Snow White or Sisyphus
Most of us clean our homes or hire others to do it. It has to be done, but do we approach housework more like Snow White or Sisyphus?
For Disney Princesses cleaning is easy and fun. After all, they have adorable forest creatures or magically animated household objects to keep them company and help them. They also know how to make tasks fun. They sing, dance and whistle while they work with permanent smiles painted on their pretty glowing faces.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t glow; we sweat as we clean. Most of the time, we don’t have anyone to keep us company or to help. Although, we know that a positive attitude makes everything better, we have to admit that we don’t always feel like cleaning, much less smiling while we do it.
For many of us, housework isn’t a lot of fun. Sometimes, we feel more like Sisyphus than like Snow White. Sisyphus was a character from Greek mythology that was condemned to roll an enormous boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down again, repeating this action for all of eternity. Like Sisyphus, we clean, wash, scrub, wipe, dust, polish… then have start all over again. No wonder we sometimes identify with him! But with a little creativity and planning, we might be able to change this.
Cleaning can be hard, boring and repetitive work, but unlike the torture of Sisyphus, it is not pointless. Housework is necessary and important. We are not scouring, mopping or vacuuming for nothing. There are real and vital reasons to do it:
There is good news: We can choose to identify with Snow White or Sisyphus.
We can choose to whistle while we work and use our creativity and other resources to enjoy cleaning, by figuratively tearing pages out of Disney Princesses’ books and doing what they did to make our tasks less monotonous and more enjoyable.
We should plan ahead, decided what our priorities are and handle them one at a time.
- Breaking things up into small tasks prevents us from getting overwhelmed.
- We should get all of our supplies together for one task and finish it before we begin another.
We don’t have to do it alone. Our helpers may not be furry bunnies or talking tea pots, but cleaning is always more fun when we have someone to do it with. Our partners, family members and friends can be recruited to help.
- Set a timer and keep our cleaning sessions short.
- Take time to enjoy each other’s company and keep it playful.
- Involve our kids and make a game out of it.
- We should return the favor.
- Or we can hire a professional to do some or all of the work for us.
When we have to clean alone, we don’t have to feel lonely. Our TVs, stereos, computers and other gadgets can keep us company. In fact, cleaning time is perfect for multitasking.
- We can listen to our favorite music or talk show.
- Students, can play lectures and learn while they work.
- This is a great time to treat ourselves to wonderful audiobooks (Lots of titles are available at your local library and on Youtube),
- Or we can simply enjoy the relative silence, organize our thoughts, plan ahead, daydream…
How about you? When you are cleaning, do you identify more with Snow White or Sisyphus? Do you have any tips for making housework more enjoyable? Leave your thoughts and comments.
By J.C. Bryant