I love my house. I do not love housework. Sweeping floors, wiping down countertops and erasing fridge door smears makes me cranky. I’ve tried to practice mindfulness with the moping. Tried to get Zen with window washing. I really want to embrace an Oprah-like gratefulness for being lucky enough to own a house that needs vacuuming but I have never quite managed to convince myself. I can be very stubborn. Instead, I fall into a Cinderella-before-the-fairy-godmother mentality, dutifully performing my household chores while longing for escape with a modern Prince Charming in the form of a winning lottery ticket.
In the meantime, the dust bunnies are multiplying like rabbits.
When my kids were young, we’d blast some Barney and see how much housework we could accomplish in 10 songs. They thought this was fun. If there were still toys on the floor at the end of side A, the kids were usually happy to keep going until the job was done.
A couple years ago, I thought I’d try to similarly trick myself. Substituting for the peppy purple dinosaur was Ira Glass. I downloaded every episode of This American Life -- yes, I paid, so back-off you earnest NPR pledge drive people -- and set to work. I had a dust rag in one hand, an earth-friendly spray cleaner in the other, and Ira Glass in my ears. A riveting hour later, my brain was busy with important ideas. And my house looked pretty much the same. I’m not exactly blaming the radio show for slowing my cleaning pace to just this side of catatonic but suffice to say that Ira Glass is no Barmey.
But that's OK. From dust I came and to dust I will return. And in the meantime, I may write my name in the stuff.