Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dirty House Friends

I think I've mentioned in prior posts that I am not a woman in love with house work. Just the opposite (in hate with housework?). We have a base range of clean in our house that goes from fairly straightened to "step over the pile". It's a big range.

My spoken philosophy on cleaning the house for guests is "love me, not my house" but the reality is that I tend to go into a bit of a cleaning tizzy if I have people coming over that I don't really know. While I'm not a big people-pleaser, I get a slightly pinched over what a person might think if they had to use my bathroom in its normal resting state of little-kid-grubby.

Which is why I really appreciate my "dirty house friends". These are the people that love me and I trust them enough to keep loving me, whatever the condition of my house. It isn't that I want them to use the bathroom as-is but if they want to come over and I don't have time to clean it then I don't worry. My sister-in-law gets on this list, as does my mother and several other friends. I also have a few who get on the list because of their own low standards (the bachelor friend who never does dishes, for example).

The question I've been asking myself the last couple weeks is "Who are my dirty life friends?" Meaning, who can I trust enough to show up without my life all put together and know they still love me? Am I willing to do that with anyone, really? Because I like to be put together. A lot. Or maybe have some problem I can talk about in the past tense but only to show my openness and honesty, not to actually admit that I have anything current that needs helping. I'm kind of a hard head that way. And it isn't because there are people who don't love me, it is because I don't like to be messy or imperfect or vulnerable so I don't take the risk of putting it all out for them.

This is a problem, as of late, because I'm not doing so hot. Three kids and no money and postpartum to boot are kicking my butt. My choices have been shame (self, mostly) or numb (yeah Face Book). I'm not feeling happy. I love my kids but being a mom is hard and tiring. I want to stay home with them but I miss work and the extra money it brought. I want to run away and have an adventure without any responsibility. I feel heavy and depressed and sad. How's that for not put together?

Actually, I'm doing slightly better than I was. The first way I know is that I have the ability to write this. Being numb does not foster creativity. I also know I'm doing a little better because I've started telling people that things suck for me right now. Them: "How are you doing?" Me: "Crappy. You?" :) I even was able to cry about something I was sad about versus just finding a way to not feel it. It is sort of a weird way to mark progress but it is progress.

I know this is hormonal, I know it is situational, I know it will pass as things get more routine and I get more sleep. I'm putting one foot in front of the other trying to do what I know will help like eat and sleep and pray and be with people. But, right now I feel yucky at least a little bit every day. I don't like it very much.

I can't even think of a way to wrap up this post. Oh well. Love me, not my "togetherness".


Skerrib said...

I love you because you are precisely this kind of friend to me. Hmmmm...wish I had some easy answers or happy platitudes or something to MAKE you feel better. I'm right there with you though, depending on the day.

Suzanne said...

Thinking of you ...

Karen Reyburn said...

Sylvia, you put it just right. I feel like that so many days, and am more thankful than I can say for my own dirty-house-friends. And for God giving me the courage to open the door and welcome them in. I used to tell them (from behind a closed door) to go away and come back when I had things all tidy. Now I realise that whether they judge or not, they are welcome. I love you!! And press on with finding little gleams of creativity under the dirty-laundry pile!