Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pavlov's dog

Have I mentioned that I love Tuesdays! They are the day that my cleaning lady comes and pretty much the only day that the house is guaranteed to be clean for a few hours before the kids come home from school.

She used to come on Wednesdays, therefore Tuesdays used to be the worst day for me. I would be a total nut; cleaning for my cleaning lady. Tuesday night in specific, I’d make my husband go on a cleaning frenzy with me. We’d have to pick up toys, put laundry away, clean the kitchen, pick up the main level and the list went on before going to bed.

Then I would get up extra early on Wednesday morning to make the beds and completely make the house spotless before Rosa showed up at 9 am. How exhausting!

Cleaning day is switched?!

I didn’t realize how much of a nut I had become until Rosa blindsides me one day to say that she can no longer come on Wednesdays. I had a moment of panic, but she quickly saved me to say that she could come on Tuesdays.

The first week that she came on Tuesday, I hadn’t trained myself yet to switch my nuttiness to Monday night, so I didn’t get my usual cleaning frenzy going however, amazingly enough, she was able to clean just fine. That morning, in a very slow and non-panicked mode, I made beds and picked up toys or whatever without any stress.

I am an example of behavioral psychology

The panic did set in on Wednesday morning though. For no good reason, my heart started beating a little faster in anticipation of Rosa coming. I realized that I had become Pavlov’s dog. The thought of Rosa coming to clean immediately implied a state of panic. I had to remind myself that she had come the day before and all is well.

I actually went through it again the following week. Tuesday came and I hadn’t panicked. I was on to something. I could actually enjoy my cleaning lady coming without the panic of “the toys aren’t going to be picked up and the beds aren’t going to be made.”

She’s been coming on Tuesdays for a few months now and I have to report that I am still doing ok. I realized that I was a little more heightened than normal on Monday night, but I’m going to say that was because I was just a little more tired than normal. Yeah, that’s it. Do you believe me?

Your Pavlov stories

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It's Wednesday morning and it's just so peaceful in the Salfi household!



  1. This is a great example of how we create habits. The RAS (Reticular Activating System) can be programmed! Just think if you are able to do it with something negative, you can also do it with something you WANT!! Great post Mary!

  2. I had never heard of RAS. You made me think as to what positive things I've trained myself to. I'm sure there's a lot, I just have to think about them.