I am writing this to give myself my own advice. If you, dear reader, can benefit from this advice also, then I am glad to be of assistance. IT’S FRIDAY MORNING. The dishes are piled, the remnants of yesterday’s children’s messes are still scattered, the bathroom needs a good wipe down. The dining room table, which serves as my “office” is also a dumping ground for everyone’s stuff. Happy Friday! NOOOOO-not yet. How will I deal with this pre-Shabbos morning overwhelm without losing my mind? Here’s how.
First, I put on some upbeat music. Spotify or YouTube cranks out a playlist. Pick a favorite song or genre to match the mood and music helps get me moving. If I’m not feeling “lazy” I’ll turn on my aromatherapy diffuser with some calming scents. Today I am listening to Abba (the 70s Swedish rock band) and diffusing eucalyptus and lavender.
I start with dishes. First the meat side and then the dairy. I wash and dry in rounds: silverware and bowls. Then plates. Next cookware. Finally storage containers. During the process I drink water, sometimes with lemon when I remember “it’s good for you” and I’m “supposed to”. Breakfast lately has been delayed. I wouldn’t per se call it “intermittent fasting”, just a delaying of breakfast until I know I’m hungry, not just eating out of habit.
By now, the younger kids aged 6 and 9 are awake. One of the duo is super-cleaner and will clean up, which will shortly be undone after the process is finished. It’s a cycle, which will be repeated for the next many years. Play, mess, clean up repeat. We will power clean-up as Shabbos comes closer. For the most part, I don’t need to deal with this for a few hours. I have to put on my “mess blinders”.
With excavated kitchen counters and dish drainers cleared, I’ll move on to the bathroom. I avoid the dining room table for now. Quite honestly, it overwhelms me. To clarify: MY OWN table is overwhelming me. I love tackling everyone else’s. Unfortunately, I can’t outsource myself unless I roleplay I am someone else and look at it all objectively, so we’ll get to the table soon.
We have one full bath and one half-bath. I clean the counter, toilet, and tub. With the exception of the tub, I do the other surfaces daily. The floor will wait until later. The less surface clutter there is, the quicker and easier this task.
Now a break for breakfast. If I watch an episode of How Clean is Your House? This British reality tv show (no longer running) has a team of two ladies and a cleaning crew that helps people whose homes are in such horrendous condition return to a state of order and cleanliness. No other motivation is needed to deal with the table after watching.
You may wonder about cooking. I have a spouse who enjoys cooking, so this falls under his jurisdiction. While I might prepare a side dish or two, my Friday role is the household management-dishes, cleaning, and kids.
For those who are the one and only CEO of the domain, then it takes more planning to spread out the tasks prior to Friday.
If I had before and after photos, I would gladly give the show and tell of this routine, but for now, that’s another project for another day.
Wishing everyone a healthy and peaceful Shabbos.