This even makes cleaning fun.

There’s only one thing that can make cleaning more than tolerable: an upcoming visit from a best friend I haven’t seen in years. And that’s exactly what’s on my horizon.

Jeannine and I met as apartment neighbors in our early twenties. Before marriages. Before kids. Before we had any idea what paths our lives would take.

We spent mornings drinking coffee over games of backgammon. We did our nails flipping through magazines, talking about everything and nothing. Sinead O’Connor played in the background before she had the bad taste to burn the flag. We were responsible for nothing but our cats, our day jobs, and the rent.

We bought jeans together when comfort wasn’t on the radar. When all clothes had to do was accentuate our positives to make it to the register.

Jeannine introduced me to Earth Day when it was in its infancy as a global movement. We spent the day at the National Mall in DC against the backdrop of the monuments, considering how – if we all just pitched in – we’d have a healthier planet. Before climate change went mainstream. When environmental damage seemed a few household recycling bins away from remediation. Before keeping the planet inhabitable became a politically polarizing undertaking.

And so today I found myself steam-cleaning rugs to freshen the house, and ready it for my much-anticipated guest. The excitement lightened the effort as I spent much of the time reminiscing about the fun we’d had in the past, and the new memories we’ll soon make.

If I were smart, I’d invite her up more often. Think of the projects I’d get done with all the extra energy!