I don’t just like being in a clean environment. I actually like to make it clean.
It is my great joy and satisfaction to scour a dirty sink and make it shine again. When I clean the dust and grime off my windows, inside and out, and look through the glass like it’s not even there, I feel like I’m honoring the beautiful view. I love washing dishes with warm, soapy water. I like sound of the washer and dryer working away on laundry day. I love sweeping the corners where “stuff” collects. When I dust or scrub a baseboard, and the cloth comes away really dirty, I’m thinking “good, this needed to be done.”
The funny thing is – I’m not a fastidious perfectionist when it comes to keeping my own house clean. My philosophy is “have fun getting it dirty, so you can have fun cleaning it up.” So often being productive is messy, and there are those times when I know it’s right to focus on people and relationships instead of chores. But when there is a cleaning project to be done, and a few hours to devote to it, I’m your girl. Give me a rag and count me in.
When I clean, I feel like I’m making the world new. In fact, I think I got this whole love of clean places and things from my creator who specializes in cleaning up and restoring just about everything. It’s part of wanting everything to work the way it should, and of course, it doesn’t if it’s full of sludge, and hardened, crusty dirt. It’s like wanting to see clearly instead of looking through glasses with oily fingerprints. It’s like wanting to wear your favorite black outfit without cat hair and lint all over it. We have that sometimes irritating but irresistible desire to have clean stuff. I think we get it from God, you know, like being “made in his image”.
Today I helped clean house for my aunt and uncle who are expecting company this weekend. My aunt is in the rehab hospital and my uncle spends most of the day with her. I had their condo all to myself and enjoyed washing the sheets, making the beds and giving the “womanly touch” to the bathrooms and kitchen. That’s what my uncle calls it, “womanly touch”.
I was also thoroughly disgusted with the salt and road grime on my new-to-me truck so I ran that through the automated car wash. (It is TOO COLD to wash cars any other way right now).
Mom cleaned the refrigerator – something was beginning to smell funny. I would have to say that she also has a certain affinity for dirty jobs and doesn’t shy away.
I helped the husband shave whiskers off his face and got him spiffed up.
And now our supper is over, the dishes are put away and the counters cleaned. It feels like we are ready for whatever comes next – relaxing, enjoying the weekend, making a few new messes…
I don’t know why I felt like I needed to write about this, except that it is one of those ordinary, everyday things that we often pass by without proper enjoyment. Sometimes I’m tempted to think that some work is meaningless because it just has to be done over again, but I guess the fact that it has to be done a lot means that it has importance. And if I enjoy throwing away the junk mail today, lucky me, I get to do it again six days a week!
I’m thinking that work can, and should, be enjoyed. I hope there will always be something I can do, just sayin’…