This is my New Year’s resolution.
I plan to use my Swiffer more. And it’s not because my floor is dirty. Well…no…it IS because my floor is dirty, but there’s a bigger reason. I am going to Swiffer my floor more because it’s less effective than the vacuum.
So here’s my idea…instead of making a grandiose, unrealistic resolution that I’ll never be able to keep (being more assertive, losing 20 pounds, being more organized), I’ve decided that this year I am going to make one small adjustment in the way I do things which will hopefully help me in my pursuit of a greater goal. In this case, a small step towards my issues with perfectionism.
This lifelong pursuit of perfection can be clearly traced to my grandmother, Bessie, and pivotal load of whites.
***Warning!! Nostalgia Alert!!***
I remember the day so perfectly. It was summer vacation circa 1978 or so. Every year, my parents used to take us to stay with my grandparents for a couple of weeks in the summer. During the day, Grandpa would mow or do odd jobs around the house. Grandma would clean house and do laundry. For lunch Grandpa would make us bologna sandwiches. He’d cut thick slices off the giant roll and I got to pull off the red ring of casing. We’d wash it all down with green Kool-aid and be on our merry way. Anyway, on this particular day Grandma was getting ready to watch her “stories” (Another World followed by Guiding Light) and I was sitting on the floor and helping her fold a load of whites. I must have put two slightly mismatched socks together or something because she pointed out that they didn’t exactly match. At this point she recited the following poem to me:
When a task is first begun
Never leave it ‘til it’s done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well or not at all.
Epic right? I have carried around this little saying my entire life and when I attempt to do something half-ass, I turn into that ten year-old folding whites and hear my beloved grandmother extolling the virtue of a job well done.
So, what does this have to do with a Swiffer? Well, you see the problem is that I regularly adopt the “not at all” portion of this little gem. And my floor gets nasty. Or my bathroom. Or I don’t start a project for fear of not being able to do it well.
I read once that 80% effort done 80% of the time is more effective than 100% effort done 50% of the time. So the paradox for me is that, in my attempt to do a really good job sweeping my floor with the vacuum and using the crevice tool to get into the nooks and crannies but only being able to do it really well once a week (oh hell, who am I fooling – once every two weeks) because it’s a pain in the ass to drag that unwieldy behemoth out, it is actually less effective than if I was to Swiffer the floor a couple times a week.
So I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to Swiffer my way towards a more balanced approach to life. Yep…One small step towards a cleaner house, One giant step towards a happier homemaker!
Happy New Year Everyone! Kelly