Every time I pull into my driveway and see the over grown weeds, the lawn that needs mowing and all the unfinished chores and projects, I wonder what others think when they come over to drop off their kid or to pick up mine. I wonder what my neighbors think. What do strangers think? "Boy, there's a house that needs painting, a yard that needs mowing..."
Then I think, what does it matter? It only matters if it matters to me. I certainly care more about what I think than what others think. So I have to decide if it is worth the physical, mental and emotional effort to step up the maintenance and consider what would be neglected if I did because I can't do it all.
I also have to consider whether or not it is physically, mentally and emotionally economical to let caring about it take up space in my head. I am constantly reassessing what to allow myself to care about. What is really important? What/where should my priorities be? The limitations this disease puts on me makes those decisions much harder than if I were healthy. Not that I could do it all alone if I were healthy either but I could certainly do a lot more!
Having to be an example to my kids also makes these decisions harder. What do I want them to see? How do I want them to be? What matters? Does it matter if it looks like we live in an abandoned house? (I exaggerate, but not much) Does it matter if everything around here is falling into disrepair? Does it matter if our whole house is always messy?
What matters to me is my choice. What matters to my kids is also their choice but they are still in the process of learning from me. That's a lot of pressure. Most days I cannot lead by example and it is pretty lame to say, "If I felt better the house/yard/whatever would not look like this - I need your help boys" No, they are watching me and absorbing my habits like little sponges. What standards they grow up with will be the standards they carry as adults.
I grew up in a neat, clean house with beautiful landscaping. My parents let us keep our bedrooms how we wanted - if they were messy we had to keep the door closed but the rest of the house had to always be presentable as if company were coming. And this is how my home and yard were always kept until scleroderma came knocking.
These days most of the house keeping takes place in my head; whether I am wishing the dishes clean or organizing my thoughts and throwing out the ones that don't matter.