A Resolution

It’s that time of year again when we look back wistfully and look forward hopefully. The last two new year’s I was doing dynamic things, like refinishing tables and doing scientific research at Hooters. This new year is much less auspicious, as I lay in my bed at 11:30 am with an awful headache. Next time I feel tempted to host a New Years party, someone please remind me that this means I have to stay awake past 10 p.m.

So now I lay here, invalid that I am, thinking about resolutions for the new year. I am both very good at and very bad at resolutions. Good in that I usually succeed at meeting them because I’m more neurotic than a border collie. Bad in that I’m more neurotic than a border collie and will drive myself and my husband coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. So I have to be careful when setting goals for my life.
Like my friend, who set a goal and read 75 books last year. I love books (and achievement), so I want to do this. But when I suggested the idea to Mike, he just shook his head at me, as we both know it would simply make me more neurotic. Or like this friend who meditated on one Proverb every day of 2010 and blogged about it. Or like this friend who is setting out to memorize Philippians this spring.

(In my own experience, I’ve always found Scripture memorization to not be all that it’s cracked up to be. (Gasp, did I just say that out loud?!) I find that the Scripture I memorize doesn’t last with me more than a year, unless I am often reviewing everything I memorized, which becomes impractical as you memorize more and more. But primarily, I find that rote memorization doesn’t imbue the verses with meaning to me, which makes it simply rote – like memorizing the multiplication table. But if I read Scripture enough to simply know it, I remember it, and as my reading usually has meaning for me, it sticks with me. Does anyone else have this experience? I’m not trying to rain on Scripture memorization’s parade, I’m just wondering if anyone else has had this experience or if I’m just a bad person.)
Of course, there’s also the fitness-related goals, and Mr. and Mrs. Ice Cream Store Owners certainly need to get their gelato bellies back on track, but I’ve also found that focusing on a healthy lifestyle is more effective in my life than physical goals.
So this year, I have settled on perhaps the most boring new year’s resolution that has ever been set: Cleaning!
I grew up in the most immaculate home imaginable. Picture the cleanest place you’ve ever been. My parent’s home is cleaner than that. They make me kind of sick. They both work full-time jobs, yet manage to always have their lives in sparkling order. They imbued in me a great love for cleanliness. But I’m afraid the lessons about hard cleaning didn’t stick with me. I hate cleaning. I have made it through the past 7 1/2 years of marriage because Mike has done the cleaning, as he had more time for it.
But now with the ice cream store, the baton is being passed to me. Or rather, the baton has been fumbled these past 6 months of being entrepreneurs, and you wouldn’t want to be eating off our floor. Our house is much like Holden Caulfield’s roommate in The Catcher in the Rye. From far away, he’s good looking and looks put together, but close up you notice his razor is rusty. Our house is always picked up, as we’re not clutter-bugs, but we struggle to get the hard cleaning (like vacuuming, dusting, etc.) done.
But now, I am striking out anew! I shall rise up from my dirty floors to a new tomorrow of cleanliness! I started the year out right by cleaning out the fridge, microwave and oven yesterday. Feels so good. I’m going to start a chart with all my cleaning tasks on it, so I will stay on track. I grew up with a cleaning chart as a kid, and for every task I completed, I got a nickel. It is very telling that of all the possessions I’ve saved from growing up (which aren’t many), that cleaning chart is one of them.
But I need help. I need organization. I need motivation to get out of my bed at 11:30 am. So all you happy homekeepers – How do you manage to have order in your home? Do you have any schedule you use to clean? Do you want to come clean my home for free for a year? (It’s worth a try.)


  • emily says:

    I have two great books:

    “Cleaning Plain & Simple” by Donna Smallin

    “Sink Reflections” by Marla Cilley

    Marla Cilley runs a website called flylady.net, and you can sign up for daily emails telling you what to work on today. I’m not as rigorous with the program as I used to be (baby in house = stuff goes by the wayside for a while). But you can restart in any time you want, and that’s part of why I like it.

  • Amber says:

    Hey, thanks. That looks like a good tool.

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