Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bathtub Epiphany...

I want to be her.

At least, I want to think like her.

Last night, after the girls had gone to bed and Bit O' Honey was at work, I was avoiding housework with a soak in the tub (and boy did I avoid, I was in there for one solid hour). To pass the time I was reading my favorite magazine... "Body + Soul" (April 2010) Anyway, I came across this article... "the meaning of cleaning" It crosses my mind daily, the feeling of inadequacy, not having what it takes to keep up appearances...But what appearances am I trying to keep up with? That I can do it all? And do it well? I look around at the piles of laundry and layers of dust...and I wonder, how did they do it back then? And without the modern conveniences we take for granted...dishwashers, dryers, microwaves...jeans!? I want to have
the tidy house, perfectly groomed children (and self)...but how?
The article talked about embracing cleaning...just go with me on this.
Karen Maezen Miller's book,
Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life,
says "There is no meaning in chores. The expectation of meaning is what robs life of greater meaning. When we expect things to be more than they are, or when we value them as less than they are, that keeps us at arm's length from our own life." She goes on to say "We think we're supposed to follow our bliss, but when when we're really present in every moment, even when
we're vacuuming, we can begin to chip away at the feeling of inadequacy. And little by little, our lives are transformed." Wrapping it up...

"the rituals of daily work just enfold your day in dignity. They make life tasty."...moving on..."Your attention is what spiritualizes things, Attention to the meal you cook, the clothes you wash. Attention is love. And that's transformative." Maybe she's a quack, maybe not. I know I'm guilty of rushing through chores so I can say they're done. What if I payed a little more attention? Who knows, maybe in time I'll find myself smiling while I scrub "drips" off the toilet seat. My grandmother has a plaque resting above her toilet: "My aim is to keep this bathroom clean, your aim would help."

To quote the Bible:
Behold, I make all things new.

I'm going to try that.


  1. This is a GREAT entry! I also read this article in Body+Soul and found it to be true and enlightening. Let's embrace the cleaning my friends and experience it as...theraputic accomplichments. For as we all know we are more pleasant mother's if our homes are clean and in order.
    P.S. I LOVE the song!

  2. And who does house work in High Heels?? Really???

  3. Given my age and many years of experience all I can say is, "This can't be for real. The author of that article must be freakin kidding, nuts,or both?" Donna Reed lives on in Martha Stewart...ugh.!!!!!

  4. LOL...I love your Gma's plaque!

    Not sure I could ever smile while cleaning the drips off of my toilet (esp w/3 boys and a husband!), but I do think it is possible to find satisfaction and dignity even in the most boring of tasks.

  5. Yep, need to be happy about cleaning, how to do it????