to stop negative thoughts in their tracks; and then looking for something positive. It's already making the world of difference.


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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:25 pm 
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Amanda wrote:
I'm not sure what the physio is going to say when I see her tomorrow. I'm hoping that she'll be pleased with the progress, as all this cleaning and sorting has loosened up my wrist considerably and I'm able to bend it a lot more than I was before. It doesn't seem to be hurting so much tonight either.


It could be good, healing pain, then! I remember going to physical therapy after crushing the cartiledge in my knee (I rolled my truck) and thinking that the therapy exercises were causing my knee to hurt even more than it had before. I suppose if it takes pain to loosen up joints so they keep functioning in the long run, then the pain of physical therapy has a long term pay-off. It is great that getting your house cleaned not only helped your mental peace of mind but that it also helped you gain some mobility in your wrist.

I did not manage to complete all my errands yesterday (I needed to renew my drivers license, which expired on my birthday, but the licensing offices were closed yesterday) so I still have some running around to do today before I get started with my house cleaning project this week. I have to start with animal cages today because I have not been able to clean them as frequently as I wanted over the summer while working out of town and it is time to get the entire animal room cleaned before I tackle the rest of the house. In the meantime, I am going to have my kids work on getting their things out of each room before I get to that room (living room, bathroom, etc.) so that way I won't be so frustrated with them having dumped their things everywhere for me to pick up.

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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:29 pm 
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Oops, "cartiledge" should have been "cartilage" instead. I should have checked my spelling because I knew it didn't look right. There are some words I seem to consistently spell wrong and that is one of them - there is no "edge" in cartilage!

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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Well, I lost enthusiasm for a couple of days, alongisde having one of the kids at home, sick. Found some anxiety creeping in this morning, whilst assessing what still needs doing - seeing the whole picture and getting over-whelmed, so reminded myself that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and to break it down again into managable chunks. There's no deadline, or urgency to have it all done today. It's been messy for quite some time, and a won't hurt for it to remain messy for a little while longer. Focus on the positive - what has been achieved thus far and how good that feels. So, I'm back on the wagon. I've managed to maintain the level of tidyness in those rooms already done. I just vacummed them & frshened them up. Today, I've emptied & sorted the linen closet (which looked like a bomb had been through it) and have made a start on another room (my H & I's.) Things are coming along slowly but, surely & I'm happy with what's been done thus far. Just thought I'd update.

How are things going for you in the house-keeping dept?


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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:56 pm 
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I have taken some vitamin B and I am started on some caffeine to see if I can come up with some physical energy since the mental energy is definitely not there! I have had such headaches the past few days that I actually have not been doing much of anything lately. I did manage to find a place for my husband to live so I won't have to deal with him living here anymore so I just need to get him out of the house and then figure out how to make the mortgage payment without him. I am starting on my animal room today, cleaning out all the cages and cleaning the actual room, so accomplishing that would be a good start for me since I have put it off all weekend already.

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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:37 pm 
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My circumstances are a bit different. I'm physically, mentally & emotionally, feeling great. I have no major life-stressors at the moment, although I have been thinking about the state of my marriage a fair bit lately, and toying with the idea of a trial separation. Other than that, things just seem to be cruising along nice and smoothly, and I have a ton of energy to get the work done.

It sounds like you're under a lot of stress at the moment? H moving out. Having to find a way to pay the mortgage. Headaches, and lack of energy. I think under those circumstances, that housework would be the least of your worries; and some self-care could be in order? Don't push yourself hon. You're dealing with a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:42 am 
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I am feeling a lot of pressure lately, which is why I had given myself permission to take it easy last week after my hectic summer schedule. Now I need to give myself a kick in the seat of the pants, though, because there is less than a week left until school starts and there is much to be done. I did not complete my assigned tasks today but I did accomplish a few things and would have done more if my daughter were not needing my help as well.

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 Post subject: Re: The big tidy and clean up.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:19 am 
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I find that if I can stay on top of things, cleaning is easier for me. That means vacuuming daily (I have new wood floors) and making my bed. Just making my bed makes me feel like my house is in order, for some reason. If I don't make the bed, it reminds me of chaos. Sometimes I'm too tired to make the bed. I sleep with a "blanky" - a navy blue comforter that used to be my son's. It's a twin-size. My H sleeps under the comforter I use to make the bed. The blanky goes under a bench near my bed when I'm not using it. I cherish my blanky. I also find that if I keep up with the dishes daily, that helps maintain order too. So those 3 things - vacuuming up, making my bed and doing the dishes helps me immensely.

I hate cleaning the bathrooms and don't do it as often as I should. I try to keep my bathroom vanity neat though and that helps a lot. I put my pills away in the cabinet every day. I do laundry about twice a week so I'm also up-to-date on that. Since I'm not working anymore it's easier to maintain my household.

Sometimes I am so tired I can barely move. So I sometimes have to force myself to do the daily chores. If I can do them, then I have wonderful peace-of-mind. For me, it's mind over body, so to speak. I also try to keep my desk neat. It all adds up to that peace-of-mind for me. That I'm not allowing things to get out-of-hand.

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