I am such a procrastinator, but while I'm just as prone to sitting on my phone watching Youtube or playing games as the next person, I will occasionally do something I call the Downward Cleaning Spiral, which makes sense in the moment, but otherwise is equally baffling to both Roommate Tina and myself
. For example, my two most recent DCSs happened last night (which prompted this post, and was highly entertaining at the time), and when my parents were visiting in September, which was incredibly frustrating
My parents had come up to visit for a variety of reasons to do with my mental and emotional state at the time, as well as bringing up stuff they'd gotten from various sisters as they were cleaning out their houses/moving in with husbands that I'd said I wanted. But they were staying with my aunt and uncle in the town next over since there's actually more family living there, and it's more centrally located for everyone. So either they would have to come down here, or I'd have to go up there to see them, and I had had an exhausting day at work, and then done the grocery shopping right after. I was looking forward to just getting clean (I'm a housekeeper, so I felt absolutely gross) and going up to spend the evening with my family/parents.
And then the bathroom flooded, and everything went downhill from there, leading to my rage-cleaning the entire house. Yes, the entire house
.( There was so much rage )
*Side-note: two things always happen whenever Tina is out of town for longer than a weekend. First, I do, in fact, do a pretty thorough cleaning of the public areas of the house. I just wasn't planning on doing it all in one day
while my parents were visiting. And since she is the fixer in this household, something mechanical breaks when she's gone. I got lucky that time, probably because she was just out of town for an extended weekend, but of things that have gone wrong, the list includes: the heat going out in the middle of winter, the garage door opener dying of old age (I'd actually forgotten this happened until just now - all in the same winter, too), something with the water pipes (although I think we took steps to mitigate what we suspected might break before she left, that time), and most recently our dryer gave up the ghost right before she went home for Christmas.
Yesterday ... yesterday just kind of happened, and is more typical of the Downward Cleaning Spiral (much less rage-inducing/induced, much more bafflement and "it made sense at the time").( from bullet journaling to organizing the laundry cupboard, and just about every random thing in between )
So you see, the DCSs do have a logical progression? And I do try to make the most of them when they happen, because otherwise I rarely have the time, energy, or inclination to get any cleaning done around the house. And my tolerance for a messy house is a lot
lower than Tina's, but she's usually the one who starts the cleaning, so I spend a great deal of time at home in general despair of the state of our house but unable to find a spoon to do something about it. But normally when I can spend a spoon on cleaning, it doesn't look anything like a DCS. Those are very distinctive
, and outside of when they're actually happening, neither Tina nor I can make any sense
over how my brain decides to prioritize what needs to get done in what order and Right Now, Above All Else. I mean, like, I follow the chain of decisions? I just laid it all out there, I can see
the thought process.
But, like...why did I have to mop all the floors?
I wanted to go spend time with my parents and my out-of-town relatives, why did it have to happen right then?
If I'd just mopped the bathroom and waited for a clean towel, I only would have been maybe an hour late, rather than having to cancel altogether. Why the damn light switches?
Or, in my more pleasant DCS, why the cupboard? There's not so much a logical stopping point in that one, but recycling the textbooks didn't have to happen right that minute, the cupboard could've lasted until we moved out (whenever that happens)...
There are two distinctive things about my DCSs, the things that make
it a DCS rather than just a long or intensive fit of cleaning. First, rather than doing a bunch of separate tasks, like checking items off a to-do list, one thing just seems to lead to another. They were never things I planned on doing at the time but made sense to do it anyway, why put it of? Despite the fact that I had other things
I'd been planning to do with my time instead, often things I wanted to do even more. Second, there is always that one random thing
that doesn't seem to have anything to do
with the list of things I was already doing. Like the light switches and the cupboard, and the pillows.
Fortunately, they don't happen very often - maybe one every couple months? Like I said, the last one was in September. I'll have mini downward cleaning spirals every once in a while, but those tend to only be two or three things at a time, and are easier to break out of if I really want to, not the full-blown DCS of six or seven things chained together where I just can't seem to stop myself. I don't hate
them when they happen, with the notable exception of the September one, there's just no rhyme or reason to when they happen. They're weird
Anyway. More insight into my mental state when I'm cleaning than you probably wanted, but I figured I should probably record the phenomena for posterity's sake. Also it was a reason to make a damn DW post, which I have been meaning to do since the year started and just ... haven't. Hopefully I'll be able to make it a habit again.