I hate cleaning. Unless I’m angry.
My initials are M.E.S.; let me break some of this down.
Growing up, my Step Mom was quite the “Martha Stewart” (huh, I wonder if Martha’s middle name is Elizabeth, too). Each weekend my brother and I had to have our rooms clean by the end of the day on Sunday.
Like most kids I liked to play outside, read books and watch cartoons. Who in their right mind would want to be inside cleaning, on the weekend?
I saw the down side of cleaning at a young age- that down side, is the strong urge to immediately make another mess. See, when it is always messy, it just goes through degrees of discord but everything is already out, ready to use at a moments notice. When it was clean and organized, I would want to use it all, at the same time- right way!
I’d hate to totally misrepresent myself with a false sense of simplistic organization.
The weekends it was easiest to de-clutter and clean, were the weekends I was most upset about something, and may or may not be confined to my room as a sort of punishment. These were the best cleaning days. I would take the entire weekend to “disassemble to reassemble”, fueled purely by rage, passion, angst and melancholy.
I would take the rage out, by dumping everything onto the floor, and passionately sorting it all out, pain-painstakingly putting it in it’s new right place. The melancholy was evident as I wiped clean the drawers while listening to moody music. I would clean it ALL, and not just the knick knack shelves and obvious flat surfaces I was required to dust. I would process my emotions by attempting to control order.
By the time our rooms were to be checked on Sunday, I would be running low on energy and I would end up with a small pile of miscellaneous, which would be dedicated to the perpetual epicenter of chaos that is a junk drawer.
Cleaning, to me represents anger, isolation and process. It is the absolute feeling of controlling ones own environment. It can be a safe, yet violent upheaval with peaceful results. Rearrangement or superficial change are the quickest ways to to feel renewal, or personal shift. How much we actually settle into the temporary nature of it, depends on the individual.
For me, I am a mess. I can keep it together for everyone else. For them, I can color within the lines and organize like no ones business…. but for me, it just doesn’t take a priority. And that is weird, because I really appreciate cleanliness.
We all know what it is like to stay overnight somewhere and the bathroom is filthy. “Like, how many years of pubic hairs have accumulated at the base of your toilet?” kind of gross.
My Step Mom helped me to appreciate the not so subtle and subtle nuances of cleanliness. I am forever grateful that she made me and my brother take turns cleaning the bathroom. I appreciate the fact that I now have an ingrained disgust for piling amounts of filth.
-Side note, I remember (way back when) I was nineteen, looking for places to live in the SF Bay Area, and I was checking out roommate situations. I found a Craigslist Ad for a woman looking for live in help/ roommate in the downtown Oakland area. I figured out how to get there on bus to meet with her and the minute I walked in, I wanted to walk right back out.
I don’t have animal allergies but the minute she opened the door I saw the draft catch a massive amount of cat hair and it was whirled into the air, falling like a cat hair shower.
As she showed me around the place, I mentally noted how it was absolutely puuurfect, except for her inability to clean up after seemingly, anything. The four cats, obviously were not pulling their weight in this household, rather they were just letting it accumulate in the corners. I quickly found my way out and back to the bus.
I could tell you more stories about gross roommates, but I will save you your stomach.
I try to be a self contained mess. My room is organized, overall… but it is cluttered at times mostly with clothes. If I am in the middle of a project, or a show, my stuff get’s scattered in public areas; I keep this to a minimum.
Then, there is the work space. It’s much like my childhood bedroom… it goes through a revamp when I am frustrated. My creativity and cleanliness are both tied to boiling emotions, or anxiety. Sometimes the anxiety is positive, but it seems rare to have that kind of feeling. ( A For Instance is wanting to impress some one but I kind of run with a “No Fucks Given” kind of attitude, so that kind of thing is rare.)
I think I might want to reevaluate my relationship what what I think Cleanliness and/or Order, are. My Facebook Cleanse has been good, and I am more bored than before! I like creating content that may be useful… so I am thinking about taking my relationship to Clean to a new level and understanding, especially if it means your interaction and support.
I will start with 10 days and see how it goes. Everyday, I have to clean something and write about it. Deep Clean and Deep Dialog. Maybe it will be a Conversation with Clean. What can I deep clean over ten days? How will it make me and my grandma feel? (She already thinks I clean too much.)
Where will I start?
Last September, I deep cleaned and reorganized my room from top to bottom. It had been a few years since I had rearranged. It felt good, and I was sleeping better. I was able to maintain all of it for just under two months, when a kittery came into my life. Over all, it’s maintained, but I noticed the layer of dust last night and felt a spark of inspiration to renew, again.
There are plenty of places in this four bedroom, one and a half bath home with an attached garage and basement that need attention, yet again. Maybe I can reprocess parts of myself by taking note in the journey. Do you want to hear about healing through cleaning? They do say that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. This could be interesting.
The nice thing about writing, is the accountability in publishing a series. I don’t really market or advertise my work. My follow-ship is pretty small. If you do like my writing, and benefit from it in some way; I will remind you that it is always okay to share and that I do have a paypal link on the homepage for this site. I won’t complain a bit if you throw a bone or two my way as an appreciation for the content, and I will make sure to shout you out in the next article.
I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them. If you have inspirational ideas or insights, please leave a comment or send me message. I appreciate you and Thank you for your patronage!