It turns out my parents were right. About everything.
It’s been about a month since I moved out of North Park’s dorms and into my very own, big-girl apartment. A glorious month, spent happily nesting and basking in my ever-increasing independence; a surprising month, spent wondering where all my money has gone and why my electric bill is so high.
Now that I have so many more responsibilities, everything my parents have ever told me about house life makes perfect sense.
“Life is expensive….”
“Flip off the lights as you head out!”
“Turn off your fan when you’re not in the room!”
“Rinse off your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher!” (Yes, I’m spoiled.)
“Don’t pour that bacon grease down the sink!”
“Scoop your hair out of the drain at the end of your shower!”
“Dishwasher soap and dish soap are not the same thing!”
“When we get low on stuff, write it on the grocery list!”
“Why would we eat out tonight? There are plenty of leftovers!”
I also understand why my parents were constantly picking up the house. When I didn’t consider it “mine,” the house didn’t seem dirty at all, and I definitely couldn’t be bothered to take out the trash, pick up the living room, or carry the piles of stuff up the stairs. If it got bad enough, someone else would get annoyed and do it themselves.
Now that I have my own place, though, it’s like the work never ends! If I didn’t force myself to stop cleaning, I could sweep/Swiffer/mop/scrub/vacuum/launder/sanitize/tidy/straighten/adjust/organize every square inch of this place until I passed out from exhaustion.
Some of these lessons I’ve been reminded of the hard way. After receiving this month’s electric bill, you can bet that my roommates and I will diligently turn off power strips, lights and fans when we’re not using them.
I suppose our kitchen floor got an unexpected scrubbing/ mopping when we had the great dish soap/dishwasher soap mix-up, which was a hilarious but time-consuming event. The mild frustration I feel when cleaning my roommates’ balled-up hair out of the shower is a solid reminder to pick up after myself, lest I bother someone else with my living habits.
Living in my own place is a lot of work, but it’s kind of cool to think I’m right in the middle of the next phase of growing up. In time, I’m sure I’ll either become less messy (right…) or learn to be a more efficient cleaner.
I’ll learn to conserve energy and enjoy spending “fun money” on occasion, but make saving a priority.
I already have a deeper appreciation for all the work my parents do just to keep the house in livable conditions, which I’m sure will only grow as I navigate these new “home owning” waters.
I could go on and on about how wonderful my parents are and how much they’ve taught me, but, as always, I’ve got dishes to do.