What do you do when you feel you need some time by yourself?
When you feel you need to ‘relax’ or ‘unwind’?
When you feel you need to ‘sort things out’ in your head? Read? Listen to music? Watch TV? Go on a drive? Talk to someone you’re close to? I clean.
Yep, you heard that right. I indulge (if you will believe me) in cleaning. That mundane chore which almost everyone dissents is, in fact, my stress-buster! Finicky, neatness-freak, orderly, organized – these are terms those who know me well associate me with. It’s almost an OCD, I can tell you. (I read about ‘obsessions concerning order’ here and almost screamed “that’s me!”).
Dusting, sweeping, wiping, brushing, scrubbing, washing, polishing, rinsing, folding…as good as it can get! Barring doing the laundry (manual, I mean… All hail the washing machine!) I don’t mind pretty much any cleaning activity.
I’m as excited about cleaning equipments and aids, as I am about books or stationery items (yes, I love anything that helps bring in a semblance of order!). I can tell you right away that when I have a home of my own, it’d be spic-n-span, have a store room with an exhaustive range of household cleaning products, will be cleaning-friendly, easy to maintain, not over-the-top but pragmatic, and more utilitarian than luxurious!
It’s another matter altogether when I begin to expect those around me to share my sentiments. I can pick fights and grumble/complain when things are not the way I expect them to be, but I’m slowly trying to avoid that (my sister will beg to differ, I'm sure!). I’m proud to inform you that I’m the designated ‘cleaner’ in my house and my parents invariably think of me if there is some ‘tidying up’ that needs to be done!
I’ve always wondered why?? Why this irresistible need to ‘have a place for everything and everything in its place’? Maybe because…
I feel ‘in control’ of the task at hand, though I cannot say the same about my life (or my future).
I can clear the cobwebs in the room, but not those in my head. I can sweep away the rubbish in my surroundings, but not those in my mind.
I can wipe away the dust and the dirt that clouds the glass surfaces, but not those that cloud my thinking.
I feel grounded.
I truly listen to ‘myself’ when I’m busy tackling the lesser details.
I introspect while I clean. Only my hands are busy, my mind isn’t. I do think, but it's at it's calmest.
And if cleanliness is next to Godliness, I’d like to believe I’m somewhere there (because apart from my mother’s prayers and my occasional visits to the temple there is nothing I really do to connect to Him).