January 18, 2011

Today was almost a total waste. I spent most of the day lying on the floor and watching TV while my son played around me. I didn't even have the presence of mind to actually look for a show that would spark my interest, so I zoned out to The Cat in the Hat. I struggled to do anything. By the time my husband came home at 5:30, I had managed to wash one load of clothes--pitiful for someone who stays home all day.

So I decided not to let the evening go to waste, too. After cooking dinner and washing the dishes, I decided to mop the kitchen floor. And then I realized I hadn't mopped the kitchen floor since we moved into our house. In October. And, boy, did it show. There were sticky bits of food everywhere. I had to scrape most of it up by hand. I was embarrassed to realize I had let it get so bad. I am normally a clean person.

And then, right as I finished, I magically felt better. Looking at the gleaming floor filled me with an amazing sense of accomplishment--not that I had earned a Ph.D. or a Pulitzer, but that I had finally stopped procrastinating and done something that directly benefited myself and my family. I could walk across the floor without crumbs sticking to my socks or feeling lumps under my feet. I could let William crawl on it. The kitchen looked brighter, smelled fresher. I felt more energized than I had in weeks.

It seems odd that something so small and insignificant could make such a difference, but it does. Looking around and seeing things dirty and disorganized takes a toll on a person's psyche. A clean, beautiful space soothes and inspires. I've learned that depression often operates on a negative feedback cycle: a person feels depressed and procrastinates, tasks are left undone, person feels bad about undone tasks, depression worsens, person procrastinates further, and so on. After a while, a person becomes a prisoner in her own mind, crippled, hardly able to function. At that point, breaking the cycle can seem overwhelming and impossible. But once a person takes the first step, the weight can lift quickly.

So if anyone out there can relate, mop a dirty floor and see how you feel afterward. It might just be the simplest thing you can do to help yourself.

Thanks, dear readers, for all of the wonderful comments and support you have given me in the past two weeks. It is appreciated.

1 comment:

Taming the beast! said...

I have been feeling the same way. I feel depressed so I have no energy and no interest in anything and then I feel even more depressed that I can't even keep the house clean. It's a bad cycle to be in. I have found if I make a small start that I do feel better, but sometimes I think I want to wallow in self pitty and that's the raw truth. I wonder if it's because I don't love myself and feel it's a waste to spend the energy on myself. I am glad you found the that cleaning your floor has helped you and that it stay's with you for a long time.

Post a Comment

Thanks for your feedback! Comments are moderated, so they may not appear right away.