I have no idea what possessed me to clean my bathrooms before going to bed last night.
They weren’t exactly eat-off-the-floor clean, but they weren’t a hazard to anyone’s health, either. Like many people, I like the bathroom to be tidy: towels neat, sink clear of toothpaste, hair and other unsightly debris, mirror fingerprint-free, commode without a ring around it and floor devoid of dustbunnies.
But with a *&!%load of other stuff to deal with, are bathrooms (or housework in general) that important? Do you need a clean home to function well?
Apparently, I’m not the only one who finds solace in a bucket of soapy water, or wielding a toilet brush. Many of my friends have said that cleaning, weeding the yard, or other “mundane” tasks seem to help at times of trouble. But why? Is it that they are “mindless” tasks, or do they establish some kind of order and normalcy when life is like an out-of-control scramble to the last lifeboat?
It’s nice to see something clean and shiny poking out of the gloom, I think. And it’s a sense of accomplishment; even if everything else has gone to the proverbial hell-in-a-handbasket stage, you’ve still gotten this thing done.
On a financial message board where I post regularly, there is a poster who is so paralyzed with things that are coming at her from all sides: messy house, broken car, medical issues, unsupportive husband, financial messes, no job skills, two surly teenage kids who are the epitome of “failure to launch” – her entire life is one big crisis mushroom cloud, with no clear path out.
I don’t want to oversimplify things, but I’m wondering if doing one small thing would turn on the night-light here. Even if it’s just getting up off the couch, out of the PJs and into regular clothes and doing something. Any small thing. Whatever her version of cleaning the bathroom is, that’s what she should choose. It won’t increase her bank account, fix the car and make the husband swoon for joy (well, he might at least notice a clean throne. He’ll certainly notice the girlie mags are missing). But it may provide a match-worth of light when life feels like a dark cave full of hyper bats.