Friday, November 21, 2014

Downton Adrie

Cleaning. You won't find that word and I hand in hand very often. Don't get me wrong, I'm an excellent cleaner when I want to be, but is cleaning in my nature? Is cleaning a part of my innate (defined as: inborn; natural) being? No, it's not. I'm a very clean person—hygiene and clean-clothing wise, but do I have the desire to endlessly clean things (houses, garages, basements, cars, etc.) like some people do? No, I don't.

For me to want to clean my home, I either need to be bothered by the mess, or have people coming over for a visit. Yes, people are a great and positive motivator for me! I'm the complete opposite of Scrooge! ;) All I would need to do is have a party once a week and my home would be spic'n'span clean all the time! Yeah YEAH! :)

I really do try to be and stay organized—and I'm so much better at this than I used to be, but again, is the continual and incessant act of cleaning in my nature? Nope, it's not!

I have to make a conscious effort every day to focus on what needs to be cleaned/organized, otherwise I'm perfectly happy to just let those messes lie. And no, I most definitely don't have ADD or ADHD. I simply have zero desire to be structured, regulated, scheduled, etc. Cleaning checklists are complete torture to me!

I don't wake up thinking of my endless list of things to be done. Instead, I wake up thinking of all the fun I'm going to have that day!!! I honestly have a rough time pulling myself out of the Adrie World happy clouds and getting busy.

That said, after a little bit of internal convincing, I can absolutely do everything that needs to be done—and I'm very successful at cleaning/organizing when I put my mind to it, but again, it's simply not a desire of mine.

If I had my way, I'd have a housekeeper and a cook! Hey, while we're at it, I'd take a yard care company, chauffeur, and personal assistant, too! Ha ha.

Thus, I was so happy to read this article, The Psychology Behind Messy Rooms: Why The Most Creative People Flourish In Clutter, from Elite Daily:
"Consider this from Albert Einstein, 'If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?' 
"Einstein wasn't alone. Mark Twain, too, had a cluttered desk. Perhaps even more cluttered than that of Albert Einstein. Mark Twain was one of the most imaginative minds of his generation."
I LOVE this article because it pretty much explains my entire life! Just ask my parents and siblings how clean/organized my room was back in the day. To give you an idea of their answers, my maternal grandfather nicknamed me Missy Messy! You could also ask my darling little family if our home is always clean. I'll give you a hint...it's not.

While writing this post, I came across two other great articles that made me feel so much better about my situation:

"We want to be better than our parents; we want to give our kids more than we were given. There’s an instinct in every parent (we hope) to try to give our kids everything. 
"But 'everything' doesn't have to be living up to some picture-ready ideal you saw on the Web. 
"You’re not going to be Gwyneth Paltrow, creating kid-friendly meals out of quinoa and kale. 
"Actually, Gwyneth Paltrow wouldn’t be Gwyneth Paltrow without all the behind-the-scenes cooks, drivers, personal assistants, photographers and editors. 
"And real perfection happens when you aren't looking."

Amen to those words—especially the paragraph about Gwyneth, for it is so true! *I know this article isn't so much about cleaning, but I believe perfectionistic tendencies in cleanliness is also a problem for modern moms. We've got to make every minute count with our families and friends, and not be overly concerned with our homes looking like a spread in Architectural Digest! Oh, AD is so lovely—its photos soothe my soul! *For illustration purposes, please check out AD's stunning slideshow of VILLA CENTINALE!

"We’re all in the same boat. I won’t look in your dining room if you don’t look in mine."—I love those words! :)

Granted, my home is so much cleaner than when my children were younger. Although, now it seems my family accumulates messes of the clothing/shoes/homework/technology/bathroom accessories sprawled-all-over variety, instead of the toy clutter and sticky little-kid messes of our past. I'm grateful Greg and I are on the other end of the messy spectrum.

When all is said and done, the best motivation I've found for me to want to clean and organize my home is...don't laugh...Downton Abbey! For some reason, whenever I watch Downton, I have an intense desire to make my home beautiful and immaculate—it's the strangest thing! Thus, I pretend my life is Downton Adrie! I know, I'm so silly! I also know that technically speaking, I should probably call it Adrie Abbey, as an abbey is a building, not Downton—which is a town name. But I like the way Downton Adrie sounds, so I'm not changing it. :)

To really let you into my psyche, let me share this tidbit: After watching Downton Abbey, sometimes I'll pretend I'm the housekeeper for my home (like Mrs. Hughes), and I've got to make sure everything is neat and tidy before the Lord and Lady and their guests return! Other times, I'll pretend I'm the Lady of our house (like Lady Mary) and I expect everything to be lovely and pristine for when our other friends of the nobility come to stay! Ha ha. Either way, creating Downton Adrie has totally helped me in my clean-home pursuits!

This is the first time I've straightened my hair since 2011! But don't get used to it, I'm not interested in taking 40-45 minutes to straighten my hair every day.
Seriously, don't laugh at me!! Okay, you can chuckle, but not in the mean way, okay?! ;)

In matters of homemaking, I always refer back to one of my favorite teaching moments of our Savior, found in Luke 10:38-42:
38 ¶Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
I completely understand that His words aren't a free pass to guilt-free messiness, as we've been told time and again in the scriptures to keep our homes organized and treat them like a temple, as it says in D&C 88:119 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God... Yet, our perfect Savior's lovely words (in both of those scriptures) give me permission to continue spending my time researching spiritual things—without feeling guilty that my house isn't immaculate every minute of every day, and that makes me very happy. :)

*Here are links to some of my favorite spiritual-knowledge resources:
Holy Scriptures
Ensign articles
General Conference talks
Mormon Channel programs
BYU Devotionals
CES Devotionals
Women's Conference talks
BYU Education Week
LDS books

In the end, my soul, knowledge, memories and spirituality are the the only things I can take with me when I leave this earth. Thus, I want to try my best every day to grow spiritually and increase my knowledge of everything. Even though I know it's impossible to know everything, I so love trying! And thanks to our amazing access of ever-improving technology, I'll continue to learn spiritually while simultaneously doing my best to make my home a happy, healthy, peaceful place on earth where my family loves to be.

P.S. Feel free to use my Downton Adrie idea: just put Downton before your name, or anyone else's name that needs motivation to clean their house! Ha ha.

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