Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Many Square Feet Did You Clean Today?

I was fortunate enough to be able to clock my 4.0 miles on my bicycle and get it safely in the garage before the predicted deluge of rain came down this afternoon. I just love my new little gadget, a “bicycle computer” (by Schwinn, $10 at Walmart) that lets me know how far I have traveled this trip, my average speed, and time traveled. Total time traveled is probably the more important one, as the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise per day. But knowing the actual distance gives me more mental satisfaction. I reset the odometer every Sunday so I know my total distance traveled for the week.

I have never worn a pedometer, but know it is a beloved device for those who like to keep track of how much they have walked per day. I started wondering if there was some way we could keep track of how much cleaning we did per day. I think every mother thinks she must spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning. Magazines regularly report the number of calories expended per ten minutes of dusting, vacuuming, or scouring. But how many women do you know that actually keep a log (unless they are actually on someone’s payroll for their cleaning duties)?

What if we could attach a meter to our arms that would measure how many square feet we cleaned per day? This would work well for both types of cleaners: the ones who cover lots of area with a light “once-over”, and the ones who like to concentrate on a small area, carefully scouring until each spot is immaculate. Say you went back and forth with a toothbrush 100 times to clean the soap dish in your bathtub, while your friend dusted her entire living with a feather duster; both might be the equivalent in terms of square footage, although you were covering the same square footage multiple times.

I think this might give us some small amount of satisfaction. Then competitive super-moms could call their friends and say, “I cleaned 10,000 square feet today. How many square feet did you clean today?”

“How good God is to the upright, the Lord, to those who are clean of heart!”
Psalm 73:1

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