I’ve been following Unfuck Your Habitat for something like nine months now, and pointed several friends toward the blog, because her techniques provide such an easy, empowering way to feel like you have a little control over your environment. Up until just a few weeks ago, I was making my bed every morning, and keeping my tiny apartment relatively unfucked with just one 20/10 a day or less.
And then I got real sad again, and staying on top of clutter and giving a shit about anything fell by the wayside, and suddenly, my place looked like a worst-case Hoarders episode. To me, at least. Last night I said “ENOUGH!” (out loud, because when you spend 60-70% of your time alone, you forget sometimes that there’s a difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘saying’). And I went to bed, determined that I would get some unfucking done today. So today, I woke up, made my bed, went for coffee, and began.
After one 20/10, my kitchen (minus the stove, which hadn’t been cleaned since way before I moved in, from the looks of it) was spotless. Dishes clean, garbage and recycles taken out, surfaces sparkling, floor swept.
In the course of a second 20/10, I discovered the top of the range simply lifts right off (mother. fuckin. game. changer.), and put it in my shower stall to soak up the lovin’ vibes of some baking soda and vinegar, then moved on to putting away my clean clothes and putting the dirty laundry in bags, ready for the laundromat.
A third 20/10 had me scrubbing the stovetop, clearing the top of my nightstand and bookshelf, and starting on my desk, plus picking up random scraps of yarn and knitting supplies off my floor and putting them where they belong.
I was only going to do three 20/10s today, and hope that I could get the rest done tomorrow, but I was feeling so encouraged and motivated by my progress, I went for a fourth.
With my final 20, I finished straightening my desk, went into my bathroom and put all my toiletries, cosmetics, etc., away, cleaned the sink, and swept the floor. Tomorrow is for deep cleaning and finishing: I’ll sweep the kitchen and bathroom again, mop the floors (and maybe scrub them with a Magic Eraser), clean the shower and toilet, and vacuum the rest of the apartment. Given the size of my place, this will probably only take two 20/10s.
After all this unfucking, my spirits felt more lifted than they have in a while, and I went over to have a nice long visit with Dad at the nursing home. I think it was easier for me to be present to him because I wasn’t internally beating myself up over the state of my place. I have also been beating myself up about not being present to him, so it was almost like this one big improvement killed two birds with one stone. It’s hard to say from day to day now how a visit will go. Dad is fine, relatively healthy and in good spirits, but his frailty and increased need for assistance, having really only become more apparent to me in the last week or two, are difficult for me to face with any kind of strength or grace. I feel helpless, sad, and overwhelmed, but I try to remember that “having” to feed him almost every night is a gift, that it keeps us close and connected when he needs to feel that (and so do I), and I am grateful for his gratitude, and more so for the opportunity to do anything for him. I think this latest decline is one of many steps down to the end for him, and there’s no saying when it will happen. It might be soon, sooner than my heart can handle, but it could still be years. The terrifying thing about old age these days is how very long it lasts, if I’m being honest. So, today was tough for me, in the sense that I’m still coming to terms with his needing help to eat and drink, and he’s got this nasty cough the last several days that I don’t like, and he’s so tired. But his eyes still sparkle when he smiles at me, and he still listens and reacts to the things I say, and tonight I had my head on his chest to try to listen to his lungs (what, I don’t have a stethoscope) and he kinda nuzzled my head with his chin and then patted me and held his hand there for a few seconds and it was so sweet. It’s still, and always, the small sweet gestures from him that give me peace and comfort. He ate all his dinner and dessert, and he was starting to fall asleep (after a dose of cough medicine) when I left, but was alert enough for the goodbye hug and kiss.
The point of all that is to say, I don’t think the visit would have gone as well if I hadn’t spent the 80 minutes I spent cleaning my apartment beforehand. I felt better and did better because my place was clean. I hope this summer will be the last time I fall off the UfYH bandwagon, but if it’s not, at least I’ll have this post and this day to remind me that getting back on it is super easy.
We’re so glad to have you back! And don’t forget to take care of you as you take care of your dad.