The basic things healthy people take for granted sometimes get just too much. Things like having a home to live in and the means to look after that home.
I sometimes think when the kids have grown up and the pets have left this life, I could live in a caravan instead of a house. Something so small even I could keep it clean. Maybe then I wouldn't always be worried about how long I would still have somewhere to live.
A while back I posted that our wonderful cleaner, who'd been with us for years, had suddenly disappeared, no message, no good-bye, and when I'd tried to ring his phone number it had been disconnected. For about a fortnight I tried a grand plan to organise myself and the kids to do all the housework ourselves. It didn't work. I called the cleaning agency.
Since then, the agency has sent four cleaners. The first two did one clean and left. The third was sick when she arrived, and said she'd barely finished the previous job, so we had a cup of coffee and she left. A fourth came yesterday to look at the job. He was doubtful. The house is far too untidy for him to clean properly. He could vacuum the middle of the lounge room, but can't move the lounge chairs to vacuum under them. (If I want furniture moved so it can be cleaned under, I have to do that myself.) There's really not much at all he can do - tells me he's a cleaner, not a maid. But he's willing to have a try, if I pay him to come weekly instead of fortnightly. It's going to betray my bitterness here, but I must tell you, the agency's advertising slogan is: "Hard to believe, but we LOVE housework!"
So where does that leave me? I have no choice but to pay the man $60 per week for him to do the bit he's willing to do. (My income is from 30% time at work and a part of a disability pension, so $60 is a lot of money.) As for the rest of the house? I'm having trouble getting through to kids that tidying up after themselves is important. (I haven't mentioned it before, but both my kids have Asperger's Syndrome. It's a type of high-functioning autism. They're both incredibly intelligent, but there's no way known to humankind to motivate them to do something if they don't see the point.)
Apart from paying the man his $60 per week? Then I push the kids to do whatever I can get them to do. And I have to do the rest.
How to do that will be interesting. I've just done half an hour of housework. That entailed doing the breakfast dishes and sweeping the kitchen. I'm exhausted (and I still have actual work to do for my job - I don't have a service written for church this Sunday.) My face is burning, with a lovely red rash that spreads across my nose and cheeks whenever I exert myself. And now, I'm shut away in my bedroom, with the air conditioner on full blast (even though it's winter) so I can recover from what is a daily - more than once daily - task. And if I want the carpet under the lounge chairs vacuumed - I need to move them.
Now, lets add some more information I haven't given you before. This is a rented house. If I can't keep it clean, I can be evicted. Already, I'm finding that maintenance I have asked for at two successive house inspections just hasn't been done, with no explanation. That's a fair sign the owner or the real estate agent isn't happy with me.
Maybe I'll end up living in that caravan sooner than expected!
The latest new cleaner's just been. He spent his two hours in just the bathroom - I'm sure it wasn't that clean when we moved in! Even the walls and ceiling are clean. Next week, he says, the bathroom will only take half an hour, and he'll get the next section of the house up to the same standard. It might have initially sounded like he would not do much - but has become clear, that with him on the job, the house will be incredibly clean.