Every time I return to my blog I am reminded how therapeutic writing is for me. Reading over older entries I get an introspective snapshot of what I was going through at that moment of time, a slice of sadness, joy, fear or loneliness…perhaps mostly loneliness.
But alas, writing my thoughts down gives me some kind of release that talking or even “socializing” just doesn’t accomplish.
You know what else is therapeutic?
Oh yes. Unsurprisingly, cleaning is something that I very seldom do. It’s not that I am an unclean person, it’s just that I am often lazy and inept to clean…okay ‘inept’ might be a stretch but sometimes I just don’t feel like I have the bandwidth to sweep, and mop my kitchen, bathroom and living room. Dishes, dusting the television, laundry so I can change my linen every two weeks like we all should do. Scrubbing the shower scum from my bathroom tiles, cleaning the dust off of my ceiling fans…the list goes on and on of things I could clean but I just…choose to let things go.
I think a bit part of it is that I don’t see cleaning as a necessary task. I live alone. No one to tell me when or how to clean..or even WHY I should clean. Should I blame my parents? Should I blame myself? Should I blame the non-existent person that doesn’t live with me and cannot tell me that my apartment is a pigsty and that it needs to be cleaned immediately. If you were to ask me, I would probably give you a million and one excuses on why I don’t but the real reason is much simpler: I’m afraid to be clean.
Now, this doesn’t make sense. I shower daily. I hardly wear dirty underwear (confession time! notice the word “hardly”) so my clothes are generally very clean. I wash my hands after I use the bathroom..ALWAYS. I’m not saying I relish in being a filthy person or I have some secret fetish with dirt. Not the case at all here.
If you dig deeper, you will see that being clean means stripping the dirt, grime and grease away. It’s a very uncomfy process that requires cleansing not just dirt but also anything that may cling to its host. Yes, I am afraid to let some of my grime and grease go…aren’t we all?
Aren’t we all fearful of truly being cleansed, in our minds, bodies and spirits and genuinely organized and well-kept in our thoughts? Psh, maybe it’s just me who found an inner peace in disorganization. I found solace in my filthy slothful lifestyle and calmness is darkness. Yes, when you put it that way it sounds so dangerous.
Okay, I’ll get to the point: Cleaning is very difficult for me because it requires EFFORT. It requires that I scrub in the places that don’t want to be scrubbed. It requires me to conquer my complacency in messiness and disorganization to be reborn to an immaculate and truly sane state of mind. Being in the dark for so long you forget it’s dark until you have a light shone in your face and your eyes slam shut from the pain of the brightness. Oh yes, cleaning is pain.
But amidst that pain..you are CLEAN. And being clean beats being dirty and comfy anyday. Trust me.
I cleaned my apartment this morning and I felt a sense of accomplishment and freshness I haven’t felt in a while…and all I really did was pick up some clothes and do some laundry/reorganization of my closet. That’s all it took for me to free myself. Imagine that.
And who knew that I could get so much joy just from picking up some clothes off the floor. Who would have ever imagined. I wouldn’t have. But I guess that’s why in life you must roll with the punches. You have to take the good with the bad, the clean with the dirty. I think I had forgotten what it mean to be clean and I almost let it slip by me for good. I’m glad I was reminded again why being clean is so important for my health, my sanity, and my life.
It is my life after all.