It takes me three hours to clean my house. That’s just the basics — giving the kitchen a good scrub. Cleaning the bathrooms. Washing all the floors. Polishing parts of most of the wood in the house. That doesn’t include cleaning the microwave, wiping all the errant fingerprints from all over the house or cleaning the windows. Giving that three hours buys me an organized, decluttered house. But it doesn’t make it perfect. My bedroom is proof-positive of that.
So, what does one do while spending three hours cleaning the house?
I suppose some might listening to music and dance a little. Or perhaps focus on the physical action of cleaning. Or maybe have a good conversation. But not me.
When I spend my weekly three hours cleaning the house, I think about writing. In my head, I compose fabulous prose, plan my week’s writing projects and consider how best to attract new clients. I think about cooking a little too, but mostly in the sense of what cooking-related subjects I should tackle next.
Most recently though, I thought about writing about the irony of my cleaning. I’ve only recently started setting aside those three hours for cleaning, and the kids are still getting used to it. So, they ask me if we are having guests over.
Surely I am not the only one who has typically deep cleaned in anticipation of company, right? Right?
But we’re not. I’m cleaning because I want to have a clean house. Maybe we’ll invite people over because it’s clean … but I am not cleaning for anyone — just for me, us.
I don’t know how it is for other people with other jobs. Somehow, I am not sure that someone with an office job would devote so much mental energy to their work. But for me, my calling is as a writer. I live, breathe and think writing all the time. For as long as I can remember, I have punctuated bits of my day with a mental exercise where I imagine I am writing a book and I am the main character — then I describe everything I see, do and say in my head.
Writing wasn’t a career choice for me. It wasn’t a job I chose. It’s not something that I just do from nine to five and mentally leave. Being a writer is who I am. It’s what I do. It’s my passion and what I am driven to do.
Writing is my true north.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.