Friday, October 10, 2008

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

If you know me personally, you are already laughing. That's because you know what my house looks like.

My new task set at work is cleaning. When he asked me to take it on, I looked at my boss, wrinkled my brow and said, "'ve never been to my house."

"No. I haven't," he replied. I smiled at him ruefully, knowing that my neat-freak boss was never, ever going to be invited to my house, much as I like him. He'd have a heart-attack.

I kind of chuckled, "I am notoriously bad at housekeeping, you know."

He gave me his best "Mona Lisa smile", which usually means I am annoying him. "But, in fairness," I continued quickly, "I used to be able to keep house...Then I had kids..."

He raised his eyebrow at me and drawled, "Well, you'll either love it or hate it."

But, now three weeks into the deal I am coming to grips with something. I like cleaning. I like looking at the floor I just mopped and seeing that it shines. I like walking back into the restroom I just cleaned and smelling that familiar chemical-y smell of cleanliness. I like finding that little spot that no one else has touched since God was a boy and getting it clean. I like looking at the clean, streak-free windows of the office doors after I use Windex and a squeegee on them. And, as always, I like the sense of having done a good job.

Cleaning creates its own energy. When I was a young mother, my mother-in-law and I were on the phone one Saturday morning and I commented that I needed to clean the house, but I was just totally unmotivated. I was so tired. She told me, "Energy begets energy. Just start with something small and everything else will get done."

She told me that every morning when she got up, she'd throw a load of laundry in the washer to start while she made breakfast for the family. That way at least one thing would have gotten done, even if she burnt the house down making the eggs. While she drank her coffee, she'd make a list of everything she needed to accomplish. Then, after the kids went off to school, she'd fold it (now, it didn't always get put away...but it was clean). Then she'd move on to the next task.

My mother-in-law was right (she usually is). If I start with a small routine task and I make a plan, it all gets done. But still, I hate the idea of getting started. Sometimes it just seems overwhelming.

Then again...(see my last post.)

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