My Time As A Carpet Cleaner
Last week I read about a study on happiness. This particular one focused on people and their jobs. Those who were happiest found purpose in what they were doing.
Would seem pretty easy for a school teacher or a doctor, but this study found that even those working in hospital custodial jobs were happy when they understood, and expressed, how important their work was.
This got me thinking about my own work one year ago. Health coaching is my passion and I love what I do, but any small business requires a good deal of self-promotion and sometimes you need a break from promoting yourself.
So I took another job.
Yep. Someone I know owns a green carpet cleaning business and was looking for help. I was looking for a break. Seemed like destiny.
So for nine months, there I was, learning a lot about how to clean a carpet. You scrub large stains with a large brush and filtration lines with a skinny one. Red almost never comes out. There are some stains you just don't want to ask about. Both kids and pets vomit often.
And there was more I learned. Homes comes in all different shapes and sizes. Some people are clean. Some not so much. Pet hair gets everywhere. People hide many things under beds. Cats lie under beds. Radiators, apparently, can double as trash cans.
Through it all, though, this is what I remember most.
I liked this job.
I thought it might be because the job was so physically demanding. It kept me in great shape. Or that every job was so different. Variety is key.
Those were important qualities but what I liked most about it was how I was helping to make somebody's day a little brighter.
I LOVE when I come home to a clean house. I love when my carpets have been cleaned and you have those fresh lines of new opportunity running through your living room.
Every time I cleaned dust from under a bed or scrubbed clean multiple stains from a hallway, I knew I was helping somebody to breathe a little better. Sometimes I cleaned dust off dressers or even walls, and opened windows. I wasn't really supposed to, but it was important to me that the room be left healthier.
My job as a carpet cleaner had purpose. It was important.
I hope you are able to find the same in your work, even if it does take a little reframing. No matter what you do, you are helping to make the day brighter for somebody.
Now I am working as Director of a wellness space in a nearby town, and I am loving lots of that, too. Lucky for me, there are still times when I get to clean the carpets.