I was prompted by my blogging friend and good buddy Lee from Mummy Issues here in Australia to polish my sink after I saw her so proudly show hers off online the other night. It got me thinking about how long it had been since I'd actually given my entire sink a good polish. Yes, it gets wiped down every time I do the dishes but polished until it gleams, I'm not really sure. I can't remember these types of things now as my mind has become full of things that matter more to me.
You see, I lived on my own from my late twenties until my mid thirties. I had a few dates, lots of girlfriends, a fantastic social life and a really nice apartment close to everything and everything was organized. I had nothing else to worry about except get up, go to work, come home, make dinner and make plans for the weekend.
My plates, cups, cutlery, pots and pans were always washed up straight away after being used and put away neatly into their correct cupboards. Now, my crockery cupboard is very rarely neatly stacked. I'm usually rushing to get the clean dishes away so I can wash up the dirty ones. No dishwasher in my house.
I loved having dinner parties and entertaining friends. I was forever cooking big pots of tasty Indian curries or Italian dishes full of herbs so ingredients were always well labelled in plastic cannisters, all lined up in a row or in colour coordinated baskets. Now, while I'm cooking, trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry, bottles and cans are hurriedly thrown back into the pantry cupboard.
I had my formal dinner set and my every day dinner set, put away in suitable locations. Baking and casserole dishes were always stacked neatly inside each other. My coffee mug cupboard is full of wine glasses and empty coffee jars, just waiting for the moment to be back in their home alone.
In a hurry to get the groceries unpacked and onto the shelves, in some kind of order, before I move onto the next job, I just shove them in where ever I can. (Note the box overhanging on the cupboard shelf? I can't even close this door because there's something behind the box and I keep saying "I'll get to that in a minute" but that minute never comes.)
My linen cupboard was ever so neatly organised with towels folded exactly the same way and stacked evenly on top of each other. Fitted sheets folded professionally and all put inside the pillow slip. Doillies, tea towels and pillow slips always ironed before being put away. Now, I shove everything into a spot just so either a laundry basket is empty for the next lot of washing or to free up space in my bedroom come laundry folding room.
In all those years I lived on my own, I never had to rearrange the linen cupboard or re-sort the pantry. I never had to look at my sink and think "that really needs polishing" or my crockery needs to be sorted into some kind of order again. It was already done. Every single time. I could concentrate all my spare time onto other pursuits like sewing, crafting, travelling, wine tastings, entertaining, partying, you name it.
Now and for the last nearly 8 years, my focus has changed. These two little people moved into our house and they can't really do a lot for themselves. They are only starting to learn to do a bit these last couple of years but before that, it was just me that did it all. I had to turn a blind eye to an untidy pantry or messy linen closet, reorganising it when I could. Finding time to do all of these things AND most importantly, prioritising which is more important, is very hard.
I think I'd rather play in the backyard with them, while I can or set up some painting or craft (as much as I cringe about paint going everywhere it shouldn't). This is what memories are made of. This is why I had children. I had a good life on my own prior to children. An organised, calm but lonely life. It's their turn now. Children have completed my life and as much as I would've still liked to have been married, that's out of my control. What I do have control of is raising my children and ensuring all their needs are being met.
The last 13 years of my life was hard, especially the last 8, raising the children and running the house on my own. I'm finally in a good place and on track, setting goals and getting organised. There will be a time again, soon, when I will have things back to the way I'm accustomed. The kitchen sink? Well, it can get polished while I'm waiting for the vegies to cook, listening to reading homework, trying to catch the 6 o'clock news, feeding the dogs, putting washing on, running the bath or supervising internet usage, if I remember.