Cleaning as a Craft

“Mops ah fah lazy people!” I could hear my Bostonian Italian step-father’s voice in my head as though he were still alive as I kneeled to clean the tile in the kitchen square by square with paper towels and Lysol.  My husband had been doing a lot of cooking so there were spots that had crumbs of whatever ingredients he had used. That along with the big muddy paw prints by the back door, and my need to take a break from staring at a screen led me to clean the kitchen floor 1940’s housewife style.

I know I could have done other things to get away from screens.  I have friends who craft for this reason.  They make beautiful scarves, personalized cups, and lovely decorative items.  It’s just not my thing.  I have not been interested in making pretty things ever since I was a kid and we were forced to have art time in elementary school. I privately called it arts and farts.  I would have rather read a good book.

So now, when I need a break from all things computer, phone, and Netflix, I clean.  I guess in a way it is my craft.  I sometimes clean instead of exercising, so I guess it is my work out, too.  Too bad they don’t have vacuum aerobics or dusting yoga at the gym.  I would probably show up more often. I like that when I clean, I see results right away.  Whatever was dirty is now clean.  If exercise worked like that, I’d probably do it more.  Imagine if you could exercise for an hour and lose an inch in your waist.  We would all be slender.

When I was done with the floor, I got up and groaned.  My 47-year-old knees and hips hurt after 90 minutes on the cold tile.  Once my knees finished cracking, I was able to admire my work.  The floor was shiny and clean.  There was no trace of paw prints or herbs or almond flour on the floor.  I knew it wouldn’t last long because other people and animals live here.  Also, since we don’t have a system of trapezes throughout the house, said people and animals actually have to walk on the floor.  But for those five minutes or so when the floor was shiny, I felt like I’d actually accomplished something.

Any other Type-A floor cleaners out there?

 

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