It is as inevitable as it unexplainable. As soon as the book is finished, I clean house. Perhaps it’s because there’s a lot of build-up while one is ignoring all the little surrounding things during that last push of editing and adding things.
Whatever the reason, the day after I push send, I’m in the bathroom with a toothbrush, tackling grout-esque problems.
Perhaps this ritual marks the passage from writing to marketing; you finish the part everyone thinks is cool, and you start the part that makes people edge away from you at parties. Make lists of festivals, make a nuisance of yourself on Facebook, Vimno, Instagram, and whatever other platforms somebody invented over the weekend.
But it never fails: Push send Friday, spray every surface in the house down Saturday, rip out contents of closets and cupboards, and dusty corners, stack your t-shirts by color, alphabetize the pantry, everything.
It’s like reclaiming space, but with benefits. My spice rack is organized by genre: Indian top shelf, Italian center, and the fundamentals at the foundation. Purged packaged food lines the counter. “This is what I couldn’t fit back in after I separated the boxes by size, so this is what we’re eating this week,” I tell Jack.
He nods and smiles and finds an outdoor project. He’s seen it before and knows how this plays out.
Call it ritual, or clearing the path for what comes next, call it what you will, because it will happen. My home will be shiny-tidy this weekend and there will be a purge of useful boxes that weren’t and squished plastic containers that didn’t survive storage.
It doesn’t last long, but it’s fun while it lasts.
HIGH HOPES: Prescribers and Therapists Explain how they Fight Substance Abuse comes out from McFarland Press this summer. The title is still in edits, so if you have a suggestion, let us know.