Not long ago we came across the following words by one Henry Giles. Since he wrote more than 100 years ago he addressed his remarks to men only. We’ve taken the liberty of changing the gender for our purposes here.
“Women must work. That is certain as the sun. But she may work gratefully…. or she may work as a machine. There is no work so rude, that she may not exalt it; no work so impassive, that she may not breathe life into it; no work so dull, that she may not enliven it.”
Take a minute to ponder the implications of those words for all the work you do.
What is your attitude towards housework? The very thought of it makes many a woman shudder. Drudgery. Boredom. Thankless. These are but a few of the words that may spring to mind. On the other hand, in our business we often hear the housekeepers we represent apologize for liking to clean. “I know you will think I’m crazy…,” they will say, or “I hate to admit it, but….” It’s as if they are confessing to some gross personality disorder.
But, whether you love it or loathe it, there are probably times when your attitude towards house cleaning could stand a little adjustment. If we can learn to enjoy house cleaning more, chances are we will do it better and faster. Housework may seem dull, but with a little wit and imagination we can enliven it.
Cleaning is great exercise. Vigorous house cleaning gives your whole body of work out. If you become conscious of how you are moving, you could work on toning specific muscle groups. It may not replace your regular exercise program, but look at how much you’re accomplishing at the same time.
It can challenge your ingenuity. Think in terms of time-saving, energy-saving, and money-saving techniques and you’ll be amazed at how many new ways of doing things you will come up with.
You can gain a sense of accomplishment. Psychologists tell us that one of the major causes of job dissatisfaction in the modern world is that most people are involved in only small segments of any given job or project; they seldom see the whole. Thus, there is little feeling of pride or accomplishment. But whether you clean one room or the whole house, you have accomplished something tangible, you can see the results.
Housework is a change from the mental to the physical. A nice change of pace, especially if you sit at a desk all week.
Cleaning can provide the opportunity for meditation. Yes, it’s true! There is an aspect of yoga called “housewives meditation”–no, really! This comes about when you are so into the task at hand that you almost become a part of it. Anyone can do it with a little practice, and you will find it a refreshing, revitalizing experience.
You can use your housework time for planning, thinking through problems, dreaming. With our hectic pace, we never have enough time for thoughts such as these.
You can no doubt add ideas of your own to this list. And that very process will make your cleaning time more enjoyable. Try it. You’ll see.
Comments? Questions? We’d love to hear from you.