Clean With Haste


Clean with Haste

By Melanie Knapp

When I have a messy home I can’t think straight. It’s hard for me to contribute well. On a Monday morning I left my house to go to a support group and things weren’t spiffy.

I didn’t have time to do the dishes scattered on the kitchen counter. I didn’t want to leave a mess. I especially didn’t want the ants to come and clean off the plates. I quickly left the place, locked my door and went down the stairs to the outside. I walked five blocks to the support group.

Even though I wasn’t feeling great and was stressed it was good for me to get out. The support group was at a mental health centre where groups and classes were offered to participants each day.

People were friendly at the group. There were about ten people. It was nice. I enjoyed the familiar faces. I felt like I had been making some progress with more positive thoughts and actions. They told me about a sketching group in the afternoon. I know sketching is good for me and it always brings my stress level down.  After some amiable persuasive tactics, the group convinced me to go sketching later that afternoon.

I had time between the support group and the sketching group. It’s nice to stay downtown when I am already there. With additional time, I often do chores like buy soap or paper, or sit in a café writing while down-town. I didn’t have extra money to spend on this day so I did not want to stay downtown.

Suddenly I found myself rushing home in a focused panic. I had a definite purpose and I didn’t have much time. I washed the dishes quickly and put them away and left again. I flew into the house and back out in twenty minutes.

It felt like there should be a person singing in the background. It felt like a dish washing commercial, because it was short and sweet and interrupted my busy and therapeutic day like a regular commercial is short and interrupts a television program.

I attended the sketching group where I thoroughly relaxed as I sat sketching the droopy branches of the lovely willow tree. There were about five of us; we were all concentrating very hard and there was a meaningful silence as we worked on our pieces. It was special.

I enjoyed feeling close to the willow tree. How graceful!  The willow tree seemed to enjoy being admired and valued. It was about as big as a small house. Willows like water and this tree was no different. We assembled on the shores of Georgian Bay for this particular group.

I feel sometimes like nature brings me peace. I have learned that many people feel peace from the nature they see around them. When asked what people do to find calm, they often say they visit the water.

Swinging home to do those dishes gave me the relief I needed later that afternoon while sketching. Caring about my home helped me care about me.


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