Monday, April 21, 2008

All Grown Up

I have found a new love!

On Saturday I had the desire to clean up the front porch so I could lay down my new doormat and give it a fresh new start--and while I was doing so, I noticed that the front door was absolutely filthy. So I remembered something I read in my Martha Stewart Housekeeping Handbook about cleaning doors and walls and I went to check if we had any "all-purpose cleaner." Thankfully we did still have the Costco sized bottle of Pine-Sol (I'm not sure we'll ever run out) so I mixed myself up a little wash and began washing my front door.

Let me tell you, it was very therapeutic! Something about washing away dust and dirt, sort of like a metaphor for life I think. It just felt so good to get rid of the dirt on my house (one thing I have noticed about Arizona is that the dust is frequently airborne and attaches itself to any surface). Unfortunately, there are a few side effects:

1--it's addictive. What started out as the front door quickly evolved down to the front doorstep and into the garage on the walls and the door and then into the house. I cleaned the hallway from the garage door and the bathroom in that hallway and then moved to the hallway on the other side of the stairs and when I finished that I started up the stairs before I realized that I'd have to make a decision: go on washing and commit suicide via loss of energy because I am 9 months pregnant, or stop. So I stopped despite my intense desire to continue (you see, I have been staring at all the dirty fingerprints and shoe marks on my walls for about a year and a half now--it never really occurred to me to clean them off...), but a second session is already in the works

2--what is clean is bound to get dirty again, and with kids this will happen much sooner than you are ready for. Within a day after I had washed all of that I had new finger and hand prints on just about every surface I had just cleaned.

Maybe I should clarify something so that you all don't think I'm a total slob-- our house has nothing but white walls and white trim, and the walls are some sort of matte finish which attracts dirt like a magnet and like I said before, Arizona dust (read dirt) is everywhere and my kids get dirty just asking to play outside.

So dirt on my walls is inevitable. But now I have something to do about it and every time I see a cleaner wall or baseboard or door, I get all happy inside.

And then it dawned on me Sunday night: I get more pleasure out of cleaning and working around the house than I do sitting around doing nothing. Which of course never used to be the case, and that's how I know I'm growing up. In fact, I think that should be the distinction between childhood and adulthood-- forget 18, you should be legally considered to be an adult when you can recognize that you are happier working than slacking. Of course, that would leave quite a few adults back in childhood, which, quite frankly is fine with me!


Andy & Jessica said...

Oh ya, we have the HUGE Costco Pinesol too. Now you can clean all you want and it will never run out. Well, maybe in a year or so. I am really impressed that at 9 months pregnant you are wanting to get off the couch and clean. At that point in my pregnancy's I had pretty much given up until I gave birth. Good for you:-)

Becky said...

ali, that is great. I love the feeling of clean things..and oh the smell.

I'm not sure if i'm grown up or not. Adam told me just the other day that I was not "lazy, but that I just liked doing funnier things than doing chores like the dishes"
Which I will say is entirely true. I'd rather bake a cake than clean the toilet.
But I will say that I get more satisfaction cleaning the front room...just not other things. Does that count?

Way to go! I hope you are feeling well and I can't wait for the baby to come!

Juli said...

Sounds like a case of nesting, Ali! I'll give you a standing ovation if your cleaning itch lasts through having a newborn. =)

I go through grown-up spurts where my house is sparkly clean for maybe 3 days or so, but these spurts come to a screeching halt every time I discover a new book that I can't put down, or when it's too rainy all week for the kids to play outside, or when I decide to throw myself into a new (temporary) hobby. Sigh.

Oh, and everything below 3 feet is covered in red-dirt fingerprints here, too. Hooray for Magic Erasers!

Kelly said...

I think you are dead on about the cleaning and being a grown-up philosophy. Maybe I can be even more grown up when I don't leave dinner dishes until the next day!

Adam and Lisa said...

I knew I was a grown-up when I got excited over things like grocery ads and having the laundry folded and put away. I also feel the cleaning bug- I love my days off work, because I can spend the whole day cleaning the house. Adam thinks I'm crazy, but I really do enjoy it!

ali said...

Juli--I'm with you, give me until the final book of the twilight series comes out and all will fall apart!

Let me clarify though, I didn't say I couldn't find anything I'd rather do than clean-- only that I'd rather clean than do nothing (like sitting on the couch vegetable-like flipping through the channels when I know nothing is on) which didn't used to be the case if you can believe it!!

Natalie said...

Now that you are done nesting are you still in need of getting a cleaning fix? Come on over. I'll hold the baby:). And Gretta can eat all of my bananas and cheese.