Housework philosophizing

It’s a dark, rainy Sunday afternoon here in the Lower Mainland of BC. There’s a separation of clouds and ground today, but only just. I’m pretty sure I could reach up and touch the heavy gray weight of the drippy masses from my rooftop.

It’s a perfect day for doing nothing, reading a good book, or even writing. I got away with the first for a couple of hours this morning, except for making waffles, but none of the rest is on the list today, sadly. Instead, it’s a catch-up, clean-up afternoon. Self-imposed for the most part, I suppose, but necessary.

The one good thing about having to do my own housework (and I may as well believe there’s at least one good thing about it, no?) is that it’s a good time to think. Vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms and loading the dishwasher occupy my hands, but not my thoughts. And so my mind is free to wander, to construct future scenes for the WIP, to daydream, to simply think about whatever comes to mind.

The silent philosophizing I get involved in while I’m folding laundry or cleaning the kitchen floor makes me wonder about the women, now and in generations gone by, who spend/spent the bulk of their time tending to their homes. I know the sort of stuff that goes on in my own mind when I’m alone, my hands occupied with a mindless household chore. So I wonder, what went – or goes – through theirs? What sorts of daydreams and arguments and solutions to the world’s problems present themselves when you spend your child’s entire school day in pursuit of household perfection? Is there a certain kind of zen peace in doing that day after day, or frustration that daydreams are the best adventures in a day-to-day life? Both, I imagine.

Household perfection will never be mine, I’m afraid. But a couple of hours here and there of daydreaming while I dust… that’s pretty much unavoidable. So I’d better get on with it.


  1. Dale
    Feb 8, 2011

    I might actually be a little envious, my housework is never so zen. Portable media players and podcasts have been an immense help in making the time spent cleaning seem less onerous.

    • Kathy
      Feb 8, 2011

      Don’t be envious of mine. Daydreaming, yes. Zen? I wish. I’ve never tried podcasts while cleaning, but do like to listen to music.

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