In my younger years I hated cleaning. It was a boring and menial chore that I did not enjoy. As the oldest daughter, I remember being given the lions share of the household jobs; dishes, bathroom and ironing in order to earn my pocket money. My friend used to call me the ‘ironing lady’ because every Saturday I would be tasked with the job of ironing. My mother would make me do this specifically because of my blatant lack of respect towards her efforts of washing and ironing my clothes. My neatly folded and ironed clothes that were ever-so-carefully placed on the end of my bed would end up on the floor and I wouldn’t care.
When I had young children, I hated cleaning and ironing. I used to have a pile of ironing that would become an epic and what seemed an insurmountable chore. It just felt that it was ‘another’ thing to do on my long list of things that I really didn’t want to do. I quickly learned that this ‘old school’ method of having an ironing pile did not work for me. I conquered my Mt Ironing by simply folding the clothes and only ironing clothes if they actually needed it.
Shopping was a nightmare for me. I would rush through the supermarket to get it over and done with in record speed, leaving me absolutely exhausted. I would always rush because there was always somewhere better to be and something better to do. I would judge the ‘things’ in my life as ‘hard work’ and other things as ‘rewards’. Looking back to my life up until my forties, I was rewards driven. I would not be present because I was focused on the future based experiences or ‘rewards’ not enjoying being wherever I was in that moment.
I recently fell into the ‘House Whisperer’ role in my business by accident. I had a couple of friends that were struggling and because I was their friend I was able to step in and assist them without them asking for help. A good friend was looking after her elderly mother from her home, who was receiving palliative care, she had three children, worked from home, was a volunteer and was going through a difficult separation.
When her mother passed away, I spent a week cleaning and organising her home to give her mother a send off that she would have wanted.
Another friend was a chronic hoarder and needed to declutter in order to move. She had accumulated ten years of clutter and didn’t know where to begin. I spent a month or so helping her to sort out, organised, declutter and clean. I held her hand through the process and she is now semi-retired and living overseas.
Make the reward the experience
Rather than rushing through a household chore towards the end goal of finishing the job. Be fully with the experience of what you are doing without judging it. For example; if you are cleaning a toilet, don’t judge the task as disgusting or bad, in complete resistance to what you are doing. Take a few deep breaths (preferably before you enter the toilet) 😉 and just clean the toilet without the mental chatter.
When I finish cleaning a room I feel so much better because I have done the best that I could do in that moment because I am not only with the task but with mySELF.
I love the experience of leaving a room or a house better than when I found it. I often go the extra mile, because it make me feel good. If I can see that a window needs cleaning, I will often clean it, if it feels appropriate.