Thoughts with Richard Bleil
With luck, my friend should be visiting me. If all goes according to plan, she has been here for a few days, and her visit is a little more than half over. She’s a very special friend to me and has been a large part of my life for about thirty years now. In fact, she never knew her biological father, and we were such good friends when she tracked him down that she would share her concerns with me when she organized her first visit to him. She just spent a few months with him, and I’m so happy that they connected as well as they did, but I’ve never met her.
We met on one of the chat services from the ‘90’s and hit it off quickly, but never arranged to meet in person. This visit is the first time we’ve actually met in person, and because of that, this post is about a week early (just a little less). See, I don’t want to be obligated to write posts while she’s here. Not that I won’t. It depends on how busy we are, but if I have enough posts published, then if I don’t have time, then I won’t feel bad if I don’t post. By tomorrow (as I write this), I will have posted far enough in advance that if I don’t write another blog until she flies out, I’m still covered.
The problem is that I live in a very large old house, and my housekeeping is, well, let’s say it leaves something to be desired. In my defense, I’ve only had one other visitor since I’ve been here, so the only person that can be offended by my housekeeping skills is, well, me.
Previously, I’ve posted about what happens to my house during bouts of depression. But since I’ve rebounded from my previous rather extensive depression, I’ve been doing much better. I’m taking care of recycling and developed a system for handling trash so it doesn’t gather for very long, but I’m still not doing basic cleaning other than clothing laundry. So, I came up with a plan.
To be fair, the original plan was to simply do enough so that I’m not completely ashamed of my house, but somehow I got into a groove. It’s turned more into a spring cleaning project, and my house is cleaner than perhaps it ever has been.
I decided to take care of one task at a time. For example, one day I swept. The idea was to sweep up the kitty litter that my roommate Star spilled over the past year or two. This was an important step, because my (overpriced and very fancy) vacuum cleaner uses a bag, and vacuuming up the spilled litter would fill the bag too quickly. So, step one was to sweep, and it was my task for that day. The next day, I decided to vacuum. If you saw the dust bunnies and cobwebs around the house, you would realize how infrequently I do this. With the sweeping done, I could vacuum more easily and completely. And vacuuming was important, because after my vacuuming day was mopping day. That was the chore today as I write this post, and although I had planned to mop just the bad spots, it turned into a nearly complete house mopping chore. I don’t know that these floors have ever been so clean.
It’s not perfect. Tomorrow it’s toilets and sinks, but I don’t think I’ll get to the showers. Fortunately, they’re not bad since I kind of clean them every time I use them. And frankly, I’m not sure I’ll have time to dust. This house is lived in, so I don’t feel the need to turn it into a house just for show. I can live with dust, but I think it’s at least presentable now.
The odd thing is that as I cleaned it, I actually feel better not only about the house, but about myself as well. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise me, though. My surroundings are a reflection of my mental state, so why shouldn’t my mental state be a reflection of my surroundings.
There are a lot of techniques for fighting depression. Hot showers create ions that have been demonstrated to fight depression. Hugs and physical contact release endorphins that are important for not only the mental state of mind, but also contribute to physical health. Next time I’ll remember that when I’m down, I should try cleaning my house. Maybe it will help. And if it doesn’t, then I’ll still have a clean house.