Years back, my mother started a tradition – when guests are arriving all hell must break loose.

It doesn’t matter who is coming, the preparations must be professionally done for any guest. The president or a family member, the drill is the same: everyone must lose their minds in hectic cleaning and occasional shopping for the new furniture. And it doesn’t help if you try to intervene with a casual “But it’s only aunt Kate” or “Mom, she will stay only a day, we really don’t need a new mattress”. When you try to make a joke that you are not living in a museum but in a house where people are actually living – brace yourself for a fury storm.

This is why I found myself anxiously turning around, trying to find everything which I must clean, move and throw into the trash. My head was throbbing, my palms were wet and all because of a family member coming for a visit. But then I stopped – why in the world would I do this? I am who I am, my living room is always crowded with books and a thousand little things that make it my home. Yes, my home. Not some strange sterile place meant to present someone’s ideal picture of what a house should be. And even if the guest finds it ugly or repulsive in any way – well, tough luck!

Expectations, that is the problem. Trying to fulfill someone else’s possible expectations of what we should be. Even if we are someone completely different than the person we are trying to present.

So, this is how it’s going to be – I will do a little dusting, clean the table and the floor and this is it. No more and no less. Because this is who I am: a casual person and lazy housekeeper but a friendly host. Because I would prefer to be hosted by someone who is laid back and pleasant, not a nervous wreck and cleaning freak. Starting a tradition f my own, doing less to pleasantly impress.

Because I deserve it, 179.

Cleainging house

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