Monday, December 10, 2012

Brushing Your Teeth With Oreos -- by Josh

My parents are coming to visit tomorrow and the question is foremost in my mind: When should the real clean-up begin?
According to the goddesses of Pinterest (this via my wife, because I would never just scroll through Pinterest, I swear), cleaning your house with children present is like brushing while eating Oreos.  I could not agree more.
Housework has taught me a number of lessons.  My first cleaning-related realization occurred back in Oregon, in the difficult days before we moved to this island paradise and finally bought a washing machine.  All of our laundry loads were taken care of either at the laundromat or one of our parents' homes, thus happening on a weekly basis when we had time.  I would take great pleasure in finally finishing the wash, marveling at the mountains of clean, categorized laundry.  Then, that night, the mirage would dissipate before my eyes as the bedtime routine unfolded and piece after piece of dirty clothes piled onto the floor.
"Ugh." That's all I could say, other than the edited portions. 
Eventually I realized that this was an opportunity for spiritual growth, the notion becoming clearer that EVERYTHING is ephemeral, nothing, no condition in this material world lasts forever and that our life is not a project to be finished but an evolving state of gradual improvement, with occasional plateaus, dips and stains.  I guess I had a lot of time to reflect during the spin cycle.
So it is that I've arrived at a potentially dangerous point in my house-cleaning philosophy:  Is it really worth it to clean so often if it's just going to get messed up again? 
Thus the Oreo brushing.  If I clean today, the house will just get lived in again and tomorrow it won't look like we've cleaned at all!
At this point, I have to think of my laundry epiphany. I don't want to wear dirty clothes, so I continue with this endless cycle (I've even written a song about it: "It is the laundry that never endsssss, and it goes on and on my friends!!!").  Whenever I put on clean undies and non-crusty socks, I know that continuing the wash cycle is well worth it, to both me and my less-offended guests.

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