Friday, July 04, 2008

Little bits of religion

There are certain processes--rituals, if you will--that I really like. It may not be the way other people do things. It may not be the easiest or most logical way to get something done. It might seem like extra work and effort to others. But I LIKE it.

I don't do things the way I do them because I am a hard worker (it's entirely possible that I'm the laziest person on the planet), a clean freak (ha.ha.Ha.HAHAHA), full of self-loathing (not usually, anyway), a glutton for punishment (only for things that are fried in butter), because I think it's the RIGHT way and that everyone should do it the way I do (I honestly don't feel that way about most of what I do) but because I genuinely like doing it that way.

1. The load of new clothes
When I get something new, whether it's from a store or from a friend, it goes into the laundry right away. This isn't because I think it's really dirty (though sometimes new things are too starchy, and sometimes old things have cat hair that gets in my eyes and makes them swell up). I get immense pleasure from pulling the freshly laundered clothes out of the dryer, all nice and fluffy, and then sitting down with my basket pulling things out and folding them, one by one, until I get to the NEW item and I hold it up, and smile, and it's then that I know whether I made the right choice. Look at how my new item looks in a basket full of my other stuff. Look at how it looks folded in a pile with my other stuff. Look at it on the hanger in my closet. I don't know. I just like it. Bonus if I have THREE WHOLE BAGS of new stuff from my bff's clothing exchange party!

2. The shower
I used to think showering was kind of a (necessary-ish) waste of time. Now it's one of the only places I can be alone with my thoughts. I have made the showering ritual longer and more complex and no longer mind keeping up with the shaving because... it's ME time.

3. Last dash around the house
During the last two hours or so before Jason comes home from work I like to go around the house tidying up, tying up loose ends, taking care of obvious eyesores... A lot of this is just lining things up, straightening edges of things, sweeping under the table and that sort of thing. While I'm doing this I sort of repeatedly imagine just walking into a room, and whatever the first messy thing I see is, I do my best to take care of it, as long as it is something that can be done quickly. The kids are usually undoing things as fast as I can do them, and that is when I have them bring all of their junk into their room and make them stay there, if it's clear that they aren't going to be terribly helpful. I do this because it is so nice to come home to a moderately un-messified house and not a house that looks like a tornado ripped through. I try to make sure Jason doesn't have to come home to a disaster area too often. I realize that he probably just sees all the stuff I didn't do because that's how his brain works. That's okay, see, because the secret is that it isn't actually for him, it's just something I really enjoy. It makes me smile to stand back and see how I've managed to put the house back together again, and think if someone stopped by, it would be okay. When Jason is home for a couple of days, and I don't do the "last dash", the house suffers. That's the other thing--I hate to clean around other people. That's another story altogether.

There are plenty of other things, like the way I take walks, routes I like to take while driving, the act of hand writing a letter...

I could go on and on but I'm afraid this is getting incredibly boring. I'd like to hear about little rituals other people have.


Anonymous said...

This is my favorite ritual, but it is oddly disjointed: When I clean, I cannot just do one thing. I pull out the chairs to sweep, then I notice the counter is full of crumbs, so I decide to wipe that down, and when I'm running water, I notice the sink needs cleaning...

Until finally, I remember to get the dustpan out from under the sink to go sweep. I do this EVERY time I clean, but I actually manage to complete the circle every time. I like to call it multi-tasking, but really it is just a very short attention span.


Hilary said...

Hey! I KNOW that ritual! What's funny is I usually came into the kitchen in the first place to get a glass of water. When I'm all done in there I sit down here at the computer and go, "Where the hell is my water?! oh..."

Anonymous said...

I just filled the washing machine, but forgot to put the cover down so it would agitate, I started some tea that is upstairs yet getting cold,I have to get out my tennis racket and fix my wrist band, eat breakfast quick, I think we all have attention disorders, or just too damn much to do!