Housecleaning is another prime example of my propensity to bounce from extreme to extreme. An astute friend might observe that the first time she sees my apartment it is spotless. As in, go ahead, throw your food on the floor and eat it right there spotless or really, do look under my bed because you will not find a single dust bunny or storage bin spotless. But on her next visit she may notice it looking somewhat less clean, the next visit a little clutter here and there, and the next it being slap you in the face messy. The truth is, as much as I'd like to pretend I've got it all down, that the apartment is always immaculate, that lovely meals are served every evening at seven o'clock sharp, and my hair is always freshly shampooed, that's just not the case. I always strive for, well, perfection and do pretty well for a minuscule sprint of time but gradually slip. More like a landslide than a slip. The pursuit of perfection always ends in burnout for me.
I become acutely aware of this "all or nothing" trait of mine when it comes to making New Year's Resolutions. For as long as I can remember, I have made enormous lists of rather lofty goals every year and, surprise, do not really ever fulfill them in a meaningful, lasting way. I remember being stunned when my roommate in college stated that her resolution was to stop biting her nails. I thought, that's it? What about losing that freshman-fifteen, volunteering at a soup kitchen, getting better grades, or in my case, reading ten books with the goal to learn how to play the stock market and be a billionaire by thirty? Not biting your nails? That won't make you a better version of yourself.
I would assume that anyone who has actually read through this lengthy diatribe sees me moving toward the revelation that I should ease up, not bite off more than I can chew, maybe just try wiping the spot off the cupboard door next time instead of seeing the spot, emptying out all the contents of every cupboard, washing them inside and out with Pine-Sol, rearranging everything and labeling all the shelves accordingly thus rendering me unwilling to ever clean my kitchen again (sad but true story). Nope. The moral of this rant is that I am who I am. I don't think I'll change, and more importantly, I don't actually want to change. I don't want to be a whiskey that mellows with age. I want to be a bitchin' Cabernet that is more awesome with each passing year. Yes, I wrote "bitchin" and yes, I miss the Nineties.
I don't intend to pull any punches this year when making The List. The key to reaching my goals is having systems in place and, not to sound too fascistish (eat it, Palin), to be fairly regimented in daily life. When you're an ambitious but ultimately indolent dreamer like me, you just need that. Luckily, I have a pretty nice co-conspirator who has also resolved to lend a hand in keeping up with the household related resolutions.
The List to follow this week. Although I did write a novel above, so I shouldn't be due to post for another six months.