Why does it feel so good to clean? Last weekend I dripped with sweat, pink-faced from my vigorous battle with the kitchen floor tiles. But I felt fantastic. I was momentarily renewed, peaceful, and felt like I'd really accomplished something. It's exceedingly fleeting, this feeling, especially with two vomiting, shedding cats and a husband who insists on wearing shoes in the house. But that five minutes when the floors glow are worth the effort. I think.
Making order out of chaos is always thrilling for me - I'm not a neat freak, not by anyone's standards. But a clean(ish) house is one thing I can control in a world where I sometimes feel powerless (Gulf oil spill, animal hoarders, my insane family, etc. etc.) My A.D.D. doesn't allow for sharp attention to detail, but I do enjoy a good cleaning session - a mopped floor, a huge bag of clothes sent to the thrift store. It's best done on Sundays, and best done when I'm alone.
I can still fall into the trap of comparing myself to others in the homemaking department. Sometimes I think, a real adult has a cleaner, more organized house than mine. But lately I'm trying to maintain a more Zen attitude towards it. There will always be cat hair, mud, garlic clove skins, peppercorns, all manner of everyday detritus spilled and tracked in on shoes. Laundry keeps on getting worn, junk mail keeps arriving, recycle bins keep filling. We just do our best, right? Life keeps happening, the good and the bad, whether or not we're ready for it. We don't have to compare ourselves to anyone else in this world, not in terms of the cleanest house or the biggest bank account or the smallest dress size. We adapt, we manage. Managing is really pretty good when you stop to think about it.