I discovered something about myself this past year.
Okay, I may not have full-blown obsessive compulsive disorder, but I definitely have OCD tendencies.
I just can't help myself. Cleaning is one of my favorite things to do. Wiping away that grime, getting rid of all that dirt. It's a great feeling of accomplishment. I mean, why let dishes pile up in the sink, when I can easily squirt some yummy Grapefruit Dish Soap on the plates, scrub scrub scrub, and put them back where they go? Why clean the bathroom whenever you feel like it, when you can do a little bit everyday to enhance the overall cleanliness of your home?
Okay now don't get me wrong. I'm not a freak like Monica Geller [Friends]. If my refrigerator magnets are rearranged, I don't notice. If my lamps aren't facing north, or my books aren't aligned just so I won't flip out. Right now, if you walked into my bedroom, you would see an unmade bed, decorative pillows strewn everywhere, and a pair of shorts on the ground. [I knew I would be blogging about cleaning today, thus I made a mental note of my room's condition prior to leaving; I do not usually have this information memorized.] But this usually is not the case.
Sometimes it's just hard for me to [consciously] let things be in disarray. After I clean, it's frustrating to see everything slowly start going to going back to the chaotic mess it was just a little while ago. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, right? I might have made that up. As much as I try to "not live" in my apartment after I clean it, [ie I try to not make footprints in the carpet after vacuuming, use the sink, sit on my freshly made bed etc.] eventually it will get messy.
It's ridiculous, but again, I can't help myself. I don't want my hard work to be in vain. Despite my best efforts, it does get grody. I live with two other girls, who are completely normal and actually want to live in their apartment and not in some sort of model home which appears as if no one actually lives there. Sometimes I wish I was like this. Instead, I'm cursed with a love for cleaning. Maybe I should start a business or something. Carper's Cleaners? Jena's Genies? Dust-Be-Gone? Crap-Away Cleaners?
I think cleaning is just a great reminder of God's abounding grace. I can spend a few hours every day making sure my apartment is spick and span. I use all the right cleaners, I vacuum, I dust, I disinfect, I wipe, I scrub, I spray. And for a while, usually not very long, everything seems clean. It feels better. I can breathe easier. Yet, not too long after the clean it slowly starts getting filthy again. I can try and try to keep it clean, but eventually it's going to be gross.
Unlike my bathroom, I can never make my heart appear clean. It's always going to be filthy because, well, it is. The more I try to wipe up the grunge and the grime, the messier I get. We can't make ourselves clean, we can't fix ourselves up no matter how hard we try. Thankfully, there is one who can. He takes away the permanent stain I have inside of me, and that is one mess I'm thankful I don't have to worry about.