Friday, October 07, 2005

Higher Standards

When you live in a developing country, it's always a good principle to lower your standards. (by the way, when you say that, it sounds best if you use a game show host voice). Garbage pile right outside your front door bother you? Lower your standards! Don't like it when people spit on the street? Lower your standards! (and watch your step). You get the idea.

Well, after living in a highly developed country again for a year, I've recently realized how much my standards have gone back up, maybe higher than before. Things like the fact that the same little leaf has been on the landing in my stairwell for a week, or that the beautiful tropical trees growing over the bridge from the poolside to the barbeque/fountain side of our courtyard need cutting back because I have to duck have me wondering, "Who are we not paying around here?" (they're usually crazy about cleaning). Even my son has picked it up. He's quick to comment on public restrooms (and private as well, so clean well before we come over) that need some freshening.

I have to say that within our house itself, the standard is going the opposite direction. I used to think in China that I was a super mom. Now I know I was just a mom with a helper. That's the only reason my house was clean. Without one here, and with children at home and in homeschool, I still have to stop myself sometimes, look around at the mess and say, "Gina, lower your standards!" And then I feel better.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I have had this attitude lately since Kelly has had to maintain the household as I sleep and deal with the food aversion. It was more challenging when our small groups nights, but I never let on. He has done just a brillant job with everything.