Been thinking today about identity and control as they relate to housekeeping. To wit: how many women have poured outrageous amounts of energy into keeping their homes "nice" -- clean, tidy, organized, etc. -- because that's the only part of their lives that they can control. In a twisted way, the house becomes a reflection of the woman, and in turn becomes her identity.
I'm pondering how much of that is self-imposed, how much is pushed on us from the outside-in, and how much changed in the past 65 years? So many women I know fret and fuss over the state of the house no matter how much other is happening in their lives. Our constant accumulation of "stuff" makes all of this far more complicated and time-consuming.
My husband seems to find security in the number of objects around him. I call him a Collector. He loves yard sales and bargains. He brings me presents I don't want, to fill already stuffed drawers. It makes me anxious. I marvel at how much time I spend moving things from one spot to another. One lesson I learn every time we go to Vermont is is how little I need, versus how much I have. I'm driven to unburden myself of the extraneous when we return to our very full house. It's cathartic, like a lightening of my soul.
I don't know what, if anything, any of this means. I do know that after a long semester, I'm looking forward to cleaning my house. I'll feel better for it. And better about myself.