In my book, Strength and Simplicity: 100 Ways to Live Your Life as Art I recall and record methods I use to find joy in mundane daily activities. While this guidebook is more of a manual to life than a novel I do appreciate all ways of telling a story. I like beginnings, middles, and endings. All stories have them, same for TV shows and for movies. Life is punctuated by them.
I also like housecleaning.
It took me a while to embrace this task but now “zipping” up my home and making it pristine and sparkle seems as logical and necessary as having a proper breakfast in the morning.
Music is what made me begin to cherish the time I created to take care of my physical surroundings and my Bose speaker amplified it all. Pun intended!
When I listen to a beloved song I know there will be an interlude, a midpoint- often a crescendo- and then completion. With this modulation in mind, when I set out to disinfect a bathroom or vacuum a bedroom I choose toe-tapping, get up, and move music.
My mood music for house cleaning at the moment seems to be Elton John hits.
#1 Rocket Man
Nothing hits on the heartstrings of overwhelm and desperation——-the initial dread of having to do something you don’t want to do, in this case, HOUSE CLEANING quite like the soulful lyrics of Bernie Taupin and the familiar sound of Sir Elton John’s wise and weary voice.
Listen to these lyrics……..
“It’s just my job 5 days a week…….”
“And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time…..”
“Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone.”
Deep cleaning of any kind demands introspection, focus and solitary effort. So does singing.
#2 Good Bye Yellow Brick Road
Elton may be singing goodbye to a yellow brick road but once I’ve cleaned the bathrooms I move on to the kitchen saying goodbye to all that scrubbing and those smelly chemicals. I always tackle the “hardest” projects first. I like kitchen cleaning because I get a chance to”re-merchandise” my countertops and sometimes the insides of the pantry. After so many years doing displays in retail stores I still love the idea of pulling everything off the shelf and starting fresh!
“This boy’s too young to be singing the blues, ah ah” and I’m done with the kitchen in no time at all.
#3 I’m Still Standing
“I got a taste of love in a simple way.
And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away.”
“Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid”
How could I not end my house-cleaning session without a dance number?! Whether it’s a broom or a vacuum – “the icing on the cake” of my several times a week house cleaning routine, the crescendo, and the finishing touches of cleaning my home and my disposition inside and out.
My floor routine will first involve hand scrubbing using my gardening kneeling pad followed by my Dirt Devil handheld vacuum. A quick sweep and then vacuum with the care of a fine arts painter leaves the carpets with those brushstrokes not unlike those lines of stones or sand in a traditional zen garden masterpiece!
and yes, “I’m still standing.”