Windows of Opportunity

When I was a teenager, my mother said I was so inept at cooking and cleaning, I needed to marry a rich man so I could afford a full-time housekeeper.

I have always been what is politely called “domestically challenged”.

The two weeks prior to chemo, when I could’ve indulged in one last fling at fun that I’d remember when I was too weak to do much of anything, how did I choose to spend my time? I cleaned my house — because if anything is worse than puking my guts out, it’s puking in a dirty toilet bowl.

After chemo, I had one week of feeling almost-okay before surgery — and again I cleaned my house, which had become pretty gruesome after months of neglect.

When I was able to move my arm without pain, I had one week until radiation started — and I cleaned my house.

Maybe my senior years compounded by illness have finally ushered in an adult sense of responsibility, but I’d rather improve the sanitation of my surroundings than go shopping or visit a museum.

When faced with a tiny window of opportunity, I choose to clean. When I’m allotted a small amount of time and energy to accomplish one thing before a long stretch of incapacity, I choose to clean. Not that I’m getting things in order before I die, but rather I’m getting things in order in anticipation of living.

As much as I hate housework, clean toilets add a sense of peace to my chaotic life.

Now a larger window of opportunity opens before me. With health I have time, and with time I have choices.

My horizons seem infinite, although time never is.

Author: MeredithLaskow

Artist, writer, and unrepentant nerd girl.

5 thoughts on “Windows of Opportunity”

  1. I am like you. But my reason is, I don’t want to come back home to a dirty house. After you are in the hospital, or rehab, etc., for a couple of weeks, the last thing you want is to come home to a dirty house. It makes me very depressed. If the bathroom is clean and the kitchen is clean (and we have a lot of glass table tops) and the tables are clean, it is good enough. Hope you are feeling more like yourself again. Sounds like it!

    1. Sharon, even though I never actually WANT to clean, I knew I’d feel better if I did. My standards are pretty lax, but if the house gets above a certain threshold of yucky-ness, it IS depressing — especially dealing with cancer treatment, which is depressing by itself.

  2. Interesting.. I have a thing for clean toilets and bathtubs and bathroooms too. My kids tease me about it. It’s nice to know it’s not just me. I do a last clean just before turning in for the night 😊

    I am so happy you are feeling well!!!!! You so deserve it! And still adore your lavender wig!!!

    1. Iva, you can come here and clean for me lol! I’ll provide food and encouragement 😉 I don’t have a thing for cleaning, so much as it has to be done. My energy is finally starting to come back, and I try to do a little chore every day.

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