So, it seems I've figured out the difference between people like myself and those sparkling Type-A personalities who seem to have everything done all of the time (regardless of whether or not it is an online fallacy created with filters). They don't leave it till later. Lightbulb moment. At my very core I'm a bit of a dreamer who easily gets overwhelmed when my to-do list grows quicker than I can read it. On a day when Percy is at my feet, the dishes need to be done, I've got a story due, lunch to make, a phone interview scheduled and washing that needs to be brought in, I can safely say that nothing gets done efficiently or effectively. And the general mess that occurs in the wake of a toddler or the school children that arrive home hungry and tired? Add it to the list. But adding it to the list is just not practical because the list is only going to get bigger (I let go of the ideal of getting to the bottom of the list many years ago). The efficient among us don't walk over a toy and think: "I'll put that away later". They pick it up, put it in the basket, keep walking. This methodical approach to cleaning a house does not come naturally to me. Not at all, not in the slightest. Which means one thing: it must be a learned behaviour.
On Saturday morning (after I got home from yoga), we spent some time sorting, tidying and cleaning. It was a family affair complete with music, whinging, distraction and gentle reminders to stay on task. Regardless of the slow pace and the coffee breaks, we did get a lot done which left the rest of the weekend free.
But what was glaringly obvious was Daniel's efficiency and my tendency to wander off task. Or start a task and promptly move onto the next. Or clean a surface and rearrange the books and then light a candle.
Gah! I so easily find myself in a muddle.
So, I've been conscious of mentally repeating exactly what I'm doing to ensure I get it done before I move onto the next.
"I am clearing the table, I am washing the dishes, I am folding the clothes."
Gentle reminders, mindful work, karma yoga.
And perhaps it's karma yoga that is the very essence of keeping a house while mothering small children. Karma yoga is about setting aside time to do the work and walking away when the time is up, not necessarily when the task is done. It's realistic for my life right now which is, well, brimming.
Cleaning in the moment is one thing, setting aside time to clean (even if it doesn't get finished) is another. Writing about it is procrastination at its finest.