An unexpected perk to staying at my mom’s house for awhile is that Mr. Quake is becoming something of a neat freak. In our time together, he has never been one to, say, make the bed without a little wifely prompting. But in the last several days, the bed has been made each morning, laundry done & folded, dishes washed & put away, shredding pile shredded & shredder emptied, bathtub scrubbed, towels hung up…and yours truly has been gently advised not to let my things “stack up in piles.” This morning he even took it upon himself to run vinegar through the coffee pot several consecutive times.
I don’t know whether this sudden Mr. Clean routine comes as a reaction to the chaos & mess that inherently accompanies moving & the end of the holidays, or if it’s just his way of carving out a space for us that feels like home while we settle into a space that belongs to someone else. Or, perhaps, magically he’s just begun to notice all the little things I used to be responsible for noticing as I have slackened a bit in my levels of tidiness and organization in response to being in a temporary sort of living arrangement. My feeling seems to be why spend the energy determining neat, tidy places for every little thing if we will relatively soon (hopefully) be moving yet again? Not to mention there just really isn’t enough space for an entire household to fit neatly within an existing household. I have embraced a level of chaos under these circumstances that I wouldn’t likely tolerate in a normal (independent) living arrangement.
While I hope it’s not an expression of underlying anxiety or desperation with our situation, I am enjoying it at the surface level – the relative equality of domestic energy output and the amusing novelty of being instructed in the ways of organization by someone whom I would normally feel compelled to nag about things like stray socks, shoes, cords, books, etc. I am hoping the habit sticks & relocates along with us once we’re again launched back into our own living space. He likes to remind me during tough times that “the struggle is the blessing.” In this current instance, I see it manifesting in the gleam of a spotless coffee pot, the neat fold of my shirts in the drawer and sheets on the bed, and the luxury of time that allows me to illustrate and reflect on them. Thank you, Mr. Quake. I feel very blessed, indeed.