I’ve always loved the idea of Spring Cleaning. In my head there is a farm house with a wrap around porch and acres and acres of green fields. The windows are all flung open and the place is being scrubbed from top to bottom. There are women laughing as they beat the rugs in the bright sunshine and watch the dust float away, carrying all of the dirt and pain of the cold winter and leaving a fresh, hopeful green scent in its place. There are curtains being washed and windows being wiped with newspaper and vinegar. Everywhere is the scent of wood polish and perfume. Pure white sheets flap in the breeze.
I have no idea where this fantasy came from. I’ve never lived anywhere near a farm and I’m sure that this Broadway musical version of a deep clean does not exist even on the most idyllic of farms. Still – that is the dream – a house that sparkles and shines and smells happy and safe.
Which may explain why every once in a while I go a little cleaning crazy. I’m terrible at routines, so I tend to let things pile up, but clutter and mess stress me out so eventually I snap and clean like crazy. Then I let it all start to fall apart again. I know, I know – suuuuper healthy. I have many of these forms of self torture – I’m working on stopping them.
Today I awoke with the urge to clean EVERYTHING. I was annoyed with every bit of clutter and every smudge seemed a personal affront. The pity party began in my head – the one that makes me a martyr who is the only person who cares/cleans/does anything in this house EVER. Except this time I told the voices to shut up and go sit in a corner. I reminded myself of all of the things that Dork Dad does and that I am perfectly capable of keeping the house in the condition that I am comfortable with. If I can make a mess, I can clean it.
And so – I decided that instead of reaching for the Technicolor dream version of Spring Cleaning I would start Spring Me-ing. I picked the areas that bothered me the most and decided to start on them. While I cleaned I took some time to focus on ME. I tried to be as positive as I could the entire time I cleaned. I made a plan for a family outing and I worked on a menu for next week, I sang silly songs in my head and sorted through some expectations I had for my business.
Dork Dad took the Crazy Crawler out for the afternoon. The swish of the washer and the clack of my keys are the only noises here now. I’m going to open the windows for a while and paint my nails a pretty color. I’m going to sit still and listen for the beat of my heart.
Then I’m going to start dinner and get ready for my boys to come home. Today, at least, I can take care of me and I can take care of them. I can’t ask for much more.
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