She had forgotten the simple relaxation of housework. Most of the time, it was a recurring annoyance. Lately she hardly had the time to pick up her apartment, wash the dishes, or even do laundry. Her life had become a blur of airports, hotels, and clients from opposite ends of the nation. The little time she was home, such mundane tasks only got in her way.
Tonight, however, was different. She had received word that she would be home for the rest of the month. She had decided to take advantage of the upcoming spring holiday and put in for an additional day off. No one questioned or debated her request; it was approved without protest. She quietly breathed a sigh of relief when approval came in. She hadn't had a day off since New Year's, and constant parade of rush assignments and last minute clients had worn on her. Everything seemed to slow and stop. For the first time in what must have been weeks, she felt grounded enough to clean her apartment.
It wasn't a complex operation. While the place looked shabby, it was merely disorganized. The dishes had to be done and were. The clothes she had left out to dry on two collapsible racks were ready and were folded. Loose items on tables, chairs, and the floors were gathered and put away.
She didn't listen to music or play a movie to keep her company. Sounds drifted in her open windows of the nearby highway, neighbors in other units, and a small Latino family watching their little boy play ball. Occasionally, between shouts of Spanish came a dull rubber thud as the ball rebounded against the sidewalk.
Nor did she place some topic in her mind for debate. She simply detached it from the worries and frustrations of the day and existed in the now. Slowly, like a knotted muscle, her mind began to relax. The feeling of it was almost too much to bear if she paid it too much attention – the relief of months of pent up stress. She felt tears welling up around her eyes, but put the feeling behind her before they could peak.