“No one does everything.”
Like bird seed, this statement is flung casually about as encouragement whenever someone is discouraged by how messy her house. Other times it’s a warning scattered across the path of someone with new heady visions of homesteading. While it is a truth seemingly universally acknowledged, it is rarely admitted.
With the internet being the way it is, it’s easy to focus on our successes. To crop the picture just right so as to include the lovely salad but not the grungy stove. Or include the baby with the adorable hat but not yourself with unwashed hair. We pretend at perfection by omission. We hope other people’s imaginations will fill in the cropped out details with snippets of magazines, store windows, and commercials. Then by some awful double standard that is so hard to shake, we assume other people are not as careful croppers as we are. That their truth is different than ours. More perfect.
So yes, “No one does everything!” we chirp to one another, scattering the phrase further. Yet it often just lies there in a pile waiting till we need to peck at it again to ease the guilt. Rarely does it root and blossom into more than an excuse for imperfection in someone’s life, giving her freedom to focus on what she loves and leave the rest.
With that spirit, here is a list of things that are often cropped out of my pictures:
- I don’t wash the pot lids every time I use them.
- I don’t fold underwear.
- I don’t use serving dishes, or sometimes even personal plates at dinner.
- I don’t dust.
- I don’t iron unless it’s an Event like graduation or my own wedding.
- I don’t wipe down my baseboards.
- I don’t wash my colander after each use.
- I don’t wipe handwashed dishes; I let them air dry.
- I don’t organize my sock and underwear drawer.
- I don’t go to the gym.
- I don’t clear off my desk regularly.
- I don’t vacuum under the big living room rug.
- I don’t wipe down my counters and shine my sink every night.
- I don’t have a skin care regimen or use make up.
- I don’t chase after
everymost cat fur tumbleweeds.
- I don’t always separate my lights and darks.
- I don’t finely mince my garlic.
- I don’t fold Theodore’s clothes at all; at best they get separated into pants and shirts.
- I don’t peel my carrots.
- I don’t always wash my shirts just because I’ve worn them; if they smell fine, back into the drawer they go.
- I don’t match my sheets and pillowcases.
- I don’t match my kitchen towels, oven mitts, and wash clothes.
- I don’t keep separate “guest” towels.
- I don’t schedule weekends of spring cleaning.
- I don’t usually give thrifted items that new coat of paint that would take them from grubby to shabby chic.
- I don’t style my hair. I don’t even own a blow dryer.
- I don’t have a well organized entryway with pretty hooks and creative cubbies. I have nails and some string.
- I don’t set the table every night. Forks and spoons get piled in the middle of the table and everybody gets their own glasses.
- I don’t regularly mop anywhere but the kitchen; even there it isn’t quite what you’d call “regular.”
- I don’t have an intricate filing system for bills, statements, and other mail. Mostly it’s just a pile.
What things do you leave undone so you have time for what’s important? What are those important things?