House-Cleaning and Motivation

Today, I enjoyed the revelation that my kitchen is dirty.  It was such a joy, to see 3 little spiders, isolated incidents mind you… scurrying by the windowsill.  In reaction, I squealed like a feminine limp-wristed epitome, and then frantically used my magic eraser against years worth of dried stains, and so forth.  My mother often laments that my slovenly ways will attract bugs.

Eventually, my brother told me that it was likely due to the weather, given that the spideys only are found by the window.

Nevertheless, this adventure actually marks a turning point in my life: I now have enough energy to clean my living space without feeling psychologically drained and irritated.

A first in my life!  Fortunately I’ve learned this lesson before hitting the big 3 – 0.  Almost didn’t make it, by little more than 4 months.

No matter.

I often lament that house-cleaning is a job relegated to people perceived as unintelligent.  Housewives.  Minority-raced janitors.  Cleaning ladies who speak no inglés.  And yet I struggle to do it.

Until now.  Far from being menial, space-cleaning can actually be an opportunity for spiritual practice.  Observe Buddhist monks.  For me, I never fancied monkhood to be much desirable, but now?  Perhaps it’s not so bad.

For my home… it is a temple.  It is a place where I rest and find sanctuary.  Where I retreat from the outside world.  Where I can shed my social persona and be my real self.  Although… my social persona and my home persona are pretty much one, because I spend a good deal of time chatting with friends on Facebook.

— Don’t knock it!  If not for FB, I’d not have my nice friends in Germany and Tunisia and… just other people who once were in my life, but are now far and away… and other online American friends galore! —

If nothing else, cleaning ensures that my computer keyboard is not covered in a film of oil, generated from typing while eating hummus with my fingers.  Gross… but such we do, when we are mentally tired.

Some call it laziness.  But for me?  No such thing as the big L word.  No.  Rather, let’s call it “being unmotivated.”  Because while laziness is a negative put-down, lack of motivation is something that can be improved upon.  Instead of demonizing such said person, it instead invites an opportunity to offer assistance.  Laziness is perceived as a choice.  Lack of motivation is not.

Sadly, society is not creative enough to see it this way.


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