I’m sitting at my keyboard with dust surrounding me and crumbs beneath my feet, grinding into the hardwood floor and my soles. There were bugs in my Tupperware of orzo last night, discovered when they floated lazily to the top of the boiling water like tiny black bubbles. My tush is perched at the edge of an irreparably broken chair with the left arm dangling.
It sounds like squalor, I know.
Believe it or not, I am someone who loves to clean. There is such a contented, whole feeling about everything in its place, like my mind is free to wander and soar because there’s so much free space!
But lately it feels like drudgery. I clean the kitchen to perfection and in what feels like moments the floor needs to be swept, the counter cleared, the stovetop wiped and the dishes done. I feel sucked dry by the monotony of it.
Laundry feels freeing – I love the finished feeling of it, of having fresh clothes to wear and them all tucked into their sweet little homes, awaiting my use. It never gets old, even though I do it twice a week. The sight of the hamper filling warms me, because I know those lovely clean things were used happily. Cooking is always a joy – and I don’t mind cleaning as I go, or cleaning the kitchen after – to me, that’s the culmination of a job well done. The sigh of contentment in action form.
Maybe it’s because I can see those things in a creative stance, as a creative project, a renewing of health, warmth, and life to our home and our selves. Why, I wonder, can’t I couch the dusting, swiffering, and general kitchen tidying those ways? Is it because I’m not always the one who creates the mess? Because the floor isn’t meant for granola bar bits and hot sauce splats while the bowls and towels are meant to be mussed? Yet these things are caused by our living of life, enjoying of our home, loving of each other.
I want to be Cinderella, Giselle, Snow White. Not for the prince at the end, but for the joy in the process while in dusty, dirty, disgusting homes.