I was reading a novel this morning where there was this extremely neat lady who was studying an untidy man and envying him his ability to be gloriously untidy, with abandon! OK. It’s obvious of course that I was not only reading fiction, it was romantic fiction. Neat people NEVER envy untidy folks, if anything; they are smug about being so perfect. [From the tone of this post, it’s easy to know that I’m not one of the neat ones]
I have tried so hard for years to learn that art of neatness…if you do not think it is an art, try being unwillingly untidy. My mum complained and moaned; it just wouldn’t work. I tried for my mum; no progress. I tried to be tidy for my fiancé; even worse. So I just gave up. I really couldn’t be bothered to iron my clothes before putting them on neither could I be bothered to fold away my clothes after taking them off. As long as I could do clean, what did I care about tidy?
But it bothered me a lot. Made me feel like some sort of failure (I like to think that I can do and be anything I set my mind to). I even spoke to God about it, but somehow, I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. See, it would have been fine if I actually loved being untidy. But I wanted to be tidy almost desperately. Then, something happened a few days ago.
My mum usually complains about how I didn’t do this in the Kitchen or how I did that in the living room; somehow, I never seem to get things right. Or that’s what I thought. Well, a few days ago she let it drop, veeery casually you understand, that with all she’s seen of me in the past year I’ve been home, she’s confident that I would make a good homemaker!!
Now, from an African woman, that’s high praise indeed. From my mum? I was working on air. But I couldn’t help but wonder why she had so much to complain about if she felt I was doing fine. I guess that’s how mothers are – when it comes to training their daughters, they aren’t ever satisfied. But that comment made me think; if I could get a hang of this housekeeping thing, maybe I could manage the neatness thing too.
So, I decided to try once more to be tidy; this time around, for me. Not for my mum and definitely not for my fiancé (he’s supposed to love me the way I am and that’s not just romantic fiction). I read somewhere that if you do something consistently for 30 days, it becomes a habit. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to consistently, for the next 30 days, make my bed each time I get up in the morning. I usually jump out of bed and hit the floor running, but I’ll take time out. If I can master that, I’ll try hanging or folding up my clothes. It doesn’t seem like much, but for me it is. I’ll tackle this neatness thing one chore at a time. [Maybe I should stop thinking of them as ‘chores’]
This is what I call my 30 Days Neatness Challenge!
I started yesterday and when I worked into my room after a hard day’s work, I had a broad grin on my face as I sank unto my made bed. I guess my dad is right; as you lay your bed shall you lie on it.