Monday, April 19, 2010

Mindful Cleaning

I don't do a lot of entertaining because that means I have to face doing a good cleaning job on my house.  The reality is, that if I did not have events from time to time, I probably would never clean.BUT - I am hosting an event this week which means that I need to clean after I get home from my appointments, for the next three afternoons.

Not just the ordinary sweep,vacuum, wash kitchen floor and clean toilet and tub, but a tear apart the bathroom, clean the woodwork that people can see, wash all the wood floors on two floors, move furniture, get the dust webs and so forth.  Sometimes that even involves washing all the towels and curtains (I have cats who seem to leave a lot of cat hair on them when they look out the windows). And there is the junk, always the junk.

I hate to clean.  OK, I get pissed that I have to clean because the time spent cleaning could be time spent in the studio, reading, watching a movie, or some other fun endeavor.   It was the retreat at the Blue Cliff Monastery and my relationship with a few yoga teachers that gave me insight into mindful living.  It is much easier to clean if you are in a good mood, look at each chore and project as a worthy exercise, and it helps to have little tidbits to reward yourself with, like a point system, as you finish another chore. Today mine was a dark chocolate bar with sea salt.

I took joy in cleaning my bathroom top to bottom.  I smiled as I scrubbed the dirty pots, looking out the window, realizing how lucky I was to have the honor of living and scrubbing the pot.  The sun is shining, the kids are playing basketball next door, and all is good in my little center of the world.

I let my mind wander back to childhood, a time when cleaning was seemed so much simpler -  Mr. Clean, Pine Sol, Lemon Oil, a rag, a dustmop, a mop, and a vacuum. That was it. No Scrubbing Bubbles, no Swiffer Jets, no Roombas, no blue toilet stuff.   I try to keep it simple, and as green as possible, but I see the soap scum in the tub and I know that the Fantastic with Bleach cleans it oh so easier than baking or washing soda.  The rest of my cleaning is with a castile soap with essential oils, and some good old fashioned Murphy's Wood Soap. (ugh, I don't know how green THAT stuff is?!)

When I was tired, and it was dinner time, I stopped.   I have been enjoying going through the rooms, noticing how the house looks lovely without the tumbleweeds and piles of stuff.

I smile, and am satisfied, even though I know it won't last long.

Tonight's card was inspired by my twin cousins who are on Facebook with me and are the zaniest, silliest, funniest boys.  Yes, at 40 something, they still talk about farts and taco eating contests, and how Ed loves cheese. This one's for you boys.

patti o cleaner

3 comments:

loelbarr said...

I do the same thing...the main thing that keeps me from entertaining is the cleaning, and the thing about cleaning is how it hurts my back. Easier just to plow my way through the dust bunnies. Good for you for scheduling a party and making your beautiful place even more beautiful!

Pamela said...

How about inviting friends over and NOT cleaning. If they are Real Friends, and probably Artists, as well, their houses are dirty, too. Don't make them feel inferior, by looking TOO good!

On the other hand, it IS nice to have a clean house, and I LOVE dark chocolate with sea salt!

Patti Gibbons said...

Oh Pamela, there are plenty of times people have come over and the house is by NO MEANS clean! I don't turn them away, and they seem to return, so it can't be too bad. lol. But I do like it clean!!