The Significance of a Clean Oven

Something VERY WEIRD has been happening in my house this morning.

Very Weird indeed.

So weird that, even as it’s happening, I’m thinking “Blimey, this is weird. I must make a note of the fact that not only is this weird, but also that I’m deriving a great deal of satisfaction from it, which is even weirder“.

If you know me personally, I suggest that you sit down at this point and take a deep breath because this is going to freak you out.


OK, here it is.

This morning I had a client re-arrange a session, so I chose to clean the oven instead.

And I enjoyed it.

And I’ve taken the opportunity to load the dishwasher a couple of times and clean the kitchen.

****slight pause to allow time for hyperventilation amongst my nearest and dearest*****

I put this bizarre behaviour down to an Affirmation that I chose for myself on January 5th and have repeated to myself every day since.

It is this:

I take pride in creating and maintaining a beautiful, welcoming home

Again, those who know me will know how utterly radical this is as I have been famed for YEARS for my lack of interest in and appetite for housework – my mantra has always been that, as long as everyone is happy, well fed and knows that they are loved then I don’t care what kind of a state the house is in.

But over the past few months as I’ve been developing workshops and online packages, and working with clients face to face, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking around the subject of how we show others and ourselves how much self-respect we have, and how much we value ourselves.

And I realised that the state of my house was sending a message to me and to others about self-respect and personal pride.

For years I’ve fought against the idea that the state of my house is in any way reflective of my morals, seeing it as a reactionary throwback to a Victorian notion of a woman’s place. I also saw it as a reaction to my Mum’s way of doing things, as she has always been the epitome of tidiness. And then, of course, there’s always been good old Mr Can’t B. Arsed telling me how boring housework is and how my time would be much better spent watching a film or reading a book or sleeping or just generally vegging out. After all, who needs clean light switches?

I still firmly believe that this attitude is genuinely helpful if you have small children around – there are far more important things to worry about than the housework when you’re in that situation.

But I’m not any more, and I started to think deeply about what messages I was giving myself by continuing to live in a disorganised, cluttered mess. And I realised that actually what I was doing was very successfully getting in my own way by making life far more difficult than it needed to be.

When you live in a mess it takes ages to find anything because you never know where it might be. When you do find it, it’s probably not clean so you can’t use it anyway.

When you’re surrounded by clutter you lose any sense of what’s important and to be treasured so nothing gets looked after properly.

And my God, you don’t half spend a long time hiding stuff and frantically tidying up (not very well…) before you have visitors!

I spoke to My Lovely Husband about this, and we both decided that we didn’t want to live like that any more and so we began a process of de-cluttering and re-organising and a gradual re-awakening of pride in our home.

It’s not been going for long and it’s been too cold to tackle the garden yet but the place is looking much better for our efforts.

And the daily repetition of “I take pride in creating and maintaining a beautiful, welcoming home” has clearly sunk in – so much so that, today, finding I had some unexpected free time, I chose to clean my oven.

And it felt good.

And as I look around my home, I find I’m itching to get on with finishing tidying my office rather than writing this month’s newsletter.

This may, of course, be a subtle form of displacement and procrastination but actually, if I concentrate on the housework today, when I feel like it, that will free me up to spend ALL of tomorrow at the computer, when my deadline is nearer.

And that will feel good.

So – more proof of the power of affirmations, and no-one is more surprised than I am!

2 responses to “The Significance of a Clean Oven

  1. Cathy
    What an inspiring post! My husband is a hoarder and our ‘office’ is full of boxes of his that are still there one year after moving into the house! i think a similar conversation might have to be on the cards πŸ™‚

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