With the weather taking an unseasonably warm turn last weekend, I took the opportunity to scrub the large kitchen window in my house like my life depended on it. I scrubbed and scrubbed trying to get a winter’s worth of old spider webs and other gunk off the window.
We were having visitors later in the day and I wanted the window to look spotless. As I scrubbed smudges off both sides, I was reminded of an erroneous belief of mine — or so I’m told that it’s erroneous — that once something is cleaned, it should stay that way.
Is a mess really necessary?
When I wash the dishes, I think they should stay that way. As sensitively as I could, I once questioned my daughter, who happily agreed to make cookies for the family, if she really needed to use so many pots and pans. Now mind you, I’m sure I was the first one in line to wolf down the first hot-out-of the-oven cookie. Another time, I asked my wife if I could use her car to pick up our son from some practice or another because I didn’t want to take my recently-washed car out of our garage.
Cleaning a scummy bathroom is work. Mowing the yard and planting flowers is work. You want your hard work to last, right? You want it to mean something, right? I question my family all the time, what’s wrong with wanting our things to stay nice?
Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn that life gets in the way.
You can put off getting a shower, but at some point you need break down and use that clean shower. You can’t keep that car inside forever. Yes, eventually you have to use that car, oven, sink, appliance, fill in the blank.
Coming to my senses
My wife likes to tease me that I’m just a lazy slob. I start to argue, but then I stop, because I sound so silly. In reality, I’m really not. I grew up working to earn extra money and know the value of hard work.
To my anal-retentive mind, however, it can be hard coming to grips with reality. But somehow I must. If nothing else, God makes sure that he gets the last laugh. A few hours after I spent my hard work on that kitchen window, a torrential downpour ripped through our neighborhood. The rain walloped against the window and, later that night, I could already start to see dirt specks where I cleaned.
I started to raise and fist in the air and then thought better of it. Instead, I made a mental note to take another crack at the window later in the spring. I then made a second note to check into getting a cleaning service (preferably one who does windows)!