Call me crazy, but when I start to feel a little overwhelmed by items on my to do list, I tend to get the urge to really deep clean my house. It's completely counterproductive because I've already committed myself to projects with deadlines and now I'm wasting hours and hours on chores that I've been perfectly comfortable neglecting for the last 6 months. I allow it in myself, though, because I've realized that it's a tool I use to feel like I've "got it all together."
I know that it's an illusion- nobody ever has it all figured out. My success in life ebbs and flows from different areas depending on where my priorities lie and what I'm focusing on. That's alright with me, and I try not to use it as an excuse to feel sorry for myself. Right now my focus is on spending time with my family and pursuing creative endeavors- which is great! It just means that we live on a budget, a fairly tight budget, and to relieve financial stress over the holidays I couldn't afford that expensive camera I wanted- OH WELL. Maybe one day we'll need the money for important things like food and shelter, and I'll have to go get a job outside the home. For now I have a choice, and I feel good about what I'm doing.
I still get stressed out though, and that's why I do things like spend 6 hours shampooing the downstairs carpet on a Tuesday.
If it still doesn't make sense please bear with me!
I've been focusing a lot of attention this past week on nanowrimo and Christmas shopping (those are just the things inhabiting my brain, what can I say) and reminding myself to spend some down time with the kids every day. These are long term projects and even though they are meant to be fun, and they are fun, if I look too far ahead, which I ALWAYS do, I start to feel tired and fuzzy and tense and question whether or not I can do it.
At this point I don't consciously think to myself, I should really shampoo those carpets- that'll make me feel better! I just find myself suddenly utterly disgusted with all of the mystery stains on those carpets and end up cleaning all day instead of doing anything else. I also fixed a couple wobbly dining room chairs and wiped off many of the weird wall stains that you get when you have kids in the house.
Maybe it's just another way to procrastinate, or maybe it's a confidence booster. I don't know either way, but I do know that when I look around and everything looks clean and, ya know, not broken, I feel like I've got everything under control. Now my head feels clear and I can concentrate. It's not everyone's thing- it's just my thing. My bedroom looks like a tornado hit, but I can't see it when I sit downstairs with my laptop!
If anybody is curious, I got my mystery stains out with Arm and Hammer's Super Washing Soda, vinegar, and hot water. I've heard people recommend a lot of different cleaners but those were the things I had on hand- other than the chemicals that came with my cheap home carpet shampooer that had already failed to do the job. I sprinkled the washing soda on all of the spots in the room, sprayed them all with vinegar, and then went around to each individually and dumped a glass of hot water on them and sucked it up with my shampooer, (the clean water tank in my shampooer leaks- that's the only reason I couldn't just fill that up.) I know very little about carpets, but I hear that if you're going to try something you should do a color test in an area nobody can see, first. Was I responsible enough to do that? No, but it worked out for me.
Here is an after picture of where many of the worst stains were:
I know it would be more impressive if I'd remembered to take a before picture, but I didn't! Just do me a favor and try to picture many many dark brown stains of various shapes and sizes covering the carpet.
P.S. I HATE carpet. I'd prefer pretty much anything else. One day...