The things I learn while I clean.

I hate cleaning. I dread it. I procrastinate it as much as I can, to the point where I can't stand living at my house any longer. Then, I dedicate a whole day to cleaning. Some people say it's not the wisest thing to do, and I agree with them. The wisest would be to clean a room a day and keep your house spotless at all times. I'm working on it.
I just finished my last paper for school and if the teachers like it, I'll get my BA in Spanish and Literature. I finished Sunday night and Monday morning I woke up to clean, only because I had a friend visiting me on Tuesday and she was clear when she told me “I want to see your house, not your mess”. Love her. Therefore, I made a plan. I would start with something not as hard, like the living room, then something I hate, like dishes, and so on.
I put Pandora on. I have to admit, cleaning with music is very fun. I remember there was only one year between high school and college, where I was attending a public school that I didn't work and I was able to stay home and help my mom with the cleaning. I remember her coming from work and finding a clean kitchen and her daughter chilling listening to the radio and singing. She would tell me: “You should always have music if it helps you clean like this!”.
My mom had to work, and soon I would have to too. I started a six hour job the following year, when I was nineteen and I had transferred to a private school that needed to be payed by me. Since then, I never stopped working. Well, until I got married and decided to finish college (I had deferred college due to my move the US). Hence my husband supported the decision, I didn't work for three months, went to Argentina and took the rest of the classes. Then came back and started working again while preparing to write my thesis, three of them. I took my time with that, 2 years, and worked part time.
Two things happen last year, I got fired twice. Yes, I doesn't say much about me, does it? But the truth is I wasn't where I was supposed to be and after I got fired the second time my husband said I could take my time and find a job I really wanted. I decided I would focus on my papers and finish college and I also landed some writing and translation gigs.
But I realized something. And this is going to offend a few women out there. I love to be able to be home and clean. WHAT? I love writing, and I hope one day and I can make money with it. And I'm not against women working. But seeing my mom working and knowing that she would've chosen to stay home I feel lucky to be able to. My husband comes home from an eleven hour day of work and finds a house that looks good and smells good. Maybe some women can do it all. I can't. I can't go to work, come at six p.m, cook dinner, clean and go to bed.
What I want to say is that when I clean I learn to be grateful. Grateful that I have a place to clean. Grateful that I have a table and four chairs, a microwave, a toaster. I'm grateful I have a TV to clean. That I have shelves with books that I can read, in two languages. I am grateful I have a nice bed to sleep at night, with warm blankets. I am grateful I have a bathroom with a shower that releases a lot of water (unlike my parents), and that it releases hot water (I've been to places in Argentina and Chile where they didn't).
Cleaning can be a dread but it's also a blessing. It's a chore but a mission. A job but a hobbie. We can make it a hobbie. And I intend to see it as that from now on.


Ioana-Carmen said...

Hy swetie! this is beautiful! if you want to follow each other just tell me, kisses!

Michele said...

Love your post, Lula. And so happy to have heard from you on American Pastoral - I won't copy my response here, but would love to hear from you....our book club is tomorrow evening, will let you know how the discussion went. ;)

I love being home and making the house "home" for my family, through cooking, cleaning and reading. Love Pandora, too!