One week ago I began cleaning my kitchen. Not a typical wipe down and mop job. Oh no. A full on deep strip clean. Literally scrubbing the walls from top to bottom and within an inch of their lives. Treating them with anti mold and mildew chemicals because the owner (we rent) used poor quality primer instead of real paint and after exposing my walls to all that water and bleach I don’t want to risk problems down the road.
Weeding through pots, pans, and containers that overflow from the shelves we installed a few years ago and taking out ones that we simply have too many of, don’t use, or for containers – no matching lids.
I’m also going through the cabinets. Going to pare down the dishes, especially the cups. We don’t have space to put them all. I need to fix that. Also going through the food and disposing of things that have been there so long that they can’t be used anymore. Then I’m scrubbing those out, too.
And THEN I’ll scrub and mop the floor.
The reason for all of this? I’m not having the best time of it mental health wise, and my marriage could be in better shape (communication issues). And I just feel like I’m losing control over my life. All of my hobbies have gone to the wayside because I’m always having to take care of everyone else. On top of this my pain issues have gotten worse, causing me to be even more limited in my movement and activity level. What energy I have goes into child rearing and errands. Hell, most of the time I have just enough energy left in me to make a cup of coffee – only because it literally requires adding a pod to my machine and hitting one button – and making lunch or dinner for my son.
Hell, I hardly can keep my eyes open most days to make a note to myself to make a draft of a blog post here.
So, my kitchen cleaning has been about taking back control of something in my life that I alone decide how it’s done, when it’s done, and where it goes from there. It’s also about learning where my limits are now and which ones I can push through and which ones I can’t anymore.
Since starting the project I’ve noticed a remarkable side benefit. It has helped me to work through my emotions so that I do not fall immediately into the knee-jerk reaction scenarios. It has also helped me with my focus, and allowed me productive time to myself. When I have taken breaks while doing the hardest parts of the work I actually got a lot of writing done. Enough that I was actually surprised that I’d written most of a story without meaning to.
I plan to paint the kitchen next month with a glossy pastel green paint so that it’s easier to clean and won’t require so much elbow grease next time.