I’ve spent most of the weekend spring cleaning my house. To the unfamiliar eye, my house probably looks no different. But with the dust busted, the cobwebs cleared, the limescale zapped, and the clutter either recycled or allocated a new, meaningful slot, the house feels friendly, fresh, free.
My pristine worktops shine with pride. The kitchen sink, scrubbed and steely, harbours no more stuck little secrets. My upstairs windows stayed open all day, even with a temperature of six degrees outside, and the breaths of benign wind have ushered away some of the staleness.
Cleaning is always something I put off, claiming I have so much living to do. But today, the very act of cleaning – and meaning it – makes me feel as though I have shed some other layers; an outer skin that is outgrown and no longer useful to me. I cleaned with purpose today, not resentment. I cleaned with vigour, not stroppiness. I cleaned like I meant it.
Some shreds of my former self, my defences perhaps, slid down the pipes along with the slimy pieces of leek, the stray twist of pasta, and the stubborn strands of unidentified guff that were blocking the sink – and perhaps my life.