Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, September 13, 2010


There's no question about it—I function better when my house is tidy and clean. Not only do I have a better mental attitude, life just plain works more efficiently when I know where the Scotch tape is and my cds are put away in alphabetical order. Before I quit my day job, I hired the cleaning done, but I can't justify it now. Besides, I do a better job—that is, when I do it. Since I've started writing, I do not run the tight ship I used to run, though I know good and well I write better and am happier when my nest is in order.

And believe me, The Guy does not care. If there were dust bunnies knee deep and newspapers stacked to the ceiling, he would not be concerned so long as he could get to the television. He only wants a few domestic things out of me: an ironed shirt, milk, and a dinner plan. He doesn't even care if dinner is home cooked. We can go out, order in, drive through, microwave leftovers, or heat up Mrs. Paul's fish fillets. He just doesn't want to have to think of the plan. And that's not a lot to ask considering I never pump gas, clean the litter box, or pay a bill. Sometimes I wish he did care; it might be a little extra incentive.

Right now, I feel great because my surroundings are in order. In the last week I've had people in to watch a ball game and hosted my book club. Since our TV room is upstairs and I have book club downstairs, I was forced to bring order to both stories. I even washed the knickknacks and crystal. This weekend, because I knew I was going home to a pleasant clean home, I had a better time at Precious Angel's football game, the Heart of Dixie meeting, and at Mrs. Classy's house where I went to watch the Crimson Tide cream Penn State. I even worshiped better at church Sunday morning.

I am going to try very hard to maintain the status quo. I know if I will just take a few hours on Monday mornings for housekeeping, the house will be in good shape for the rest of the week because we just aren’t that messy. When a character calls to me, I am going to try and say, "Hold that thought; I can serve you better if I can just do these few things."

We’ll see how it works out. But this whole experience begs the question: Why do I not consistently do this one easy thing that makes my life work so much better?

How about you? Do you do the things that make your life work better? Does the order of your surroundings affect your work and attitude?


  1. Oh, Jean, we must talk! You never pump gas? I never pump gas (my father ruined me for doing this). And I don't change the litter box, either. I do the bills, but I'm the money person at work and at home, so that's cool. My Dark Knight does most of the cooking, too, but I'm usually the one queried about the meal plan.

    And, yes, I work much better when my sanctuary is in order. Needless to say, with the current house upheaval due to the additions, I've been horribly unproductive of late. Can't even wrap my mind around wordsmithing, try as I might. The thoughts are there, but the words won't flow. Even now, as I sit at my computer, I've already been interrupted by the contractor and his associate (but they are laying the tile in my new bathroom!).

  2. I pump gas. I cut the yard (all 7 acres of it). I clean the pool. I clean the house (with help). I pay the bills. I cook. I....need a wife!!!!!!!

  3. Hey Cheryl...does your wife have a sister?? LOL

    Yes, I work much better with a clean house but right now it's not, so I guess that would be my reasoning for not getting much done lately. My creativity has been strangled by a clan of dust bunnies!
    Everyone pitches in but it just doesn't seem to be enough. About the only thing I don't do is mow the grass but only because Hubby won't let me touch his new riding mower. I jammed the blades under a root (twice) on the old mower. Whoops!

  4. Hey Sherry, do you think that would work if I ran the tractor into a tree?

    Seriously, I do like my house clean and my yard mowed - makes me feel like I accomplished something. But, then by the time I sit down to write, I fall asleep. So, sometimes, I just let it go and concentrate on the writing.

  5. Funny about the dust bunnies, Sherry. It's amazing what those little critters can do.

    Cheryl, I understand about falling asleep when you finally get to sit down to write. I feel your pain. Some days there aren't enough hours--or energy--in the day.

  6. Crystal--just remember that the renovation noise is the sound of progress. You are lucky to have another cook in the family. If I had to depend on The Guy to cook, it would be Wheaties or microwaved fish sticks and canned corn. (Yes that was one of his meals when he was single. He couldn't be bothered to turn on the over for the fish sticks.)

    Cheryl--I am in awe of you. We hire that yard thing done. Plus you have all those animals. I would be better off if I could let it go and concentrate on writing. I hate that I am distracted by mess. I sometimes feel that I have to do my chores to earn the right to write. How crazy is that?

    Sherry--I've been known to destroy a lawn mower too. It can happen before you know it.

  7. I work much better if at least the room I am in has some order. The chaos in my head is such that if there is chaos in my surroundings it means there is so much chaos I can't accomplish anything!

  8. Stephanie--Maybe that's the answer. I can control the room but not the tracks in my head. There is a coach who will not shut up.

  9. I love my house to be in order. But, when I'm really busy I have learned to loosen my priorities on housecleaning a bit, well more than a bit. That has been a bone of contention between me and hubby but he has grown more understanding through the years and especially now that I work.

    When I write, I like to have research books open about me, notepads and such. I like a cluttered area for some reason. Weird, huh?

    Great blog post, Jean. I think I need to clean now...