Like My House, Sometimes Life is a Huge Mess.
Though I swear to you I’ve grown in many ways recently, I’m still pretty immature about needing to clean. Every day. The same things. Over and over. And now my children's same things. Over and over. Why I can’t wrap my mind around cleaning’s factual necessity is beyond me. But it’s the same pity party every time I load those nasty dishes or see the laundry cascading over the sides of my beautiful hemp laundry basket (bought in a delusional effort to make me feel "fun" about laundry) or pick up the same objects out of my tornado foyer. It’s a real immature little thought cycle circling around and around in my head. Day after day.
My bad attitude puts me in a predicament because, to sit down after a long day with my husband and chill, I need peaceful surroundings. However much I enjoy a messy day with three little kids, company, and a home office, each night the chaos overwhelms me.
This, my friends, is how I came up with the most revolutionary life concept I have ever had. Turbo Clean.
Maybe the nub is that cleaning feels like a colossal waste of time. Turbo cleaning is about making it as fast as possible while combining it with the benefit of some daily cardio! Not only that, but it’s pretty hilarious for you and your loved ones (though you can’t, technically, laugh about it out loud because you’ll be working so hard and fast that you’ll be lucky to be breathing, let alone laughing).
This is what turbo cleaning looks like. It’s 5 PM. I can no longer walk without stepping on something that pushes me into a silent rage (I don’t believe in swearing in front of my children) or a running into the bathroom to curse by myself. There’s laundry in the family room, book bags in the hall, a parade of toys throughout all of throughoutedness, and a myriad of other signs of life. We’ll be hosting a board meeting in a couple of hours, and the reality of that is starting to make me feel lightheaded. Enter Turbo Clean.
I put on a show for my kids because it takes about eight times more energy to creatively coerce them into cleaning alongside me. I head into the kitchen and punch the stove timer for 5, 10, or 15 minutes depending on the severity of the disaster. And then I go at it like a maniac. If you’re picturing me cleaning fast, that’s incorrect. I’m cleaning as if my life depended on it. I’m picking things up and racing to the point that I’ve fallen and incurred Turbo Clean injuries. I’m darting around rinsing, throwing, lifting, sweeping, sorting, stacking and folding so fast that yes, sometimes things break, and I’m totally cool with that. So so worth it. My children laugh and point when their eyes shift for a moment from "Martha Speaks" to their insane mom and I just turbo on into glory. Until that timer goes off, I’m an Olympian. It’s impressive. And ridiculous.
And every time when that timer goes off, I’m shocked at how much has gotten done and my heart is pounding harder than when I hop off the elliptical trainer. I can’t speak for a moment, but peace showers over me like the glass of wine that I’ve now earned. I think of the time saved, of the brisk exercise had, and of the five more books I will now have time to read to my children before bedtime.
Yes, turbo cleaning is laughable, but it’s transforming, and it seems to be based on truths that I’m constantly teaching myself, the youth I work with, and my little ones. Namely: Sometimes life is a huge mess. That’s okay and you can overcome it, but it may take grit. Grit can take you pretty far. And sometimes the best thing to do when something feels undoable and overwhelming is to own it with a sense of humor. To be ridiculous while tackling it head-on with everything you've got. There is some serious, turbo-charged power in that.