If you suffer from CHAOS that is can’t have anyone over syndrome, like I did step in and see if my experience helps.
Amma got into the car her luggage in the boot, while she and I sat comfortably behind.
Ganesh is a safe driver; I do not need to worry about the road.
“How was the trip, Amma?”
“It was all fine, but I was totally upset when I saw Babli’s house.”
“What’s wrong,” I asked, of course I always resented Babli’s superior existence, neater books, neater clothes, tidy room etc. I was the perpetually chaotic one. but Amma didn’t have to drive it in with, ”it was a total mess, it looked like your house ” now that was truly annoying.
“What do you mean, it looked like my house? You are always putting me down” I thundered.
“For a while I thought you had improved, now you are back to square one” Amma replied.
I was fuming, hurt by what she said, it hurt all the more as it was true.
Mama’s words rankled even after she left. I slowly looked around, clutter everywhere, of course there was cobweb somewhere I stopped inviting people into my space. I was too embarrassed.
Some pervert sense of self depreciation, pushed me to walk around the house, grade the clutter tidiness and aesthetic value on a scale of 0 – 10. It was an eye opener. At the end of it, I felt like I had survived a dust storm. Still the feeling was nice, like being in a train, when you know where you destination is. I had half an hour before my husband and daughter returned. But the dust bunny had to tame.
I knew my energy level was low, so I put the buzzer for 15 mnts. Did a quick tidying of the house created a place for the old magazines, behind the balcony door, a broken bucket to throw the dry waste yes I cleared quite a bit. The next 15mnts was vacuuming the house suddenly I felt cleaner.
Then came the step two, the stinky kitchen in the morning disturbed me, so no matter what I washed dishes before I went to sleep. If I could not then I soaked the vessels out of my kitchen so that my kitchen did not stink, but with each passing day the washing up seemed easier. Somehow, utensils got washed immediately after use, so I did not have a sunken sink at the end of the day. It took me a week to get a fairly okay house.
I survived for a week, it felt good, I added the next phase, oil my body I still had the scars bleeding, exercise starting with step of suryanamskar, sweep and mop the house, bath and start writing. Shine the sink before bed. I now understood how a recovering junkie felt.
I now felt brave enough to tackle the kitchen. This was tough, maybe mom is right with a planned menu things work better, so I planned a menu for the week, checked the grocery, made the list of things to be bought. With the grocery purchased, in they went to the relevant containers. Out went the containers with no lids and lids with no containers. There was no more stress of last minute potluck, or stone soup.
- week 1 living and dining room.
- week 2 masterbedroom
- week3 bathroom and kids room
- week 4 kitchen and the grocery list.
Then there were tasks I did on specific days of the week
- Monday clean the staircase
- Tuesday dust the cobweb and clean the skirting.
- wednesday sort and file mail and magazines.
- Thursday outdoor work
- Friday clean the handbag
- Saturday clean the scooter, tank up fuel check battery.
- Sunday pamper myself.
It took me a month, and daily dedication of an hour of housekeeping. My house was organized. I have stayed with it was a year now.
But that first step of coming out of denial and excuses was the scariest of them all. Yet when my daughters tell me “Amma it is good to have our amma back,” it feels good.
Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe now. For every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.
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