Somehow, I’ve gone from a person who found herself filled with resentment and rage while cleaning to someone who actually (get this) enjoys doing my chores. Somehow, I now understand the concept of “domestic bliss.” I genuinely don’t know when this happened. I still have a friend of a friend come and help with the dirt once or twice a month, but somehow I have become someone who gets a sick, undeniable sense of pleasure out of picking up the living room. Somehow, I’m that asshole who shouts “LAUNDRY ZERO!!” with a sense of genuine accomplishment once all hampers are empty and all clothes are folded.
I don’t know how or why this happened, but in the interest of bottling it and sharing it, here are a few of my theories:
Maybe I just got older
Is this just something that sometimes happens to people? Like, I stopped going out as much on Friday nights, and now I wake up excited to do a load of laundry at 8am on a Saturday? Has this happened to anyone else as they’ve gotten older? I don’t think this theory has much merit.
I work from home
The longer I work from home, the more I need to feel like I’ve got a sense of order around myself. When your home is also your workplace, there’s no escaping your own filth, so maybe it’ll feel less depressing (Day 4 of the same sweatpants: please send help!) if I keep it tidy and clean.
I finally mastered living simpler
Sharing a one-bedroom home with a husband, child, and dog, I’ve learned that the easiest way to keep your house easy to manage is not to have that much shit. I give a lot of crap away. Maybe I like doing my chores now because I’ve pared things down so much that there’s just not that much to do.
I’ve fallen victim to America’s Protestant work ethic
I’m so not a Protestant, but there’s no denying that I’m the product of a culture where busy/productive = sense of value. When I feel like I haven’t got shit to show for myself, tidying up the living room for 15 minutes gives me a quick fix of “YES I DID SOMETHING AND AM A GOOD PERSON.” I don’t believe in God, but when my living room is tidy, I feel closer to heaven. Maybe I’ve just been conditioned this way?
It’s much-needed alone time
After I became a mother, I realized that one of the only times my kid will give me some alone time is when I’m doing housework. Apparently for my pre-schooler, hanging out with mom while she’s doing housework is even worse than hanging out by yourself reading books or playing games. (Worse: mom might make you help if you pester her while she’s doing chores.) I love my son, but I work from a small home, and sometimes we all need our personal space. Chores have become part of that personal space, and so maybe that’s part of why I sorta like them now.
People, I don’t know why I like doing laundry now. I don’t know why things like opening the curtains each morning, and then closing them back up each evening suddenly feels reassuring and like I’m a part of something. (For most of the my 20s, I barely even recognized that my houses HAD window coverings, let alone interacted with them daily, let alone enjoyed it.) Who is this monster I’ve become?
Am I the only person who’s stumbled into domestic bliss? What does it all mean, you guys?