Learning while Cleaning House


I spent the morning cleaning the house. My friend Dhavita was coming over in the afternoon and I wanted things to look nice. (You should follow her)

I vacuumed, dusted, and even washed the floors. I put away the towel that had been on the leather sofa for weeks. It was there because we have been in the midst of a 30+ degree heatwave for weeks now, and I was tired of sticking to the couch. But I was having company, so away it went.

Does anyone else do that? Clean house when we know someone is coming to visit? I grew up hearing my mom say, “If someone is coming over to see how clean the house is, they can just go on back home.” When my kids were little, it was easy to have that philosophy. Mom, Ray and I and the three kids lived in a 3-bedroom mini home. There was always something “out of place”, so when people would come over there was no need to apologize “for the mess”.  The people who loved us needed no such apology. Those who would criticize did it anyway.

I am also a reluctant housekeeper, imagining that it will take longer to unload the dishwasher or clean the bathroom than it does. Don’t even get me started on the litter box. Though there are lessons to be learned there too.

Recently I have taken on a job as a care provider. One of my duties is doing light housekeeping. Even with the heat of these last few weeks, I get right to it and clean their house, with no excuses.

The conversation with Dhavita turned to how we are both releasing beliefs and practices that no longer serve us. Like my belief that my home was not clean enough to be seen by my friend. Or that I am not enough to be seen at all.

 “Never once has a friend ever commented on the cleanliness of my baseboards.”

The building that I live in is my house. The love that dwells inside makes it my home. My body is the house that I live in, and my soul is my truest home. I have “cleaned house when I knew I was having visitors”. Many times, I have apologized for the mess. The people who love me needed no such apology. Those who don’t, well, you get the picture.

I have spent so much time “cleaning house” for others. Making sure their floors and tables shine while the dust settles on mine. Not anymore. I will help you, but I am not doing all the work anymore. I may suggest tools or products that might make your task easier, but the choice is up to you.

Now when someone visits my house, they will see it as it is. Maybe it will be clean and shiny, maybe a little cluttered, or it could be a complete mess. If you love me, you will love it all. If you don’t, “You can go right back home.”

Edited to add: While looking for a picture to accompany this post, I almost used a stock photo from a website. I realized what I was doing and chose this picture of the outside of my home. I guess there are still lessons to learn. Love you all!



Author: Michelle

I have filled many roles over my life: daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and Grand Master Bikini Competitor. All of these life experiences have provided me with a wealth of stories to share. Words are my refuge and my strength.

3 thoughts on “Learning while Cleaning House”

  1. I spent zillions of hours at your childhood homes. I never saw any dust/dirt, I saw lots of love, happiness, warmth, companionship, sharing ……. and the same at your mini home. Real friends aren’t looking for things to complain about. Real friends want hugs, companionship and a cup of tea ( maybe wine ). Love you all, family by choice for over 60 years ❤️

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