Take two bucketfuls of Pine-Sol and call me in the morning…

My grandmother once gave me some wise, yet odd, advice regarding stress relief. At the time, I was telling her all about my daily struggles getting used to living in a city and working two jobs. I was 18 at the time and having an especially stressful week dealing with all the newness of living away from family, experiencing things I’d never done before and trying to keep up with my own youthful endeavors as a young housewife and employee at two jobs. Her words of wisdom were simple. “You just need to do some good old fashioned hard work.” “But, grandmother,” I replied, “that’s what I’m all stressed out about.” She then clarified that what she was referring to involved hot soapy water with Pine-sol and floor scrubbing. Me on my knees cleaning with a sponge. And focused on one simple task. In other words, get lost in a useful mindless project. At first, I thought her advice was counter to what I truly needed, but after the first 30 minutes of micro cleaning my old apartment floor on my hands and knees, I understood what she meant. I found myself engrossed in the rhythm of something besides my own furrowed brow and aching mind. With every wall I swiped and every window I sparkled with my cleaning rags, I found relief. In the midst of the familiar scent of Windex and Pine-Sol, it was as if I was “washing my stress away.”

This past weekend has brought trouble and heartache that has robbed me of sleep and peace. I remembered my grandmother’s odd advice from long ago and began wiping down the cabinets and counters. Any other day these activities are mundane. But today, they’re good medicine. Just what I needed.  

So, on that note, it makes me wonder….Those people that obsessively clean their houses, cars and garages all the time...are they trying to escape some pain in their lives? Just a random thought…


  1. That advise seems to have skipped a generation. I never received that advice from her. I however did find that out on my own. Hard work and getting busy with your mind or hands (feet and every muscel of you body) wards off thoughts that creep in to your mind and heart and steal you peace in God. I have also found that there is always an endless list of ta-do’s that need to be ta-done. Look at it as killing two birds with one stone. When the closet gets cleaned and straightened out you realize the mind has followed suit. Depression, anger, guilt and shame are gone and everything in your mind has a bright new shine of understanding on it.

  2. Well, my daily life is nothing short of good old fashioned hard work due to being blessed with many children. I’m just saying that usually the housework is “chores” but at times becomes healthy therapy when needed. I’m no stranger to hard work….(:

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