As I end another crazy day in my kitchen, I light a Christmas candle, take a deep sigh, and revel in my accomplishment of having clean and beautiful countertops. I have succeeded at putting away every messy pot, pan, and dish from the table, whether it be in the cabinet or in the dishwasher. I am simply resting in the joy of my clean kitchen. But alas, please don’t look down at the floor!
Under my feet awaits a mess that really should be cleaned up. Not tonight, but in the morning, right? The trouble is that tomorrow morning will come and another mess will be made on my kitchen counters that will require me to clean up. And I will keep saying, “I’ll clean the floors after I get the counters cleaned.” Well, that never seems to happen and round and round I go. The up and downside of having floors that hide the mess well is that messy floors keep getting messier.
Now that multiple days have passed at our house and the floors haven’t been cleaned, they are absolutely terrible. Tonight as my 4 year-old wandered into the kitchen and sat on the kitchen floor to hide from his brother, I cringed and told him to get up off the floor. “It’s dirty!” I said as he scurried off to find a more suitable place to hide. And just as he left, I heard a mysterious crunch under my feet, so I knew that I simply HAD to clean my floors, but not tonight. I’m tired and will have to tackle it tomorrow.
I justify it with the argument that, “No one sees the floor (I sure don’t — especially after 7 p.m. when lights are turned down low and kids are put in bed), so what’s the big deal? Isn’t this why we wear indoor shoes, so we don’t have to clean it?” Ha! Thankfully my indoor shoes do keep me from stepping on all the messes often found on my kitchen floor, but unfortunately my floor is still messy.
So when my days are filled with food preparations for my family, play time with kids, teaching school lessons, and any number of other things on my endless list of what I need to accomplish in a day, I choose not to clean my floors.
I have heard it said that this season of life will end, but somehow I wonder if my kitchen floors will get cleaned any more frequently, or will I just fill my days with different activities.
Don’t worry, if I know you’re coming to my house, I will clean the floors. But if you were to stop by tomorrow, you most likely would want to leave your shoes on when you arrive. Maybe this is why I have decided to be called “The Graceful Table” instead of “The Graceful Floor”. We can add you to our table at any time and welcome you to enjoy the food of our home, no matter your dietary needs, but just don’t look down!
So as you contemplate where to spend your time, I would encourage you to spend it in the kitchen and then around the table with friends and family — not cleaning floors. A dirty floor will always be waiting for you, but your friends won’t. Take time to enjoy their company instead of worrying about how clean your floors are. I guarantee that no one will care more than you. Have a graceful table, not a graceful floor.
And this Christmas, you might consider putting a remote vacuum on your wish list. Here’s the one that made it to my list!