Cheetos droppings have accumulated on the floor in my office, and I’ve blamed the cat, global warming, and hornet wasps. However, the other Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team members (Nate, Alex, and the cat) know the truth: I’m not careful when I eat the snack foods that fuel my ability to write underpants jokes and spooky stories about ghosts that haunt abandoned lava lamp stores. So now the office, and the rest of the house, needs a good spritzing, but I’d rather buy a home tattoo machine and find out how permanent and painful it would be to etch a life-size image of SpongeBob Square Pants on my upper thigh.
Figuring there must be some way to get through the awful drudgery of cleaning the house, I’ve turned to mindful techniques that might motivate me past reading the first top review of the “Wormhole Tattoo Pen Kit” on Amazon, which starts out this way: “‘I am by no means a professional tattoo artist. . .’”
The following techniques (there are five of them), helped me clean the house the other day. Hopefully, they will help you too.
–Blast enough music to make you believe you are at your cousin’s wedding, and there’s cake. Personally, I enjoy reggaetón music. There’s a lot of in-your-face energy that makes me want to slap my dust cloth across any surface with a take-no-prisoners attitude. One of my newest favorite songs is: “Pa qué me invitan” by Jencarlos featuring Charly Black. The refrain is my theme song: “Si saben, cómo me pongo, cuando yo tomo, ¿para qué me invitan?—which roughly translates to: If you all know how I get when I drink, why do you invite me? But I change it for cleaning day: If you all know how I get when I eat Cheetos, why don’t you get a Roomba? Get a Roomba.
–Manifest what you really want: Cartoon, woodland creatures that come to your house and sweep the floors, make you a pretty ball gown, and whisk you away in a pumpkin to Tahiti. Here’s how to do it: Lightly press on a can of Pledge—just mist it a bit. Close your eyes and sing something Disney-ish in a princess voice. Imagine hard. Really picture it in your head: Precious birds and mice just whipping the house into shape. Then, when it happens, tell me what it’s like. I need to know. Did it bring joy?
–Resist making a back-up plan, such as, “Let’s just spend the week in a hotel.” When you get home, the house is so much worse for the wear, plus you have to unpack, which is just like cleaning, in my opinion. Unpacking leads to useless queries, such as this one: “Alex, do you think your shoes really belong on the stairs, strewn about, so that we can all end up in the hospital? I know we’re all tired from our ten-minute drive to the Ramada Inn, where we watched TV and ate delicious take-out, but we can try to pick up after ourselves.” And that’s when Alex will say, “Oh, yes, Mom. You’ve done a good job with the Cheetos on the carpet in your office.” And I’ll say, “No one has tripped on a Cheeto and landed in the hospital,” but several internet searches later, I discover that Cheetos can lead to hospitalization, for some people, especially if they are of the FLAMIN’ HOT variety. (If the Cheetos are of the FLAMIN’ HOT variety, not necessarily the people.)
–Look forward to something special when you’re finished cleaning, such as a shower—for yourself. What a treat that would be! Manifest one. You deserve it.
–Imagine that your family has just enough time to survive a wave of Zombie Narwhal invasions, but only if you clean the *!*$ out of the house. Suddenly, that toilet doesn’t look so sad and awful. It looks like your chance to make a difference in this world, and you will clean it to save your family—and maybe all of humanity.
I used a combination of these methods, plus a little help from the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team, and in just three hours, the house was clean. It was smelling beautiful. I was twirling around like a princess, and then the cat had diarrhea. The diarrhea was contained to one room, but the smell took over the entire place, so we went to the hot tub store to browse and dream and imagine ourselves in a different house with a separate one for the cat.
In Other News: I have a weird, creepy story (horror genre) up at The Chamber Magazine. It’s called “Offshoots.”
Your Turn: What things do you dread doing (chores/tasks/errands)? What works for motivation?