A mis-timed house cleaning

I’ve written about my messy house before. It’s not that I am a hoarder. It’s that I’m a busy working mom. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do what I need or want to do.

I tidy up where I can, but for the last 12 years, it’s always some superficial rush job in which my definition of “clean” increasingly becomes “consolidated piles.” There’s the stack of fabric by the sewing machine for that glorious day when I have time to create something fun. There’s the big bag of beads and the crystal bracelets waiting to be restrung.

Furthermore, any sense of interior decoration has totally left the building. Furniture is a utilitarian mishmash that, at this point, also includes hand-me-downs from friends who moved away. It’s completely comfortable and makes us happy, but it’s so not a house designed for posh parties.

Unfortunately, a day came when someone was scheduled to come to my house. That someone was an ex-governor. As in, public official who oversaw the executive branch of government, not a fancy title that some boards give to their board members.

I tried to clean before he came! It was a busy week and I didn’t do a very good job. I warned him that it’s messy and, um, “local style.” That’s my public relations up-spin.

The governor came and went. He was cool about it. He’s a nice fellow.

A short time later, I had two social visits at my house. One was with fellow journalists. The other was with my cousin. Both times, I embarked upon a short cleaning stint before they came.

Each time, my husband teases me. “Oh, so you care about what your cousin with the equally messy house thinks, but not the governor?” “You’re really going to clean up for your coworkers, some of whom graduated from college ten minutes ago, but not the governor?”

I now catch flack every time I clean for someone who isn’t a former top official. I guess this means I have license to stop cleaning entirely until I can get another official to drop by, at which time I’ll have to redeem myself in my husband’s eyes.

Can someone let President Obama know I’ll need two days’ notice in case he wants to visit?

Author(s) on this Post

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

3 thoughts on “A mis-timed house cleaning

  • March 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I love this story and it’s so true! I used to be so neat and particular until having two boys, now 5 and 7. I can’t keep up with them. In fact, we left for a long weekend today and I was in the best mood ever! Not because we left for a ski weekend, but because I left a woman named Sandra who is an amazing house cleaner at my house. She has already done wonders before we left and she still had 7 hours left. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when we get home Monday. She only cleans for us about 4 times a year, but it comes out so nice and for a day or two, my house is luxurious. Then…. after the boys are home for a few days, it goes back to awful. Oh well! The joys of family living. Keep it up Diane! I know how you feel! Lol! Your friend, Robin

  • March 15, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Looks like my place! Nice “fruit” accent. We usually have ours on the dining table or the kitchen countertop! 🙂

  • March 18, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Hello Diane,
    We can’t seem to clean up our house too or get rid of stuff. We work on one area and it looks pretty good when we get done but all we did was move the stuff to a different area of the house so now that area is messed up. When we do a good job in cleaning up it can’t stay clean, after a few days it’s looks the same as before and we don’t even have kids in the house.


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