As I continue my atypical recovery from lumbar back surgery, one aspect of my life that I miss is cleaning my house. The surgeon advised me earlier this month that it would be probably closer to May (six more months!) before I regain full use of my left leg. I am still using a walker to get around, which makes cleaning difficult. But today, as I placed water in the microwave to heat up for tea, I just had to attempt to clean it. There was so much food stuck to the top and sides of the microwave that I was sure something would drop into the water and send me back to the hospital!
So, with prayer and faith that the physical therapist was correct in that I am making great progress, I stepped on the kitchen stool, right leg first, as I have learned the hard way not to start with my left leg, and started cleaning the microwave. The top almost needed a jackhammer, but I put all of my energy into it with a dish cloth with Dawn on it, and went to work. I cleaned all of the microwave, but not as well as I would like, but came to realize that falling and chancing another trip to surgery was not an option.
I finally convinced myself that good enough was fine. I just needed to clean it where it looked almost spotless. To do more required energy that I did not have. My youngest daughter once called me a cleaning fanatic, and for good reason. I made my children keep the house nearly spotless, and I knew that I was unreasonable at times, but I could not help myself.
I grew up in a home with a mother who told me that she was never meant to be domestic. I was so embarrassed by our home that I never invited people home until I was a teenager and had learned to clean the house. So, yes, I admit that I can’t abide a dirty house, particularly unclean kitchens and bathrooms.
I plan to clean the stove when I finish writing this post. My husband does the cooking, and he seems not to see the build up on the stove or microwave, or it simply doesn’t bother him like it does me. I am so thankful for his cooking, especially as I am in a size 6 clothes for the first time since I was probably age 10. I was 170 pounds 18 years ago when we married, and today I am 113 pounds, which is seven pounds below my last goal on Weight Watchers.
Therefore, rather than argue about the kitchen and bathrooms needing cleaning, I have just started doing what I can, to a degree that I can live with, and keeping our marriage happy. Our childhoods never fully leave us, for we are shaped by those experiences much more than we know. Douglas’s parents had housekeepers who did the cleaning, so he never had to. He can go hiking and disc golfing without stressing on the condition of the house. But, I can’t! So, to keep myself same and prevent hurting myself or setting my recovery back, I have decided that good enough is just fine, particularly as no one but he and I see it.