Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cleaning as Therapy

I hate cleaning.

Or do I?

The trip to Ikea yesterday and purchase of the new duvet set launched me into something I've been putting off for weeks now -- a good, solid housecleaning. One of the things I had to give up when I became unemployed was my twice-monthly visit from a house cleaner. Since then, I've done some cleaning myself, paid Kat to do some, and (mostly) dealt only with the most glaring and disgusting necessary chores -- a toilet here, a floor there, a load of laundry only when necessary.

But something happened to me last night. Something came over me. It began with an innocent trip around the house emptying trash cans. Soon after that I was sweeping, and then, almost without realizing it, I was gathering throw rugs and pulling out cleaning supplies -- sure signs that a major cleaning invasion was about to take over. Once my iPod graced my ears and the volume was fully cranked, I was a goner.

Now if only I could empty the house of all inhabitants I could not only move like a crazy cleaning cyclone, I could sing and dance unabashedly as I went!

Aleks asked if he could go to a friend's house. Of course, m'dear. Go! Peter and Danelle were about to leave for a belated birthday dinner celebration and asked if they could take our Honda. Sure! Have fun! Elisabeth was already gone to a friend's wedding in Spokane. (Hmmm... haven't seen her for weeks; maybe I'll invite her and her new beau for dinner tonight.) And Tom and Kat? Well, they were hanging out in the livingroom, chuckling at my obvious urge to sing-clean and dance-clean. (Mika-and-a-scrubbing-brush... try it sometime!) I invited them to take the opportunity for a father-daughter evening out -- dinner, maybe some shopping, and perhaps a night-cap latte. It didn't take much to nudge them on their way.

And then, finally, I was alone with my Swiffer, my rubber gloves, and my thoughts.

I was driven. Purposeful. Sweaty.

And it felt great!

Along with the external dust and cobwebs, some internal gunk seemed to be coming loose as well. I've been feeling staid lately. Frumpy, unmotivated, and unfulfilled. Quiet, yet screaming. Driven and ambitious, yet doubtful and insecure. Young, yet oh, so old. Busy, yet bored. Happy, yet miserable.

Suddenly, the simple act of scrubbing a toilet was bringing me out of... well, out of something. Or rather, bringing something out in me. Maybe it was the music. Maybe it was just the fact that I was finally moving. Maybe it was the freedom to sing as loud as I wanted, knowing no one would hear me. Whatever it was, it was liberating. It felt good. Not only was my house being given a little much-needed attention, but my soul was too.

The garage is really a mess. I should think about getting out there...

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Berlinbound said...

Carol ... You asked me a question or two on a recent post ... If you have time, drop me an email and I'll reply there.

Hope all is well in your world - and thank you for stopping by ... I appreciate it.


Dixie said...

I'm beginning my fall cleaning project tomorrow. While I dread the work, I love the feeling of a clean, organized home.

Rebecca said...

I ordinarily hate cleaning too and see it as a chore that just has to be done (and all too often for my liking) but I do sometimes get into the mood you're describing here - particularly when I have the music blasting!

Rositta said...

I'm leaving the fall cleaning to my house cleaner to do while I'm gone. I simply don't have the energy to deal with you. Good for you that you got it done, I do remember how satisfying it feels when it's all finished...ciao

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