It occurred to me, as I was stuffing laundry into my state-of-the-art washing machine earlier this week, that I do almost nothing around the house. When I think about my grandmothers – both of them, really, but particularly my mother’s mother who lived in England – and what they had to do to take care of their homes and their families, I am a complete slacker in comparison. This is not in and of itself a bad or good thing, but I believe that it has had a negative effect on my level of connection and commitment to the rest of my life.
1. I do not clean my house, I have a cleaning service that comes in every other week and dusts, vacuums, changes sheets, mops floors, cleans bathrooms, takes all of the trash to the garbage can in the garage, and puts new bin liners in all of the trash cans throughout the house. If I forget to put one of our dirty dishes in the dishwasher – another example of a chore I do not do! – then the cleaning people wash that item, too.
2. I do not iron my or my husband’s clothes, everything that needs ironing goes to the cleaners to be laundered and ironed.
3. I do not cook. Every single meal that my husband I eat is cooked by a restaurant, picked up at a fast food establishment, or a microwaveable dinner picked up at a store. Every single meal. I never, ever use my kitchen for anything except storing prepackaged dinners in the refrigerator, microwaving said dinners, making coffee (with a single cup, drop in cup coffee maker), and feeding the Pug. Oh, and it also serves as a horizontal surface for my husband’s clutter collection, unfortunately.
4. I do not change my own sheets (see #1 above).
5. I do not grow my own vegetables. My grandmothers both had huge gardens that provided all of the vegetables they used for feeding their families.
It is my belief that my decision to outsource all of these homemaking activities has created a fundamental disconnection between me and my home. This disconnect does not help with my desire to lead a healthy life, either. If I can check out of my home then it’s just that much easier to check out of my body and my responsibility for taking proper care of both of these important pieces of living a happy, healthy, harmonious life.
And what’s possibly worse is the fact that I have replaced taking care of myself and my home with shopping and acquiring more things; this is not something that either of my grandmothers ever did. The amount of clothes in my closet is insane. Really, seriously, and deeply insane. Clothes, shoes, handbags – more than any one person should ever need. My grandmothers were both beautifully turned out at all times but they had about a week’s worth of clothes whereas I could go 3-4 weeks without repeating an outfit. Why?
I don’t have answers at this point but I wanted to come here to start a conversation while I ruminate a little longer. If you have thoughts or just want to share your own deep, dark secret, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.