Last week before I headed out to the airport, I spent three hours in the morning cleaning up my apartment. At one point I stopped shaking my head at myself wondering why I was taking so much time to clean an apartment that would be empty for the next 4 days. It is an odd quirk that I have? By the way, aren’t all quirks odd by definition? A quirk is a peculiarity, or otherwise known as, an oddity. Thus, I revise my last question. Is my leaning habit quirky? Of course, there are level of quirkiness, right? There can be slightly amusing quirks to downright extremely crazy quirks. I think. But, I digress yet again. And yet again, I display another one of my quirks. Back to my before-travel cleaning obsession.
Here is why my cleaning habit is a bit quirky. I don’t ten d to clean throughout the week. I wake up at 4am. I work out at 5am. I eat a huge breakfast at 6am. I grab an espresso at 7am and I head into work so that I can spend 8 hours in a dimly lit, windowless, office. I come home and I am tired. I continue to work some more. I go work out because that is another one of my quirks. I really don’t see how and when I can clean. Thus, I don’t. I am, as a result, completely ok living in chaos.
Yet, when I get ready to travel, I can’t seem to leave my place in chaos. I straighten up. I vacuum. I dust. I throw out the garbage. I hang up my clothes. I do everything humanly possible to clean up and leave my place tidy. I do this like clockwork. I suppose it is a good thing that I travel almost every week. Thus, on Friday mornings, you can find me tidying up like a mad woman. This madness I trace back to my mother.
Let me explain.
I remember a long time ago as we got ready to travel to Hawaii I cleaned up the tiny 600 square foot apartment and left a note. It was a random note in that I left instructions should we not make it back. It was a weird short postcard note. Laughingly, the building superintendent did see the note (I assume) because we had left our alarm on and it kept ringing bothering our irksome neighbors. It was Berkeley. Most people there are strange and horrible apartment neighbors. That’s another tangent and possible future rant. Anyway, I had left a note that I was a bit embarrassed about. Now, I don’t leave notes. I just leave a clean apartment behind, just in case.
Every time I went on a trip, I had to call my mom beforehand. And the conversation always ended with “god willing.” So, I always had it in my head that one could never know how one’s journey would end. I also had seen a silly Saturday Night Live skit called “Rest Assured Disposal” service. The tag line was “When you are gone its too late to hide any evidence of hedonistic lifestyle.” Where a team disposal technicians “clean” up your place before others see it. It’s pretty funny and stayed with me for a long time. That, combined with my mother’s superstitions have ingrained in me the need to clean up my place before I travel.
So, am I smart, superstitious or quirky to clean before I travel? Or all of the above?