The stovetop was covered in layers of grease.
Piles of clean clothes took up permanent residence in laundry baskets.
I needed help putting the freshly washed sheets back on the bed.
But, no one seemed to notice, or care, but me.
One night, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I suddenly snapped on my unsuspecting family.
“I’m not the maid,” I declared.
“No one appreciates me,” I cried as I raced to get my purse and keys. I needed to a time-out.
Then, I realized I was barefoot. “What if I wanted to browse somewhere,” I thought as I pictured myself escaping my reality in the aisles of Target. So, I went to my closet, and fumbled through the shoe organizer.
“These shoes don’t match my dress. My outfit won’t coordinate,” I thought to myself. (You can take the girl out of the ’80s, but you can’t take the ’80s out of the girl.)
I decided it was insignificant considering the circumstances and slid my bare feet into the black flip-flops. I proceeded to storm out of the house when Mr. Hines intercepted me in the master bathroom.
In the distance, I heard the clinking of dishes being put away. Then, the whirring of the vacuum cleaner. My daughter was doing her chores.
I started to calm down.
Then, Mr. Hines said something about all of us cleaning together on Saturdays, and how it won’t take that long if we all work together.
I felt relief, hope even.
The truth is, not much has actually changed since that night. My house sometimes still gets too dirty for me to handle. But, thanks to a shift in my mindset, and prioritizing my list of what I call “must-do’s,”I don’t get nearly as upset over the undone chores.
Instead, I catch myself reminiscing over meal prep and dinner time as I wipe down countertops. I feel a sense of pride when I deliver a basket full of freshly cleaned laundry to my bedroom. Peace washes over me as I fluff pillows and push the reset button on the living room.
Then, in the quiet of night when my family is safe and sound asleep, I smile at tomorrow, knowing it’s not the messes that count, not even the greasy stove top.
See you in class,