Whatever else goes wrong, at least my house is cleaner

I’ve spent nearly this entire week home sick from work. Not due to a cold, or illness exactly, but due to the ongoing and relentlessly tiresome Mystery Throat Ailment. I lost my voice on Friday, and it hasn’t come back. And I am coughing up Weird Chunky Bits, which is exceedingly tiresome.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, whee. Maybe we will see some new direction to pursue then?

In the meantime, I’ve been home a great deal. So yesterday was a day of unfuckery.

Unfuck Your Habitat has a thing they refer to, the Invisible Corners of your house. These could be actual corners, like the one behind the door that you never see, or metaphorical corners like the trunk of your car. Yesterday I unfucked some invisible corners.

I first cleaned out the area of the dining room next to my desk. I don’t have a desk, you see, I have one-fourth of the dining room table. I keep my office drawers under the table, my laptop goes on a placement when I am home, and I have a small shelf for papers and office supplies. The floor near my desk space accumulates junk. So I cleaned all the stuff out and swept.

I scrubbed the walls and doorways in the hall. This was nearly an hour of scrubbing with vinegar-and-water. It was tedious. I detest this chore. I found identifiable gunk that indicated the last time anyone had scrubbed these walls was over four years ago.

I took apart the stovetop and scrubbed underneath, then went after all the burners with steel wool. The stove is now clean.

I moved two shelves into the garage. The shelves in question have been sitting in the middle of the backyard for a month, more or less. Just … sitting in the yard. (They are plastic shelves, so no harm from the elements.)

All told, it was a productive day.

The thing is …

… the thing is, I can’t work right now, and it drives me crazy. I feel guilty and ashamed of being sick. I am convinced my coworkers hate and resent me. I feel like I must be faking it, because no-one can tell me what is wrong. And then I whiplash from being convinced I am a fakey faking liar into being convinced that my throat is rotting away inside my body and I will lose my ability to speak and work and swallow and feed myself and eventually lose the ability to breathe on my own.

And then I go back to being convinced that it’s psychosomatic and I am a lying fakey faker liar.

Put that on repeat, every twenty minutes or so, all day, for a year.

I can’t do anything about that. I can’t control what other people think of me. I can’t control whatever’s wrong with my throat.

What can I control?

I can control what I do. I can only ever control what I do.

One of the things I can do is clean my house.

In War for the Oaks, Eddi McCandry at one point thinks, “Sometimes, she reflected, she dressed for courage, sometimes for success, and sometimes for the consolation of knowing that whatever else went wrong, at least she liked her clothes.”

Honest-to-goodness, I feel that way about cleaning my house. Whatever else goes wrong, at least I got that much done. At least the dishes are clean. At least the floor is swept. I may be medically interesting, but my socks are matched.

It’s a small control, and not much comfort, but it is comfort nonetheless.

Whatever else goes wrong, at least my house is cleaner.


One Response

  1. I identify very much with this post, especially with the anxiety cyclone (and I have Unfuck open in my other tab right now.)

    Good luck tomorrow.

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