As anyone who knows me knows, I am not the world’s most house-proud person.
You see, I live in the country. I have horses and dogs and the house is built in the middle of an old wood. There are always dog hairs and leaves on the floors and horse rugs and muddy wellie boots cluttering up the hallways. I have an Etsy shop and I’m a crafter so there are always cardboard boxes and packing peanuts taking up space along with storage baskets full of yarn, needles, hooks and cardstock and and, try as I might to be tidy, I have had to resign myself to the fact that, given our lifestyle, it just isn’t possible.
If I tried really hard I probably could be a lot better than I am. I could do a bit more dusting and polishing if I put my mind to it and I’m certain there’s no law against hoovering every day but, whilst I appreciate having a clean and tidy house, if something better comes along or it’s a beautiful day outside, housework goes straight out window. I would much rather be in the garden or riding my horse or walking my dogs or meeting friends for coffee, than doing housework because life’s simply too short and too precious to worry about domestic perfection.
Years ago I was given a lovely fridge magnet that said, ‘A mind is too beautiful a thing to waste on housework’ and, whilst I don’t take it literally, I absolutely agree with the sentiment.
Dust if you must
Anyway, the other day, whilst I was looking for something totally unrelated, I came across this lovely little poem by Rose Milligan. And I was really taken by it because it sums up exactly how I feel about housework.
By all means do your dusting and your polishing and your floor mopping but don’t forget, there are far more important things in life than a pristine house where people find it difficult to relax and be themselves.
Dust If You Must by Rose Milligan
Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.
Until the next time,