Today started off stressful. I didn't get enough sleep, I lost almost an hour scrolling social media and before I knew it, it was 11am, no one had been fed and I had a huge task ahead of me that I had been putting off all week but now only had 2 hours to complete.
I had to make the whole kitchen perfect.
Well, that isn't really true...
You see, we took advantage of the January sales and ordered a new, bigger, more efficient and less broken fridge freezer. You have no idea how excited this makes me, I am actually OVER THE MOON.
The one obstacle getting between me and my joy was my idea of worth.
I had to make sure that the path was clear for the delivery people to remove the old fridge and install the new one. That makes sense, right? Except, in my mind, every single step of the way from the front door to the fridge needed to be presented PERFECTLY.
Well, somewhere along the way (and I am still not sure where exactly) I adopted the belief that my home should be clean, tidy and organised 100% of the time and if it isn't, then I am a failure. Like most of us, my success or lack thereof is still tied to my feelings of worth. I could go into more detail, but the main point for you to understand than in my head, there is NO wiggle room here. I am pretty all or nothing when it comes to myself.
I paralysed myself all week with this gargantuan task and then worked myself into a frenzied panic pulling the fridge out to clean behind it so they delivery guys wouldn't see the 5 years worth of dust behind it, and scratching the floor in the process. I frantically chipped away at ice in the freezer, knowing I wouldn't be able to do *everything* all the time wondering what they would think if they saw my dirty hob top, not cleaned in over a week. I worried about the impression all the bags of fruit and veg out on the counter because we don't have a fruit bowl and where we used to keep out onions is now filled with... something else that I can't out my finger on. My mind was RACING, trying to work out how I could make everything at least appear perfect in the little time I had left before our delivery slot. Knowing that I would never be able to complete the huge to do list I had created in my mind but also knowing that I couldn't stand the thought of being judged for being dirty, messy, or worst of all, a bad home keeper... wife... woman.
As I was throwing out the contents of long forgotten tupperwares from the hidden depths of the fridge, my mind flooded with all this misogynistic bullshit and suddenly I was frozen...
WHERE in world did THAT come from?
Me? Someone who promotes, preaches and guides others in women's empowerment, worried about appearing to be a bad wife because her kitchen isn't perfect?!
Someone who works every single day to break harmful stereotypes and fights for equality in her relationships, is worried that she, and she alone will be judged for the imperfect state of her home?!
Someone whose mission it is to live her authentic life and whose calling is to help others do the same, actually gives a fuck about two random strangers who will probably be in her house for no more than 5 minutes and what they think?!
I had to be careful not to fall into the trap of punishing myself even further for not "walking my talk". I pressed pause on the criticism and took stock of the facts.
Dude, I told myself, they're going to be in your home for a matter of minutes. Single figure minutes most likely. What other people think of you is none of your business. Do you really think that you're going to stick in these peoples's minds enough for you to remember them? Ego much? If keeping a clean kitchen is important to them, let them clean their own kitchens. Your home has zero to do with them and they have zero to do with how you live in your home. They're here to do a job. Make it so that they can easily do their job and just leave the rest.
If they look around and think that everything is gross. Let them.
If they look inside the fridge, see you didn't clean it and judge you for it, let them.
If they decide, based on the minimum of interaction that you are a bad person, let them.
Only you get to decide your worth.
And having a clean or a dirty kitchen does not make you any more or any less worthy of joy, of happiness, of respect.
So, I didn't scrub the inside of the fridge like I had planned. I didn't clean the hob like I had planned. I left the empty glass bottles in the sink to be washed later and I left the bags of fruit and veg on the counter.
Only I get to determine my worth and I have decided that I am worthy of experiencing ease and joy at the arrival of my new fridge.
Nothing is getting in my way.