Today’s DP: “Does a messy home (or office) make you anxious and cranky, or is cleaning something you just do before company comes over?”
Frankly, I have to answer “Both.” Cleaning is my way of de-stressing – it brings order out of chaos, I have something to show for my effort (however briefly), and, based on the state of my home, I just haven’t been stressed in a very long time.
According to my father, I got the cleaning gene from my mother. When they were first married, he would come home at noon for lunch and one day, he sat down on the bed and this BIG dust ball – couldn’t classify it as a dust bunny – came rolling out from underneath the bed. My father yelled, “Julie! Come here for a sec.” My mother came in and Dad pointed at the dust ball cavorting across the room. My mother nodded, “Oh, I know! Huge, isn’t it?” She then lifted the dust ruffle and blew it back under the bed.
Years later, my mother came home from an AA meeting and was quiet, thinking about something. I asked if it had been good and she nodded, then a heavy sigh. “What is it, Mom?” She looked at me, “There was this man talking about his wife and how she wasn’t a great housekeeper. He loved her dearly and wanted a clean house…. So, he wrote in the dust on the hall table, “I love you.” She was silent. “Okay, did it work?” “Oh, yes.” Mom sighed again. “See, I would have written back, “I love you, too.”