Son: Whatcha gonna write about today, Mom?
Me: Cleaning the bathroom.
Son: Oh. That’s a strange thing to write about.
These days I’m all about celebrating the little victories. When you’re coming out of a life stage where even the basic activities of daily living felt impossible for so long, there’s a strange sense of feeling like you’re slowly learning how to live again.
Every morning I take a shower. When I’m done with that, I use coconut oil from Aldi as a lotion for my face and skin. When I’m done with that, I get dressed. When I’m done with that, I make my bed. When I’m done with that, I clean the bathroom.
I’m keeping the Clorox wipes for the toilet, but it felt like overkill to use them all the time for everything else. So I cut up a bunch of old and thready towels to use as designated bathroom rags. I use these on the sink, the floor, and around the tub.
These started out as beautiful white and fluffy towels that I received for one of my bridal showers (everything has a story). I had almost thrown them away, but I loved the idea of keeping them around a little longer, and getting to use them in a new way.
Why do I feel the need to explain the frog?
This was hand-painted by Joann, the woman who was the primary caregiver for my husband from infancy all the way to high school. A friend of his grandmother, she offered to keep him during the weekdays, while my mother-law-worked. Joann and her husband recently had to move from their home into an assisted living facility. Their house and all their possessions were auctioned off this past summer. This frog is something my husband remembers from the days he was a boy, where it was used as a door stop to hold the front door open on nice days. This is a way to honor this woman’s memory, her art, and most of all her love and care. It’s little things like this I want to keep in the house-things that mean something.
I told you everything has a story.
So here we are at the end of January.
The upstairs bathroom has stayed consistently clean. It’s not that I never cleaned it before, or that I never wanted to clean the bathroom. It is just one of those ever many a things that needs to be done. It’s a matter of assigning this task to a specific slot of time in the day. It’s a matter of needing a direction, and then following through.
There are days when I think, “I don’t even need to clean the bathroom today. It doesn’t even look dirty.” And then I think, “The reason it doesn’t look dirty is because you’re cleaning it every morning.” Except for Sunday mornings. And then I think, “Oh. Right. That makes sense. I guess this is actually making a difference.”