In my frustration Friday afternoon I couldn't decide if I should zone out in front of The Nanny Diaries (which I had just gotten from Netflicks and haven't seen) or deep clean my house. I decided to clean and I'm so glad I did. Middle of the day vegging often just leaves me feeling even more moody and restless then before. Cleaning on the other hand, while harder to start, almost always picks me up and recenters me.
There is just something infinity calming to me about cleaning. Something caressing about dusting. Something decidedly Zen about sweeping. It's a small activity but it leaves the floor calmer than before and often you calmer with it. I think part of it is that I've always seen my home as the center and foundation of my life. It is the place I depart from, the place I return to, its the physical encirclement of my family and life. A cluttered home, to me, is a cluttered center, a cluttered mind, and cluttered emotions. When I make the bed I am not just bringing order to sheets and blankets, I am bringing order to a small part of my life. When I am scrubbing dishes I'm not just scrubbing glass and ceramic, I'm almost scrubbing my soul. A full sink is one problem out of so many in the world that I can solve. An empty, clean and dry sink is one place out of so many in the world where all is as it should be.
I read in an old Mothering Magazine (My fav. magazine by the way, I absolutely HATE Parents) that it is just consciousness that transforms drudgery into ritual. I love that and have carried it with me for a long time now. There is a lot of drudgery in the life of a stay at home mom, yet there is a beauty, a balance-bringing quality, to ritual. As we often say in my Mindful Mothers group, its all about Mindfullness. To be conscious, or mindful, in housekeeping, in mothering, in eating, and in living is a goal worth working for, I think.
So as I left to drop off Zeke to his daddy at Pizza night, and head myself to yoga, I left with a centered spirit and a clean house. Of course after class I ran out of batteries on my cell phone, couldn't find Josh and Zeke (and couldn't call because of my phone) and then got followed around the downtown park by a mentally insane (or maybe mentally handicapped?) man while he made rude sexual comments, did disgusting things with his tongue and hands, and tried to lick me. So I ended the day scared for my safety, disappointed that no one ever tried to help me (of course after this guy started following me I stayed in VERY populated areas until I could lose him), and worried about Josh and Zeke (who took a bus home after they realized something must be wrong because I hadn't called yet and been out of class for a while).
But at least my house was clean.