Making Peace With Dust


There was a time not so awful long ago when I thought everything had to be so-so. My home was clean and organized. The floors were mopped. There was no dust lingering on furniture.

But something changed. 

Now I often sit on my couch and stare at the dust on my coffee table. And instead of jumping right up like I once would have and grabbing a rag to clean it, I just sit here. 

Dust particles seem to fascinate me as they drift in the sunlight from my patio doors. Nothing immediately moves me to get up.

I was reading an article in the New Yorker about a woman liberating herself from her bra. And we're not referring to one of those women with small breasts either. We're talking triple D.

One day she got sick of the trappings of the bra that signified she was a part of society that follows the unwritten rules. And so she ditched it. If you'd like to read the piece, click here. It's a good one.

I hate wearing a bra. In fact, unless I go out, I don't wear one. I will admit that from time to time when I'm just going through a drive-thru for something to eat or to pick up prescriptions, I often don't wear it. 

But I'm still circumspect enough to put my arm in the window so that my "bra-lessness" goes undetected. There is still some degree of pride involved.


As for that dust, I have kind of made peace with it. I'll put it this way: we're not arch enemies. We can abide the presence of one another.

I don't know. I just don't beat myself up about it anymore. My floors need mopping. I spy dust from my perch on the couch. 

But I'd rather turn my head and watch the birds hop about the patio. Or the squirrels race across the fence.

I'm kind of surprised I've gotten to this place in life.


There is so much I could be doing. Sweeping the patio. Cleaning the coffee maker. 

But instead I just sit here and contemplate life. I guess with age comes acceptance and less urgency about certain things. 

I've accepted much that I once worried about. The law of gravity that is taking over my body. The tummy that can shake like a bowl of Jello. The black hairs that sprout on my chin.  

I figure there's just no point in worrying about things that are imminent in life.

So I'll just sit here in my bra-less state and stare at the floating dust motes.


75 comments

  1. I had to chuckle while reading this post. I have been bra-less while at home for years now. For the last 6 months I have been bra-less all of the time because of a dislocated shoulder. As for dust, what can I say? I can lay down beside it and go sound asleep. I have become a Spic and Span cleaner. Remember their slogan? "Once over lightly."

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    1. Sometimes dust makes me sneeze. But if I try not to disturb it at all, I can be friends with it.

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  2. I laughed at your title of this one. My grandma would dust every week, maybe every day. Then again, she ironed her sheets. I missed out on the clean gene.
    Enjoy your Sunday - not dusting!

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    1. I try very hard not to ever dust on the weekend. The very thought depresses me.

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  3. What a fun post, Brenda. I veered off and read that braless piece. I laughed but have to say it is not for me...being busty I feel better with a bra on and when I am braless my breasts hurt if I should try to run...so I guess I am one of that 60s generation who didn't burn my bra because I liked it too much. However, I have given up on always keeping the perfect house. I don't do the things on a regular routine that I used to do...and that is okay.

    Oh- and I DO still iron my pillowcases!

    Great post- xo diana

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    1. You can still run? You're way ahead of me then.

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    2. I also prefer wearing a bra rather than having my pendulous breast hanging down all over the place. That is darn uncomfortable lol .....

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  4. FUNNY..... I haven't went to read the other braless article yet. But, I will. I too am braless at over 70. Love it in the winter when I can wear sweatshirts!! Otherwise an over sized t-shirt works for me. The dust, ya....I used to be a every week duster too. But, now the Swiffer makes it nice and fast and not every week. But, I do iron my pillow cases too!! Have a wonderful Sunday you gals.

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    1. Occasionally I will iron pillow cases. But it isn't the norm for me.

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  5. I enjoyed your post, I was obsessed with cleaning! !! Not even a dirty spoon in my house , talk about ocd . Due to health reasons I can no longer clean like I want, sometimes it causes panic attacks. Years ago my oldest daughter and boys came for a visit, one of them spilled a little something on the kitchen floor, which I didn't immediately clean. I got a call from my youngest daughter about an hour after the oldest left , she said her sister told her about the spill and said " I'm so proud of mom, she waited 30 minutes before she cleaned it up, I timed her." If I was physically able I would still be that way. Enjoy your dust and I love watching nature also.

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    1. Good that she was proud of her mom! I can't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. I'm paranoid about bugs.

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  6. I can't wait to get home so I can get that bra off. If I was smaller chested I wouldn't wear one in public. I hate it. As for the dust I have learned to let it go. I don't want to spend every day cleaning. xo Laura

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    1. Thus I just sit and stare at it. The dust I mean. Oh, bras are my nemesis lately.

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  7. I have lots of dust. I think God blunts our vision as we get older, so we don't notice it as much. The diminished vision also helps with hairs on the chinny chin chin. Now and then I will discover a rogue hair of an alarming length that slipped by these old eyes. I too free the girls as soon as I home and let gravity take them where it will.

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  8. I have lots of dust. I think God blunts our vision as we get older, so we don't notice it as much. The diminished vision also helps with hairs on the chinny chin chin. Now and then I will discover a rogue hair of an alarming length that slipped by these old eyes. I too free the girls as soon as I home and let gravity take them where it will.

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    1. How is it that I don't see this hair on my face, and it has grown like it's on steroids? Maybe it's the diminishing eye sight...

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  9. I hate bras but wear one when out. Dust? oh yes I thought it was a good thing! Loved this post! I am much less driven as I get older that's for sure.

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    1. I used to be such a good housekeeper. Looking at that in the rear view mirror!

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  10. i haven't worn a bra in over 30 years.
    a nine inch vertical scar from my breastbone to my belly button stopped me ages ago because wearing one was too painful. now i don't even think of it! it is so liberating! i choose my summer clothes more carefully as to thickness of materials. but other than that it is lovely and such an easy natural way of living to get used to. it can be done tastefully!
    i am like you in that life is too short and getting shorter to worry about the dust. a once over about every other week and i'm good!

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    1. Same with me with the dust. About every other week. Whereas it used to be at least once per week.

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    2. Same for me, usually always braless. And who cares about the dust if I don't!

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  11. Again, you have made another post which I thoroughly enjoyed. I too used to be overly zealous about dusting, vacuuming, etc, but I have pretty much resigned myself. I live in windy Reno, and I can thoroughly vacuum and dust and the next day it looks like I have not dusted for weeks. And my poor car, I have no idea how it acquires so much dust!

    As far as being bra less, I will have to try it. I do not have really large boobs, (a small C cup) but now that I am in my 70's they are pretty saggy. I am not sure I am ready to go bra less yet, but I must admit, just yesterday as I yanked up my fallen strap off my shoulder, (I have very narrow shoulders) I was wishing I did not have to wear one. And I remember when younger, I envied the freedom men have not having to wear one.

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    1. We see mens nipples through their shirts, and no one gets upset about that. But we women have to wear these wire contraptions and go through child birth. Where is the equality in that?

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  12. You are so funny! I love your sense of humour.

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    1. Thanks! When I was a kid writing stories, they were always funny ones.

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  13. DUST IS NOT THE ENEMY (except to electronics) WE WERE TAUGHT TO BELIEVE IT WAS, OR PROOF WE WERE NOT GOOD HOUSEKEEPERS. I PREFER TO SAY IT'S "A UV PROTECTANT", WE HAVE COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING, AND WE ARE DOING FINE.
    IF I LET PEOPLE IN MY HOME (avoid it as much as possible) AND THEY WERE RUDE ENOUGH TO CRITICIZE MY HOUSEKEEPING, I WOULD DO ONE OF TWO THINGS, EITHER THROW THEM OUT (afterall do I really want them here) OR HAND THEM MY CLEANING SUPPLIES AND SAY "ENJOY YOURSELF"!
    AS MY LIMITATIONS PROGRESS, I HAVE LEARNED TO STRESS LESS, DO LESS AND ENJOY MY LIFE.
    SNUGGLES TO THE PUPSTERS!

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    1. You and me both, Leslie! It is so rare than anyone is in my apartment. I could probably count the amount on one hand for a whole year!

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    2. I WOULD NOT EVEN USE ALL THE FINGERS !

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  14. I absolutely can't wear underwire bras, too uncomfortable, painful actually. And I can't stand being braless as that gets uncomfortable after a few hours.

    IMO the most comfortable bras are the ones I've bought from hsn.com by Rhonda Shear that are like pretty sports bras. She has lots of different bras like that but I get ones with removable cups and are rated medium hold. She has some that are rated light hold and I wouldn't bother with those as I am a very droopy D cup. She also sells matching panties for many of her bras. The bras and panties usually comes in sets of three.

    A very comfortable bra with great support is the
    Vanity Fair® Beauty Back™ Full-Figure Back Smoothing Wireless Bra - 71380. It's wire-free with molded cups. I wear this when I want a good shape like when I wear t-shirts and sweaters.
    Vanity Fair® Beauty Back™ Full-Figure Back Smoothing Wireless Bra - 71380

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    1. I rarely buy clothing of any variety. If there is a comfortable bra out there, I have not made its acquaintance.

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  15. Me again! I just read the article and discovered the author is only around 32 years old. I suppose everyone's different, but I spent many years of my teens and 20s braless and there is a big difference between then and now (I'm 57) in how comfortable bralessness is for me. lol

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    1. Hm. I read the article twice and didn't pick up on that fact. Just thought she was older.

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  16. Brenda your posts have really been hitting home lately. You seem to be reading my mind. I was just looking at the dust on my dresser yesterday thinking. "Oh well, I'll get to it..." That would never have happened even three months ago. I would've stopped what I was doing, even if I was dressed and on the way out, to clean that mess up. Now...I just don't care as much. As far as the bra goes, the younger generation apparently doesn't wear them very often at all. There are petal covers and stickies for when you really need, but other than that, nope. Not even in high school where you would expect a dress code to be a little stricter...so you are right in vogue my friend! ;)

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    1. I know I've changed in the last few months too. Don't know what switch flipped in my brain.

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  17. Other than a "gentle hold" one for working out, I haven't worn a bra in about 30 years. Especially not a 'wired' one ~ those things are torture devices!!

    And like you, I've learned to live with the dust (and dog hairs) over the years... life is too short!

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    1. Life is too short to be uncomfortable. If I'm uncomfortable I cannot relax. Even with the underwire bras, they never seem to stay in place and that just drives me nuts.

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  18. I have to say I could not go braless, ever. I injured my back a couple of years ago and had to look for some easier bras. They were only sold online at that time and were just $9.99 each. I ordered 3 and still wear them today, they do a good job but am always on the look out for a bra that will minimize! I feel if I do not coral 'them' I look so much bigger, something I don't like to see when I walk pass a mirror. I have to say I did let myself go for a while but now I am always on the hunt for clothes which please me, they have to be comfortable but also stylish. I also got my hubby to start buying more clothes, he definitely looks younger when he is dressed up and he says it makes him feel better. Probably for the first time for a long time I go and have my hair done regularly and pay more than I have before but feel it is so worth it.

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    1. Then you should continue to do what makes you feel best. I feel best lounging at home without a bra. And I haven't worn make up since the day of my divorce!

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    2. Wendy, could you share the brand name of your bra?

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  19. I can sure agree with everyone about this torture device called the bra! The first things I do when I get home is remove my bra and my shoes! I never wear shoes around the house. I love those "slipper socks" that have little grippers on the bottom.

    You are sure right about the dust Brenda. We should just make peace with it! I'll spend 5 minutes with the swiffer duster when I think of it or if we are having company, otherwise I don't worry about it. Besides my vision isn't as good as it used to be so "out of sight out of mind" right?

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    1. It is a torture device. I have never managed to find a comfortable bra.

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  20. I love this post. I wear cheap little cotton sports bras from Walmart. I had a double mastectomy in 1979 and implants ruptured 11 years later. I went flat chested for many years wearing external prostheses. Then in 2006 I had saline implants put in and don't really need a bra, but feel more comfortable and modest if I have something on under t shirts and such. Dust is just something I live with like air. LOL Sandra

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    1. Well, I'm sorry you had to go through the mastectomy. So many women have to go through that, and it is a good wake up call to get a mammogram. I don't do all I'm supposed to every year, but so far I have been getting the mammograms.

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  21. I think we are in a good place in life when we don't beat ourselves up anymore over minor or trival things, housework, dust, leaves will always be there. I,too, hate wearing a bra so only wear one when I go out!

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    1. I figure: to each their own. It took me a long time not to jump up every time I saw something that "needed done." Now as I'm getting older, the aches and pains speak louder than the dust.

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  22. I'm pretty OCD about my house being neat and clean, but I've greatly relaxed on the dust on furniture in the past couple of years. I used to go crazy if I saw dust on my furniture but now it doesn't bother me so much. I dust maybe once every few weeks now. I stay braless in the morning up until I shower or bathe and get dressed. And then once I get into total relaxation mode in the evening, I take my bra off then - but only if my son isn't home. When he's around, I do wear a bra. I'm big busted, so I can't "hide" the girls, lol.

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    1. Yeah, I have double D "girls." And I do feel self-conscious enough to wear a bra around people. But I kind of wish I didn't feel that way. I kind of wish I could be a total rebel.

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  23. Wow...you have been knocking the writing out of the ball park lately. Indeed, you should write a book. Doesn't have to be a novel. A compilation of your essays and reflections would make a great read. (Don't inject too much humor as I wouldn't want to be seated on a flight reading your book and be stared at for laughing out loud) . Dust, bra bashing, chin hairs...it takes a gift to make these subjects so entertaining and so relatable. Keep churning out more reflections for baby boomers (female). Delightful!

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    1. Well thank you! I've found that oftentimes I just think of one thing and then take it for a ride. And see where it goes.

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  24. I like to dust, and I like to wear bras. So I do those things. I was in an abusive marriage once to a man who griped about everything -- I cleaned too much, I wasted money on things like pretty bras, you name it. I gave up so many things I liked because I hoped he wouldn't be so angry. He still was angry, no matter what I did. It's because it really wasn't about me, it was about him -- something was wrong inside of him. But he made it about me. When I left him, a friend took me to a lingerie store, and I got some pretty under things, and it helped me to feel pretty and like a human being again. A nice bra can be an empowering thing. The young woman who wrote the story might feel like society has unwritten rules that she wants to rebel against by tossing her bras -- fine for her. My rebellion is to go look for a one with a bit of lace.

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    1. It's all about our individual experiences, isn't it?

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  25. Ah dust, I've come to live with it more now. Having had my lower back fused it's not easy to bend and get in tight places. As for bras, I've found some really comfy ones at Kohls with no undersides which I always wore. I really like them. I've never been one to go bralrss much. And those wild chin hairs that appear to be an inch long one day that was there the day before, not sure what we do to generate those. I just hope people don't notice them.

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    1. I guess I've reached the age where I figure I'd better look in the mirror all around underneath my chin before I go out.

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  26. OMG I didn't even have to READ this before cracking up at the title! :)

    And agreeing with it. I used to be a clean fanatic when my kids were little and then again when I had to babysit the grands here ( when Brent was crawling etc. ) Now I am more relaxed about it and I dust when I can basically write "Dust Me" in the dust, lol!

    BUT the floors with the dogs shedding etc. are a different story. That I have to keep up with :)

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    1. I used to be a fanatic too. I'd jump up and clean that dust in a second. But now? Not so much.

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  27. Those dark chin hairs or semi-mustaches that we have to pluck come about when we get older and our estrogen starts to disappear and the small amount of testosterone in our body starts to take over... It's not fun to get old. I think perhaps your fading estrogen is what is making you feel less energetic, Brenda. That was an interesting post today and I also read the 32 year old's account of not wearing a bra anymore. I enjoy your blog so much!

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  28. I never ever plucked my eyebrows because I didn't need to. But those chin hairs are a problem!

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  29. I don't wear a bra at home, but do put one on if I am leaving the house. The minute I pick it up to put on, my little dog knows that means that I am going to be leaving the house and he starts fussing about me leaving. The other morning I fooled him though. It was really cold and I realized I was going to be wearing my heavy jacket for the first time since last year, so I wasn't bothering with a bra. I was able to get completely ready and at the front door before my eagle-eyed little Pom knew what was going on. The minute I put my jacket on it dawned on him what was going on and he started his shenanigans.

    I pretend the dust on my furniture adds a soft patina.

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    1. A soft patina...I like that! Abi and Charlie do the same thing when I go to my drawer that has the bras in it!

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  30. Brenda,

    Happy Sunday night to you. I hope that you relaxed this weekend.

    I too have made peace with dust, but I am still a little weird about a clean house. I do not like to be in a messy house.

    As for the bra, I do not wear one at home but do when at yoga and out of the house. I find them more and more uncomfortable as I age.

    Have a great week.

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    1. I don't have what you'd call a messy house I don't think.

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  31. I've been ignoring dust for years, Brenda! And it's not that I'm sitting and contemplating it. It's just that I don't have the time nor the energy to do something about it. I do try to dust and clean the floors if I know someone is going to visit, but not always. I love a clean house and believe me if I had the money I would hire someone to clean for me every week. But, alas, that's not the case. So, sometimes I fret about it, but mostly I just live with the dust and the dirty floors. My mother was not a fabulous housekeeper. I remember her saying that we always had clean clothes, clean beds and healthy, regular meals and that was just about all she could keep up with. There were three of us children and I remember the hours that she read to us when she could have been dusting! To me, that kind of says it all. Certain other things should take priority.

    And I agree that those dust motes you see when the light is just right are pretty interesting!

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    1. Your mother said it all. Other things should take priority.

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  32. I love your attitude!~ very liberating. I wish life were as simple as dust and bras, those are choices we have and we should definitely be sure of how we feel!!

    You make me smile, Brenda!

    Jane x

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  33. I hate wearing a bra and that's why I usually wear dark t-shirts at home because if someone unexpectedly comes to the door, it isn't quite as apparent that I don't have one on. At least I hope so. :) As to dust, I have really relaxed in that department. I used to be a neat freak, but not so much these days. Getting older and having less energy is what I blame that on. I'm like you, there are more fun things to do rather than worrying about a little dust. Like watching the birds, petting kitties, or any number of more important things. Have a nice week!

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  34. Dust isn't as much an issue for me as sand. There is always sand on the floor and as soon as I sweep, we head out to the beach and Lulu tracks in more sand than Steve and I do.

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    1. Well, I think I'd trade places with you and take that beach!

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  35. Your minimizing efforts look great and isn't it nice not to have so much stuff. I too love going "bra-less" and do it most weekends. Have a great Monday! Carol.

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  36. I guess acceptance is a form of freedom, no longer weighted down worrying about "measuring up".
    My home is comfortable but not spotless and my family and guest seem to love it. Occasional dust and a few dog hairs used to send me into a TIZZY. No, I don't like them but we have called a truce, of sorts. Your post today gave me cause for giggles.

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    1. I'm glad my post was a source of levity for you!

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  37. I really enjoyed reading that post. Most of my friends are surprised that being so organised at work, I have a less than perfect house. Dust, cat paws and hair, books not being on their shelves, laundry waiting to be ironed... As I say, I want my epitaph to say something else than "she had a perfect house"...

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    1. I wouldn't want that as my epitaph either!

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