Hate is an intense word. It’s a four-letter word and one that tends to get tossed around casually. We hate “that guy” or cleaning the bathroom when maybe we should be hating slavery, genocide, and human trafficking. Okay, maybe we exaggerated a little. But we really do strongly dislike cleaning the bathroom! We curse it and its ancestors! We bite our thumbs at it! We banish it to outer darkness!
“I hate cleaning the bathroom.” Okay, what do I like then? I like bad smells. No. I like mold. Well, no. I like soapy hairballs. Nope. I like funky towels. Not really, no. Okay, I guess I have to say, “I resent the necessity of cleaning the bathroom.” I actually like the idea of having a beautiful, relaxing spa-style bathroom like the ones on Pinterest. Cleaning that might not be so bad, as long as I didn’t have to clean up after anyone else.
“I hate housework.” Yeah, so does everyone, without the application of copious amounts of mind-altering drugs. Okay, what do I like then? I like piles of smelly laundry. No. I like always having a sink full of greasy pans. No. I like it when I walk barefoot and my feet stick to the floor. No. I like it when someone drops by unannounced on the one day the place is at its dirtiest. No. Okay, I might actually like having a clean house, something in my style that looks great. But I still resent the drudgery and feeling taken for granted.
Let me tell you what I like. I like the way my house looks. I like it when my husband and the dog and the parrot stretch out on the couch and take naps together. I like eating meals at the dining table, because it feels like a special occasion and there’s a place for my fork and my drink. I like working at my desk, because there’s always room for my current project. I like my closet, because there’s always something I want to wear hanging there. I like my bathroom, because shower time is when I have all my best ideas. I like my kitchen, because the counters are always clear and ready when I want to cook. I like living with my husband, because he’s the best roommate I ever had. (Among other reasons). I like listening to podcasts and audiobooks. I don’t hate housework any more, partly because it provides me with so many things that I like, but also because it gives me something to do while I’m listening to my audio queue!
One thing I always keep in mind is that doing certain unpleasant things is the only way to avoid even less pleasant consequences. I floss and brush my teeth because not doing it means my mouth will feel gross the next morning. If I skipped it more often, my next dental visit would be dreadful. If I gave up on it altogether, it would eventually quit being a problem, because I wouldn’t have any teeth left to worry about. It turns out that housework is exactly like dental hygiene. Doing a little every day really isn’t all that bad, it only takes a few minutes, and at the end of the year, there is a vast difference between whether it got done or not.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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