Can A Clean Bathroom Help You be Happier?
I LOVE to clean. I know, I know, that makes me a super nerd. But it’s true, I do love to clean. And frankly, I’m good at it. I see things other people don’t. I am efficient and I know how to do the job in far less time than most.
But there was a time when my bathroom would get very messy. Sometimes I would let it go for three months (yes, three months!) Every day when I had to go in there, I would tell myself, “I have to get this bathroom clean.” I do not mind cleaning bathrooms. I don’t have a squeamish bone in my body. The problem was distractions, and no one sees the bathroom.
At that time, most of my home was one large room. Today my home has a similar layout except there are two bedrooms that open into the main living area. When I decided to clean, I would begin in that main section because we spent most of our time there. Then I would clean our bedroom which opened into the main room. The door was always open and you could see right in.
My plan was always to do the bathroom after the main room and the bedroom because who doesn’t want a clean bathroom. But I would run out of energy. And if energy wasn’t an issue, I would be distracted helping my daughter in her part of our home, helping one of the kids, being called out to the yard for a job, cooking a meal, or having an errand that needed doing. Nothing has changed since then in the size of my living space or my business; except I get the bathroom cleaned.
Keep reading and I will tell you how I got to this place.
Back then the bathroom was a BIG emotional weight. We carry emotional weight in different areas of our lives. We take care of the parts that others see, keep putting off what can’t be seen, and then carry the emotional weight. Crazy, because it doesn’t have to be this way and it keeps us from living a happier life.
Let me share a secret with you that anyone who is good at cleaning knows. You don’t have to clean the whole room for it to appear, feel, and actually be cleaner. You don’t have to clean the whole room to lift the emotional weight. I have learned this through experience.
When I would take my shower I would think, “Man, you need to get this bathroom clean!” I would sit on the toilet and observe the piles of hair in the corners, the grunge on the sink, the stain around the toilet. This is a gross conversation, but I know you have been here and there is a point.
The Story Continues
One night when I was in the shower, I noticed that the bottom fourth of the shower curtain was grey-orange. You know exactly what I am talking about. You may think it’s age, body oil, or soap scum. Here is what it is, bacteria; those little guys that grow in moist, warm places. I had been watching this colony grow, as I said, for a few months and every time I took a shower, I’d say to myself, “You have got to clean this bathroom!” Then I would remember all the things I had to do, and what it was going to take to get it done, and a sense of overwhelm would descend. I would pick up that emotional weight I mentioned and leave the bathroom for other pressing things.
One night I did something different. That night I did what I know works, but I had just not done. I took a step; one step and it was enough to allow me to lay down that emotional weight and go to bed feeling happy with myself. I stepped out of the shower dripping wet, grabbed the bleach cleaner which sits behind the toilet, and I sprayed the heck out of the bottom fourth of the shower curtain.
This is what I knew I would find the next morning, a perfectly white, clean shower curtain. The colony was gone! I picked one small thing in my bathroom, and I took care of it. I stopped waiting until I had time to clean the whole BIG mess. I just picked one thing that I knew would make a difference and I did it.
Again, the KEY
This is a key to taking care of all the messy issues in life. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about our bathroom, relationships, money problems, a need for more education, learning to care for ourselves, getting control of our thoughts and emotions, overcoming an addiction…it doesn’t matter. The process works. You must choose something and then do it. It doesn’t have to be the biggest thing in your mess, just something that will make a difference, help you feel better, and give you hope, that yes, in time, you will have the whole thing cleaned up.
It’s easy to leave the back rooms of our lives in a mess because no one sees them but you will always carry emotional weight until you decide to begin working on the mess.
Think about what it is in your life that causes you to feel overwhelmed, less than, out of control, etc. Choose one small thing that you can do to make a difference in how you feel now; one small thing that will give you hope that you can clean this mess. Look, my whole bathroom really needed to be cleaned but I felt proud of that shower curtain, and it carried me through the day!
This experience happened eight years ago. Today I am very good at starting, most of the time. My bathroom is rarely a mess because when I notice the ring in the toilet, pee behind the toilet lid, grunge in the sink, whatever it is, I clean that one thing. Next week I will share how we can put down the emotional weight of a different sort.
Put down your emotional weight. Move. Take a step, even a small one.