Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Cleaning Question

I find that the mood to clean rarely strikes me. Mostly I dream--and I've said this before--that I am the displaced daughter of some extremely wealthy person who is now forced to live a Cinderella existence when I'm truly meant to live a life of pampered indulgence.

Cue your tiny violins.

I was built to recline on a chaise lounge all day and have my every need and want supplied by a dozen adoring servants who coddle me all day long, feed me grapes by hand, fan me delicately, and turn my chair every hour or so to capture the full benefit of the view from my tasteful mansion perched on my gorgeous, private island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.


And then I wake up to my dirty floor, my unfolded laundry and my paper piles. Surprisingly, the one time during the week that the cleaning bug usually hits me is Sunday morning. For some reason that is the day I get deep urges to mop the floor on my hands and knees, to fold laundry, to scrub the tub and to dust the light fixtures. Yet, Saturday morning? No such desire.

Saturday morning I want breakfast in bed and then lunch and finally dinner. On Saturday, my fantasy island dream is at full pitch.

I've tried various techniques to overcome this persistent lack of cleaning desire: I play loud music to encourage me to get up and get moving, I set the timer and convince myself I only have to clean for so long, and I've broken up the cleaning jobs into daily tasks so I don't have to do a major cleaning each weekend. Each of these techniques has met with a limited amount of success but not a permanent change.

So a few Saturdays ago, I decided to recreate Sunday morning at my house and see if I get the cleaning impetus to kick in. I opened all the blinds and I turned on General Conference. You know, listening to spiritual messages and basking in sunlight.

And what do you know? Better than show tunes, better than daily cleaning, better than setting a timer, I was suddenly in the mood to clean.

It has something to do with my brain. This oh-so-big noggin of mine always does it best work when it is distracted by an influx of wisdom and light. For example, in college I would be a disorganized, disheveled mess upon arriving at class some days but once the lecture started and my brain latched on to creative, insightful and meaningful ideas, I suddenly could see clearly. Look at my college notebooks and they are filled with scribbles, journal entries, and list after list after list that made sense and order out of what was once a mish-mash in my brain. It seems that what I crave most when cleaning is not only order and light in my environment but also order and light internally. It seems I can't get one without the other.

P.S. And I also like to write blog posts & journal entries in the middle of my cleaning events. So, back to unloading the dishwasher!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Sunday is the one day of my week my house really gets worked over . . . and we're not even home for half of it! I'm glad you found something that's working for you.


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