January 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
So you would think that after so many years of repeatedly moving house that I would have some knack at this process, some insight, some secret method of efficiency and intuitive coping mechanisms for the massive life event that is moving house. But, having just completed what has got to be close to my twelve or possibly my fifteenth move in twenty five years, it appears I do not. I am exhausted from the sheer hours that I’ve clocked over the last week and also frustrated at not having a neat, tidy, complete home yet.
I have become such a homebody. I love my home. No matter where I live, one thing I do have a knack for is creating a beautiful living environment. Home has been my one true solace for many, many years – as I suppose it has been for millions of other people. In both a physical and emotional sense, there is nowhere that feels as safe for me as home. It is always there for me, it always belongs to me (in the emotional sense anyway), it is always safe and comforting and I can always go there to relax, recoup and heal whenever I have the need.
Lately the need for all three of those last items has been grand, but one of the many joys of moving house is that there is that horrible period of chaos and insanity between moving in and actually “settling” in. For me personally, I try and limit that horrible period to as short a time as possible. The irony is that this usually means pushing myself to my physical limits which has me needing relaxation and recouperation even more anyway. On top of this I become even more stressed because two things that my home almost constantly has to be is: (a) clean; and (b) tidy. Neither of these things are possible in the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe that is moving house.
As the years have passed, I have realised that cleaning is a bit of a stress relief thing for me. Not the mundane every day cleaning but the full-on, hospital-grade, near-OCD level of cleaning that seems to be able to occupy my mind and exhaust my body at the same time. I remember once getting down on my hands and knees around 9pm at night to scrub the kitchen floor grout and tiles- with a toothbrush. The kitchen was about six square meters and I didn’t stop until every inch of it was clean. I have been known to go on other cleaning frenzies at various times; results of which are pretty but also a little scary. I once scrubbed the microwave so hard that I started to scratch the paint off.
Without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I never cease to amaze myself at how much hard work I can pump out at times. Moving two houses into one in just forty eight hours (with just two people for most of it), plus cleaning two houses to bond-inspection standards is no small feat I can assure you all. But we totally nailed it and didn’t complain once – it’s just one of those things that has to be done and so you push through the pain, sweat, exhaustion and just do it. I lifted some heavy, heavy shit over those two days, walked up and down stairs twelve dozen times, cleaned almost continuously, boxed, unboxed… and at the end of it, I take great satisfaction in the condition of my newly toned gluts and at all the hard work that I have personally accomplished. Adam was in awe for most of the weekend and commented to me on Sunday night that he loves the fact that I can rock five inch heels and red lipstick like nobody’s business and then pump out a hard day’s work in the sun, single-handedly lifting furniture and coordinating three houses at once. It makes him proud and it makes me proud too, because sometimes those girls who like to sit back with a cocktail in her hand while her husband and his mates (or the hired removalists) flog their asses off annoy me. Girls who are too afraid of breaking a nail or working up a sweat or lifting something heavier than three and a half kilos… it just annoys me. Admittedly I don’t these things all the time but I can rise to the occasion when the occasion necessitates and that is what makes me proud. I am a hard worker and I have no problems with getting dirty when I need to.
I sit writing at this desk surrounded by mess, by half unpacked boxes, dirty floors, walls without pictures hung on them and clothes on the floor… but I have a glass of wine and a beautiful man in bed behind me and so “home” can wait for now I think.