Coming Clean

I have another confession: I love to clean.

It wasn’t always like this.

In the jetsetting days of my past, I cleaned my own house for a while. Twenty-two hundred square feet. Three bedrooms. Two baths. A weekly two-hour obligation that bred bitterness. In time, my husband hired a cleaning service. I didn’t object.

When I left that career to care for my mother, the housekeeper was the first budget cut. I floundered for months in this new life, adrift and rudderless, struggling with the unsalaried turmoil of dementia caregiving. I had lost my identity.

Gradually, mundane tasks moved me out of the rabbit hole of depression. I meditated while washing dishes. I delighted in folding laundry. I cleaned with passion, scrubbing the souls of my house and myself. And in the process, I found that caregiving is my purpose.