Friday, June 17, 2011

Wondering Why

I’ve never lived alone, so being in the house with just the dog is a relatively different experience. It has caused me to think about why I do some of the things I do.

Like make the bed each day. Like make sure all the dishes are washed and put away before I go to bed. Like not leave piles of clutter.

I had always assumed I did those things because they mattered to me. But when I got out of bed yesterday and contemplated leaving the bed unmade because I was just going to get back in it later that night, I wondered whether I was doing them more to preserve my image among those with whom I lived.

Sort of reminds me of the old question about the tree falling in an empty forest with no one to hear it. Did any of those things really matter if I was the only one affected?

Either they did or I am a creature of habit because I didn’t allow myself to become a slob for 2 days even though Jake would have been my only witness.

How about you? What motivates your behavior when it comes to these pesky little details?


Anonymous jamy said...

As someone who has lived alone something like half her life I will tell you:

I never make the bed unless someone might see it.

Dishes pile up, but never more than one or two days worth.

My dining room table attracts clutter--unopened mail, unread magazines, miscellaneous bits. It gets cleared off about once a month or when company is expected.

You don't want to know about the state of my floors.

Dirty clothes may sit on the floor overnight before going to the laundry basket.

Clean clothes usually get folded in a timely fashion but can take a week to get put away.

I would only do a better job if someone else were around who cared. Or if I wanted to impress a visiting parent. :)

10:35 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I've tried it both ways when my husband is out of town and I definitely tend towards keeping things neater and cleaner when he's away. I even sometimes get into a cleaning and decluttering binge mode that would be kind of pointless to engage in when he's here. And it stays all neat and clean for the entire time that he is gone. It cheers me up to have some control over my environment for a change. Clutter depresses me although you'd never know it to look at my house. Or maybe you would!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I live in a small space so keeping it neat is necessary. I live alone so it's myself I'm pleasing but my mood is always better when everything is clean and tidy. My mother taught me that picking up at night leaves a neat house as your first morning impression and that making one's bed, doing one's dishes etc. are signs of self respect. I like the results.

10:38 AM  
Blogger e said...

Since I live alone and have always lived in small spaces, being neat and orderly is easier for me to manage than is clutter or chaos. I also have the reward of time to spend on other things.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I like to make things nice for myself as well as for others. I always make the bed and pick up after myself because it makes me happy to have things looking good. If there is another person around the sense of picking up is more immediate (out of respect for them and to keep the place from getting out of hand) but I always have things tidy. Personal preference I suppose.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Jamy, Pauline, E -- It would be interesting to see where I would come out on this after a month or so on my own. I'm guessing some things would slide.

Cyndy -- It's curious that you tend to be neater when your husband is away.

Gary -- I can't imagine you ever leaving a mess without cleaning it up. You are one of the most considerate people I know!

10:53 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

LOL -- for me it's all about the slippery slope. If I stop making the bed, how soon before I quit doing laundry, or taking a shower?!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too wondered why I care for my home and all the small things -- I guess it is because my home is one of my sacred spaces in life. I'm grateful to have it and glad to care for it. It feels good when it is loved and cared for. Right now I am visiting in the home of another blogger, a very neat, comfy and organized place. I feel at home.

6:04 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home