Sunday, November 28, 2010

Whistle While You Work

This holiday season, as with most company-arriving seasons, I am compelled to clean.  I am a bit of a perfectionist, which means my house is always in disarray.  Which bugs me.  A lot.  But I can't do it ALL, so I often don't even try.  How's that for a legacy to hand down to the kids?

Last week, however, I found myself in a cleaning mode.  I had made a list(seven, actually) of all the things I would have to do before Thanksgiving.  I had a "house to-do" list, a "bake ahead" list, a "menu" and "shopping" list, a "kids' rooms" list - yes, they needed their own list! - and a "Christmas kick-off" list.  That's only six.  Well, perhaps I had just six... Oh!  Nope.  Just six. 

Anyway, the 'worst' thing that could happen to a planner and perfectionist like myself is to have the plan altered in such a way that is beyond one's control.  The day after my glorious list-making epiphany, the day that I was to begin my shopping and cleaning and then bake with the shopped-for items, it snowed.  It snowed and snowed and snowed.  Then it froze, snowed some more, and we watched the temperature drop to eight degrees.  The children were giddy shouting exuberantly and asking me "how cool" it was that we were snowed in.  Well, Mrs. Grinch here did not find it quite so cool. 

After grousing around about how there was no way I could complete several of the menu items without a trip to the store(or two), it hit me how grinch-y I was behaving.  Snow should be fun.  Being snowed in should be even more so.  Realizing this, but still being frustrated made me feel like a horrible person.  A horrible person with no way of controlling the situation.  So, I snuggled my kids and my husband by the fire and they watched a flick and played video games whilst I went to work.

I needed to feel a sense of accomplishment.  So, I grabbed my list and started scrubbing the bathrooms.  I cleaned the floorboards.  I swept and mopped every hard surface in our house.  I dusted and vacuumed.  Somewhere in there, I prayed for a better attitude.  I asked that I would be a blessing to my family instead of just frustrated and negative.  As I was bleaching the shower tiles for the second time(don't judge me) I realized I was whistling.  Not just any song, but "Whistle While You Work" from Disney's Snow White.  That actually made me laugh out loud.

It also got me thinking about Disney movies and cleaning.  I thought about how Cinderella cleaned for her Step-mother, and how Snow White cleaned for the dwarves.  Cinderella cleaned out of a gentle sense of duty.  She was altogether willing to do as she was asked, regardless of the person asking.  Snow White cleaned because she was grossed out.  She was more of a compulsory cleaner.  Perhaps she was distraught over the fact that her Step-mother was trying to kill her and it was beyond her control to stop it.  Regardless of motive, both characters cleaned with good attitudes.  (and woodland creatures, but I have no analogy for that)

Thanksgiving turned out just fine.  We didn't have the pomegranate brussels sprouts, the pear and gorgonzola salad, or fresh herbs for the turkey.  We did share provisions with our fellow snowed-in neighbors(traded some milk & chicken stock for some rolls, potatoes and onions!) and ended up with a feast fit for a Disney Princess, her Prince, and their dwarves. 

It's Sunday now.  Even though not quite everything has been cleaned up and put away once more, I'm almost there.  I think it's time to start making some Christmas to-do lists!

Wishing you Pixie Dust & Clean Kennels,
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