Slipping Standards

I used to be a perfectionist.  I was immaculate.  My home was immaculate.  My car was immaculate.  Hell, even my garden was immaculate.  I painted my toenails, waxed my leg hair and never left the house without my slap on.  There were fresh sheets on my bed, bleach down my loo and wafts of Jasmine Pot Puri on the hall table.  I made mince pies from scratch each Christmas, had a real tree decorated to within an inch of its life and my gifts were adorned with bows, ribbons and matching tags.  I spent hours making complicated home cooked meals, juiced fruits, watched my weight and buffed my cellulite.  And then I got sick and my standards went to shit.

The first thing to go was personal hygiene.  Gone were the daily, sometimes twice daily, showers to be replaced by a bath once a week (ok I’m lying, sometimes a whole month goes by and I don’t even have a wash).  I went 4 years without cleaning my teeth.  I cut off my hair to within an inch of my scalp but even that was too much like hard work, so now I wear a wig.  The good news is I look like I’ve just stepped out of a salon, the bad news is I wash my hair even less than I did before 😉 . My armpits are a jungle and my lady garden is untrimmed, if you get my gist.

My house is still tidy cos I don’t do clutter but at times it’s so mucky I’m in danger of catching a deadly disease.   I have a cleaner who spends 3 hours each week decontaminating the filth and less than 48 hours later no-one would ever know she’d been. The situation isn’t helped by my furry child, who tramples through cow muck then has the audacity to walk into our home without wiping his paws.  I have found slugs on my duvet and hair in my dinner and it’s all his fault.  Nothing to do with me eating in bed and spilling blueberry jam on my white sheets, or nipping upstairs in my wellies cos I’ve left my mobile on the beside table leaving a trail of muddy footprints in my wake.  No-sireee-bob 😉

I have an artificial Christmas tree, complete with pre-attached lights which I spray with the scent of pine.  I buy my mince pies from Greggs The Bakers and if you get a gift from me, wrapped or otherwise, count yourself lucky.  I do still hang a piece of (plastic) mistletoe above the front door in the hopes that Hugh Jackman will divorce his wife and surprise me on Christmas morning by declaring his undying love for my smelly armpits and halitosis but even I know this is a fantasy.  He doesn’t have my address for one thing 😉


I thought my appalling lack of standards would bother me more but I’m genuinely past caring.  It’s not like I’m going to go to my grave wishing I’d worn more eyeliner or made more use of my steam cleaner.  My precious energy is not being spent shaving my armpits or pressure washing my car, dusting ornaments or painting my toe nails (I can no longer reach my feet for a start!).  No.  It’s being spent having lunch with my bestie, walking my dog by the river, taking fleeting photos of the Kingfisher and singing along to Ms Clarkson in the car like a strangulated tom cat (complete with drums, air guitar and both hands off the wheel).  Because, when I was bedridden, these are the things I missed the most.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Slipping Standards

  1. Teri

    That’s pretty much my story too, Jak. My perfectionism started with a strict workout regimen, which I NEVER missed. Rising at 5:00 am to get it in if I had to. I had a brood of messy kids (and messy husband), and pets, so my house was never in the idyllic state yours was, but I did aspire to that, with all the time and energy I could.
    Now my life seems the complete opposite, stripped to the bare bones. My hygiene is typical ME. My house, pretty much a dirt bin. My husband man cleans and that’s how we roll these days.
    Sometimes I wonder if I was meant to learn something from all this. Like you said, it forces you to change your perspective. With such limited energy, you use it for the important things.

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  2. That Other Jean

    I find Teddy Roosevelt useful: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
    Energy is a valuable, and limited, thing for people with chronic illnesses; use it doing what you want to do. “I wish I’d spent more time cleaning house!” said nobody on their deathbed, ever.

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