When You’re Having a Bad Day, Scrub it Away!

Cleaning is therapy for me. I’m not ashamed of holding the duster or broom. Amisha Patel

We’ve all had those times when we start the day in a bad mood. Maybe you’ve had a fight with your significant other, or maybe you’re kids were dawdling, you’re stuck in traffic, and now you’re late for work. Maybe it’s just “that” time of the month and you don’t know why you’re feeling cranky.

It happens. We’ve all been told to leave our problems at the door when we get to work, but sometimes you can’t seem to shake that bad mood. You ruminate on the unkind things said, or the jerk that flipped you off and how you wanted to get out and give him a “what for” and it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

I used to have days like that, but not anymore. Why? Because now I scrub it away. Literally, I scrub it away!

I discovered this one day when my husband and I had an argument the night before that spilled into the morning. Things were so bad that I wondered if I would be married by the time I got home. I drove to work with a pit in my stomach and tears in my eyes. I “sucked it up” as best I could before walking into work. Thoughts of the argument filled my head and it was obvious to my coworkers that I was distressed. I briefly vented to them, but I’d have to somehow manage through being in the customer’s home without crying.

At the customer’s home, I put on my stone face and set about cleaning this particularly disgusting bathroom. I scrubbed at mold, I scrubbed at soap scum, I scrubbed at urine and who-knows-what.

How can people live like this? (Scrub, scrub, scrub) How can you get clean in a place this dirty? (Scrub, scrub, scrub?) How many grown-ass adults live here? Is NO ONE capable of wiping off a toilet seat? (Scrub, scrub, scrub) I’m DEFINITELY going to need a shower after this! (Scrub, scrub, scrub)

I scrubbed, I dusted, I picked up and made things presentable, I vacuumed, and I mopped my way through the house. It wasn’t until I was heading back to the office that I realized the entire time I was scrubbing, I had forgotten about the argument. Likewise, although dirtier, I felt calmer and lighter. The pit in my stomach was gone, I didn’t feel like bursting into tears at any minute, and divorce didn’t even seem like a word that existed. Everything was OK and everything was probably going to be OK.

Years earlier, (before I was a house cleaner) a therapist had suggested to me that I clean when I was in a bad mood. She said that the gross motor action would help me to better process things and I’d have a clean home as an added bonus. I took that suggestion and threw it right out of my mind. After all, who wants to clean when they’re in a bad mood? Having to clean, PUTS me in a bad mood! Why would I want to make it worse?!?! But years later,  I have to conceded that she was right and as it turns out, there’s plenty of evidence  to back up her advice.

So, the next time you’re in a bad mood, take it from the Diary of a House Cleaner, when you’re having a bad day, scrub it away! 

 

 

 

Author: shellfarm

I'm a 40 something native Texan with a degree in Anthropology from Texas A&M. Along with writing, I spend my free time running, camping with my husband and our two dogs, Duke and Mini, and trying to figure out how to make the world a better place one day at a time.

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