Yesterday I got home from work, and J and I set about Cleaning A Few Things.
1. Established new (free!) shelf with pantry items and cookbooks and tea.
2. Wiped off all those containers so they were not dusty.
3. Sorted all baking items and threw out rancid/musty ingredients.
4. Cleaned all remaining containers of baking items.
5. Hung hooks for lunch boxes/bag.
6. Sorted all waterbottles and thermoses into new (free!) small cabinet.
7. Cleaned off four shelves in the kitchen.
8. Scrubbed UNDER the shelf, oh my goodness.
9. Did three loads of dishes by hand and two loads in the dishwasher.
10. Carried miscellaneous stuff to the basement to be put away.
It’s just …
… there’s always more to do, of course.
Re-painting the bathroom and hallway made us notice how FILTHY the switchplates were. So J replaced those over the weekend. And the nice new shelf with the cookbooks on it made us notice the other shelves in the kitchen that were … questionable.
There’s always more. But … but the goal is not to be DONE. The goal is to not give up. The goal is to continue to put in the work. Cleaning a house is never, ever, over. There is ALWAYS more to do. Parenting is apparently never over, it just keeps changing. Creating feminist spaces in fandom is never over — each victory opens the way to the next challenge. We don’t stop saying Black Lives Matter just because the officers in the Freddie Gray case are going to be charged with murder and wrongful death.
When I wonder, as I do sometimes, why I continue putting effort into tasks that never end, for which there is no real victory condition, I think of the X-Men and wonder no longer. “Protecting a world that hates and fears us” was the X-Men mantra all through my teens and early twenties. You keep putting in the time, you keep showing up, you stay in the fight even though there is no win available to you. You stay because it’s the right thing to do. Because it needs doing. Because you are the person there with the ability and the will and what the hell else were you going to do with your next fifteen minutes, anyway?
My job is a bit like that. Never-ending. In air traffic control, there are always more planes. It’s like an eternal game of Tetris — you don’t ever WIN, you just keep not-losing. And the planes keep coming.
The planes keep coming. The misogynists keep lashing out. The institutions of racism grind onward. And my house keeps getting dirty.
… But that’s no damn kinda reason to give up.
I want a cleaner house. I want a just state that protects all citizens. I want SF/F and comics conventions that do not defend harassers.
The fact that there is always more to do doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.
Who the hell else is going to clean my house?
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