When I first moved to DC I didn't have a job, hardly a friend, a very meager amount of cash flow (read: none), and firm desires to have a perfectly kept and pulled together apartment.
We sat in lawn chairs, utilized a desk as our dining room table, had mismatched bedding, and a very 1980's apartment complete with a sun room to fill. It was like an elevated version of living in the sorority (except at the house, my meals were cooked for me). We made do. We utilized what we had to get by. I also cleaned. I cleaned all the time. Practically every Tuesday and Thursday when I wasn't working. I made those IKEA purchased shine and sparkle.
Fast forward six years (yes...SIX years...ugh) and I now have conversations about if we should cancel the cleaning service this week since our building is still working on repairing the air conditioning situation in our kitchen. I mean....a cleaning service?! when the heck did that happen, is all I can think to myself. "When did I get so busy and tired that I have to rely on someone else to cleaning my bathroom sink?!?".
Granted, the real reality is I inherited the cleaning service. When you move in with someone and you move into their space, you acquire things that had been set-up before you came along- for me, namely- the cleaning service. Regardless, it is this strange reminder that life has gotten so...busy...and important. Two of my least favorite "DC" words: Busy & Important. But the reality is- without a cleaning services, we would have some serious issues keeping things clean. Between my new(ish) more demanding job, and the BFs work schedule, it just wouldn't happen. We aren't dirty, but we certainly struggle to find a lot of time, and cleaning sinks just isn't either one of our favorite activities.
I feel like an impostor having people who come clean for us. I mean...I'm not even married. I don't even have kids! Or a dog! I am too young, too "poor", too "resourceful" to pay someone to clean for me.
But I'm not. Not anymore.
Those days of part-time work, where I was practically begging to be hired full-time, and lazy weekends, and very limited income and where I really didn't do much of consequence outside of writing this blog and using my limited craft supplies to make really amazing birthday cards- have vanished.
Life was slower. Those first two years in DC- seemed slow. I could remember each month passing and thinking, "I've been in DC X number of months". Now, August (the month of my DCversary), passes by and I maybe pause for a split second to feel the panic rise in my throat- but then I go back to answering a pile of emails, or figuring out how to get my laundry done before the next trip we have coming up. Life is just going so fast.
I yearn for those slow weeks. I long for the time and freedom to have time to make plans to move, to end this time in DC. I wish for a few moments of uninterrupted thought to create a game plan. To figure out the "what next" part. But like the conversations around if we should cancel the cleaning service- it all is rushed, and sometimes you just have to make a decision.
Getting older certainly isn't a picnic is it? But at least there is a cleaning service.
I guess this is my ode to being here in DC for six very long years.