Blogs by Pamela C Labud
Force of nurture
8/19/2007 2:45:11 PM
Hello Gentle Readers!
I am a child of the 1950's. Well, late, late 1950's, actually. Because of that I am well and truly cursed. I was born to a mother who had it ingrained in her biology, by her mother in particular and society in general, that one must have a spotless environment.
Like many women of my age, it's a terrible condition I like to call 'cleanthehouseitis.' I have done what I could to stomp down the urge to clean my house to distraction, and I have pretty much been successful. For instance, it doesn't kill me to have a few dirty dishes in the sink. Nor am I constantly fretting the state of the laundry or the fine layer of dust that appears on my furniture and ceramic tile floors.
I have even been able to control the urge to scrub my bathrooms down to the molecular surface of the porcelian and fiberglass fixtures. My bathroom is cleaned thoroughly twice a week and when it needs it.
In spite of it all, I've managed to live a happy life...for the most part. Oh, I'll be honest. When I come home from working a 12 hour shift in the hospital seeing a sinkful of grimy pots and pans I get a little tetchy. And counters that still have the midnight snack's breadcrumbs on it sends me into near catatonia. And the state of my office...well, we won't go there.
Total chaos cripples me.
Floor to ceiling clutter crushes my creative spirit.
An extremely messy house totally depresses me.
I like to say that my home is mostly in a state of flux. Like a black hole, matter seems to be drawn in here, condenses into denser matter, and then disappears. At least that's what I hope happens to socks, important papers I never seem to locate, and my earrings.
All my years of housework avoidance recently came to a screeching halt, though. Last night I was invited to join a couple of friends at a neighborhood 'bunko' game. Although it was confusing at first, this fast paced contest of tossing dice and changing tables was almost totally enjoyable.
Enjoyable except that the hostess' home was huge, beautifully decorated with her own hand made quilts, and overflowing with exquisite decor. Oh, and it was clean enough to build computers. Asceptic enough to perform open heart surgery. Sterile enough to do molecular gene splicing.
The lady who had created and maitained such a spotless home met us at the door with a huge, kind smile and genuine joy at having guests. She served fabulous food complete with a homemade pinapple upside down cake. She was perfect. She made Martha Stewart look like a hag. I should have hated her, but I didn't.
I recognized her type immediately. A very vibrant, gifted woman. Almost a complete twin to my mother when it comes to being a housewife. Like Mom, she is a force of nurture. A shining example of a woman who'd been raised just like I had, with one exception. She's a total success when it comes to home care.
I am a complete and utter failure with domestic stuff. One only has to look at my house to see it. Most of the time I'm not all that bothered by imperfection of my abode. That lady doesn't work outside the home. (Mind you, I didn't say she doesn't work. She does, and probably way harder than I do.) She's creative, too. But her creativity comes out in incredible quilts and in caring for her lovely home. She also writes beautiful inspirational poetry.
My creativity comes out in the form of paperback novels--stories that I've yearned to write since I was old enough to read. It's a consuming passion that's only at it's pinnacle when I type the words 'the end' at the bottom of the page. It's Nirvana when I hold a book in my hands that has my name on the cover, my words on the pages inside.
I had to hold back a grin when my hostess remarked that she couldn't waste her time sitting in front of a computer all day. It was as if she thought I did nothing but stare at a blank screen. I mentioned that I did 'work' at the machine but I didn't say anything more. The night was her chance to shine, her time to show off the fruits of her labor.
I didn't mind letting her have her moment. My fufilment comes when I begin to put words on the page, when my friends and readers tell me how much they enjoyed journey we took together in the story.
After all, I'm able to push back that force of nurture most of the time and live my passion. So what if my house is messy. Writing makes me happy. It's as simple as that.
Until next time, Gentle Readers, may you find your passion and be blessed with the time and ability to enjoy it! Happy Reading, Pam.
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