(No better way to say, “Welcome!” than dirty window panes alongside our front door.)

Well, I am on day 2 of my “raw writing project,” and I found myself mentally composing what I wanted to write about over the weekend in anticipation of having to sit-down at the computer today without editing my thoughts.  I have felt this need to write about cleaning lately.  And while I had some funny, quirky thoughts to share with you, I’m not sure what direction my writing will take me this morning.

Last year, when my youngest started kindergarten, I was just looking forward to having longer amounts of time to clean and do chores without having to rush to pick my girl up from preschool.  During that first month after the bus whisked my girl away each morning, I went straight to work, washing clothes, cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors.  And then, I realized that there had to be more to life than keeping a clean house.  Really, I don’t enjoy cleaning all that much.  I like a clean, tidy house, but I don’t like cleaning in its rawest form.  Scrubbing toilets and pushing the mop across the floor just don’t do a lot for me.  Now decluttering, organizing and arranging, I get a little more out of that, as it appeals to my love for aesthetics.  Getting sweaty and dirty, not so much.  Needless to say, after a few months of making cleaning my priority (I am a stay-at-home mom!), I realized it just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing all the time.

(Poopy bird’s nest on our front porch that I’ve meaning to clean-out for over a year now.)

When I really started to listen to these empty parts of my self, I realized that doing things like writing and art would be much more fun and fulfilling.  These are things for which my soul yearned.  So, I had to get past the guilt of feeling like my house should be shining at all times just because I stay-at-home.  Funny how we put ourselves in a box without even realizing it.  What has been working for me since I moved past this guilt, is turning my schedule upside down.  Instead of diving into cleaning in the mornings, I spend this time doing what really feeds my soul and I do it with abandon.  The cleaning gets done, not always perfectly, but it does get done.

Some people might be surprised to hear how much I dislike cleaning, mainly because if you walk in my house, it’s usually pretty neat looking, as long as you don’t look too close.   But, folks, I have dirt here!  I even took pictures to show you.  As I bent over my kitchen floor yesterday afternoon, my girl laughed when I told her I was taking pictures of dirt.  “And you’re going to show them to your friends?!” she asked.  “Yes!”  I said, quite pleased with myself.  I am ready to show you my dirt!  That’s a big thing for me, because I normally want you to at least think I am “perfect,” even though I know I am not.

One day, maybe I will make some money with my writing and art and will be able to pay someone to do some of my dirty work, but for now, it’s just me and I am so happy to have these great kitchen tiles that hide dirt so well!

(The sticky spot on our kitchen floor which I just wiped-up after maybe a week?!)