One of the first things I noticed when I gained my new-found freedom was that keeping the house clean had taken on a whole new perspective. When I was married it was a sometimes joint affair that involved quibbling about the cleaning process.

This usually involved me helping the “ex” and being told that my cleaning skill were not up to scratch. Now my cleaning skills are all that keep the house from getting buried under a mountain of dust.

Oh, I have help from my “house-mate” – aka my daughter, but, the mainstay of the “heavy-duty” cleaning is mainly my responsibility. Why, you ask? Well, apparently I’m becoming a bit OCD in my dotage.

I’m not talking about the old wash-my-floor/hands-every-two-seconds OCD. I’m talking about almost obsessively worrying about the state of the house. Don’t get me wrong, my house is cleaner than most. It’s just that if it doesn’t sparkle and gleam, I worry.

On the bright side, I don’t obsess about the same things week in and week out. The last two weeks my nemesis has been the laundry. Mainly due to the all too typical English weather my laundry gets done in mammoth  laundry days. The weather combined with the fact that my washer/dryer doesn’t get hot when it’s drying tends to dictate this type of laundry day.

About the laundry. One huge bone of contention used to be my laundry “hanging” skills. Each and every time I helped to hang the laundry on the line I got a lecture about how I didn’t know how to hang laundry properly. Needless to say, this used to irritate the living hell out of me. I had been hanging laundry on the washing line at least seven years longer than my ex – she was seven years my junior – but that counted for nothing except the facetious remark that I had been doing so incorrectly for that time.

The one constant area of housekeeping that I do obsess about is dust and cobwebs. I’ve had a thing about these two thorns in my side. I loathe dust. It makes you sneeze, clogs your sinuses. and looks dreadful.  Cobwebs on the other hand make it look like either no one ever cleans in your house or you are getting in practise to be the neighbourhood Haunted House this year.

But…But. I have found a second thing about my new-found freedom. I take a inordinate amount of pride and feel very productive when I’ve gotten the second (or third, or fourth even) load of laundry done. Looking at the clothes on the line waving in the wind make me feels oddly content, especially when it’s all folded and put away and the dirty clothes hamper is empty, albeit temporarily.

I have also discovered that having a little dust is not a horrible thing. The last time I “Googled” it I didn’t find any records of anyone dying of dust overexposure – thankfully my dust is nowhere near that stage of inundation.  And cobwebs? Well, from apart from the ones in my head, I’ve noticed that everyone seems to have them. So I can relax a little…for now. I haven’t become OCD enough to require therapy just yet.

Still, the best part, I’ve discovered, is not having anyone look at my cleaning efforts and tell me that they are not up to scratch. I decide what days are cleaning days and when my house is dirty enough to be given the whirlwind clean it deserves.

In the area of housekeeping at least, I am the master of my own dynasty.

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