OK, this is a great thing (for me) but it is really going to sound mean and judgmental on my part and that is seriously not my intention. This has been on my mind as one of those ,”Does anyone else do this or am I just a singularly nosy busy-body?” type of question. Here goes a personal truth…gulp…When I visit someone else at their house, especially if it is an overnight stay or longer, I start seeing little things that need to be “fixed” around their home. I’ve noticed this rather intrusive trait in myself for a long time now and I wonder if others are the same.
One of my life’s credos has long been: See a problem, fix a problem. So, I try to quietly jump in to fix problems. I mean, I don’t want anybody to feel judged or to get their feelings hurt, so I wait until they go to the grocery store, for instance, and then I will get a broom and sweep down all of the cob-webs lining the corners of their house- that type of thing. I feel that I am being useful and earning my keep as a guest, but after my last visit, I find myself questioning said credo.
My recent hosts were my elderly in-laws, so I especially wanted to “help” them without seeming pushy. But, they never did leave the house so I didn’t want to just jump in and start cleaning. I thought about offering to sweep cob-webs for them, but was worried that it would embarrass them if I mentioned the offending webs. I started getting frustrated about this “problem” that was a simple little fix and I wondered why they didn’t just do it themselves.
Of course, my ponderings about other people always brings the pointed finger back to my own shortcomings. Due to my housekeeping ADD (and pure laziness), I have lived with unfinished baseboards (among a ton of other easy fixes) for many months now. It would be nothing to just get down on my hands and knees and caulk those suckers, but am I doing it? Noooo….because it’s not fun. Even though it makes the house look so much more clean and fresh, I HATE putting in new baseboards! Well, not the actual installing. I don’t mind the measuring, cutting and nailing, but the caulking and then the paint touch ups are pure drudgery to me.Mostly I become blind to the problems in my own house. The constant dusting, sweeping, window washing…(and you can see from just my living room how dusting is a constant chore) they are the same problems day after day and they do start to drag me down. I often find myself turning a blind eye to the little bits of “grrrrs” all over the place. And I realize that must be what others are doing as well.
The GOOD part of all of this is that when I come home after a visit, it makes all of my little problems seem like the same “easy fix” that I see in others’ homes. I’m reinvigorated and can see the house with fresh eyes. After a long drive home last night and a long sleep in my own bed, I’ve woken up to a new, revived day. Even though I’ve only been up for a couple of hours, I’ve already torn through the house and have so much energy that it’s nuts. The dishes are soaking, the soup is in the crock pot, the wood floors are free of dust bunnies, and I’m caught up on e-mail. Will I caulk the baseboards today? hmmmm….maybe not… maybe I’ll just finish the dishes and then run on up to Jerome and cruise through the fabulous art galleries there…:)
Or just grab a cup of coffee and stare at the view from the front porch again….And so it goes…