I was introduced to a new channel Haegreendal. It is based in Korea and is a homemaker recording her days and family life. It has influenced me heavily as it is beautifully filmed and edited and very Zen-like. I watched it the other night attempting to fall asleep. It didn’t work as the competition was a mocking bird rehearsing all the songs it had learned recently and then a grown cat that sounded like a lost kitten (you know I had to go out searching for it at 3:00 am only to find this adult/child cat having a fit over one of my homeless cats).
What did happen was a desire to wash and scrub my house deeply. To feel that calm that comes from having a house cleansed and in order with all things in their proper place. To have more moments of calm and focus on the simple chores but working on the inner healings of the mind and spirit that come with meditation. To cook with more pleasure and eat with more presence. To treat myself more often in kind ways.
A housewife can meditate all throughout her day. The lathering of dishes, the swoosh of a broom whisking away dust on the floors, the scrubbing away of years of cooking grim from cabinets and walls, the fresh scent of sun-dried laundry, making beds with clean linen, the picking of flowers in the yard and creating lovely bouquets.
I get tired of cleaning and cooking but then something like this woman’s channel and outlook comes along to reinspire me with new ways to look at my own daily life. My daily life is cooking healthy meals, cleaning our home and bringing about charm, and tending to busy and sometimes wild boys. Although it gets old in theory, it is a very easy and delightful life. It all depends on how we think of our life as a homemaker. Do we see it all as drudgery and never-ending toil or do we see that we can create a beautiful life filled with inner and outer peace and bliss?
I have been entering the world of pre-menopause and it is confusing and scary at times. It is also bringing forth another woman that is beginning to see the benefits of sensibility and simplicity. I am beginning to think thoughts like, “do I really need anything else but what I have?” I also have thoughts like, “Holly heck, please don’t let me lose my hair and fall apart!” There is one who is afraid of aging in an uncomfortable way and another who is becoming content with what she has.
I have been caught in that rush of scheduling goals and challenges and wanting more, more, more. But lately, I feel content with what I have and wonder what all the chasing of my tail is about and is it at all necessary? No, I think not. So I put on a movie and get out my grown-up coloring books and my boys gathering around me on the family bed with their art projects, books and toys and life looks pretty lovely.
Families struggle in other places and countries. We have a house that is cozy and pretty. It keeps us warm in winter and cool in the summer. We eat a variety of wholesome foods that taste good, we have all sorts of ways to have fun and play, we can pay our bills easily, our family is kind and interesting. What more do I or they truly need?
So, I feel myself accepting this house and this neighborhood, this town. Is it our forever place? Who knows, but it serves us well now and if it turns out to be where we all grow up and grow old, that is just fine. With this satisfaction in our family home, I then roll up my sleeves and begin to scrub it to my satisfaction. I want to live in a fresh, clean, tidy home. It makes my mind rest easily and soothes me on those confusing days. It also promotes creativity. July’s NaNoWriMo is five days away so I must prepare the cottage for my writing days.
I spent all morning in the kitchen pulling out the island, stove, and fridge and washed walls, swept and washed floors and sides of the stove and fridge. I then pulled up a footstool and with a bowl of hot, soapy water, scrubber, and a butter knife (for the things really caked on) I scrubbed all the cabinets. It felt so good cleaning away a couple years of cooking and baking grime and yuck. My old cabinets look so fresh now.
For lunch, I made a big pot of Pho broth with noodles and a huge bag of mustard greens that were harvested the other day in the back kitchen garden. Simple food for cleaning days so mamma doesn’t lose it.
Right now I’m enjoying my first and only cup of espresso brewed coffee and doing this bit of writing. The next project will be to sweep, vacuum and wash the remaining floors today. Tomorrow will be laundry, making some homemade bread by hand instead of my bread maker…unless too hot, dusting, and maybe, if so inspired, I’ll wash more walls, baseboards, and window sills.
Dirty walls and windows bring a home down no matter how clean the floors or how well the beds are made.
Love your home no matter where you are or if you rent. It is where you are now and with some cleaning, love, and nurturing it can be a wonderful place to nest for now or forever. Hit the thrift stores and find charming items to brighten the home, spend a few weeks purging, organizing, and scrubbing from top to bottom. Clean out drawers and closets, because even though you can’t see the mess you can feel it lurking in the dark recesses.
Then, and this is really important, find ways to celebrate and treat yourself and your life, home, and family.