Put Some Effort Into It

Self respect costs nothing but effort

~Rachel Hollis – Girl, Stop Apologizing

Listening through the book… again… which is probably my millionth time – okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the picture – but there’s one part that she talks about with being in a situation she can’t control, so she controls the area that she can; her bed. She makes it every day.

There’s other things she talks about but the quote about self respect really struck a cord.

What does “self respect” mean to you?

I decided to look it up and though most of them were along the same line, one stuck out: “a feeling of respect for yourself that shows that you value yourself

So, you could argue that external aspects of your environment is included in this – after all, you earned the money that put the clothes on your back, the food in your fridge, how you furnish and decorate your home…. it can incorporate every aspect of your life.

Even if you’re going through rough times, you can still maintain your self respect by how you conduct yourself in the areas you can control.

You may be thinking that self respect has to do with YOU – not your environment, but let me ask you this: How do you feel when you walk into a dirty or messy home? For me, when I walk into a room of the house that’s overly messy but I simply haven’t found the time to organize and clean everything up, I feel like shit. I get anxious and I want to leave the room.

Having a clean, tidy home has never been an strong ability of mine. I WANT to. I try. I may succeed for a few days or weeks, but then things start piling up… literally and figuratively!

The kitchen is a perfect example: Every Friday afternoon, my husband cleans the kitchen (he has Friday afternoons off) Over the weekend, with the cooking and eating all meals at home, dishes start to pile up. I try to keep everything clean, but it might be a couple forks here, a glass there… then the next thing I know, all the knives are sitting in the sink needing to be washed. I WANT to have a completely clean kitchen when I go to bed each night – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… mostly doesn’t.

My room is another example. We live in a 3 bedroom home. The master bedroom is BARELY big enough for our king size bed and the two night tables, so we each get a bedroom to keep our dressers and personal stuff in the room. Pretty much all of our clothes are in there and whatever else that doesn’t have a place in the rest of the home. Laundry gets done habitually once a week – usually on Sundays – but folding the clothes sometimes takes another week – it’s Friday and there’s not one, but two baskets of clothes sitting in the dining area of our main living space; unfolded and now wrinkled. When we do manage to fold them, they often sit in the baskets in our rooms until it gets to the point of needing them so we can do laundry. Most days, when I change or go to bed, the clothes don’t get put away – they end up on the floor or on my dresser. If they’re clean enough to wear again, they’re clean enough to be put away… and yet I still struggle.

Honestly, I’m so embarrassed to talk about this, but I think it’s important to address.

YES, I know I’ve had posts talking about not stressing about the work around the house – it’ll always be there, blah, blah, blah… but there’s some truth to keeping an orderly home; the outside environment is a reflection of self respect. I don’t know anyone who would say “I have a ton of self respect but I like to live in a pig sty”… yeah, just doesn’t happen!

The biggest thing is once the house is clean, it’s easier to keep clean… it’s just getting it there! That’s where I live. I WANT to get it nice and organized and clean… but, damn, that seems impossible!

So… how can we start working on getting there?

Identify the areas that cause you the most anxiety. For me it’s the kitchen, the dining room table (as it’s a magnet for clutter), and my room. Though my room is the most important one to me, it’s the easiest to ignore as the door is always shut.

Do you remember when you were a child, being told to “put things back where they belong”? I recall that very vividly and now I understand that saying. Yes, there’s the whole not losing something if it’s always in the same place, but if everything has a place, you’re less likely to start hoarding. How much of something do you have if you can’t see what you currently have?

I have a system: there’s a place for everything, everything in its place.

Wasabi ~ Big Hero 6

Have I mentioned I’m a massive animation fan? Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, etc.

But there’s a lot of truth to that; if everything has a place, everything should be kept in that place. If it’s not kept in that place, it’s because it’s being used. When you’re done using it, it should go back to that place – or in the laundry hamper if it happens to be clothing.

So… what areas make you stressed?

Here’s my suggestion: take 30 minutes every day and clean. Doesn’t have to be the same room, but take 30 minutes and clean – even if it’s just moving clutter from one space to where it’s supposed to be. For instance, do you have a tendency of taking off articles of clothing in the main living area and they stay there all week? That’s me!

We also ave a couple of gifts we’ve had for almost a month instead of packing up and mailing – especially since there’s now a new baby, I picked up more gifts… and it’s been a couple of weeks. We meant to do it last weekend, but, they’re still sitting there. I went to do it today… but we don’t have any wrapping paper! Foiled again!

There’s so many ways we make our lives harder… now why don’t you try something that might make things easier…

… all it costs is a little effort.

Edit: I’ve been managing to keep the kitchen clean and it’s amazing how much less anxiety I have going into the kitchen.

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