Phew. I don't know about you, but just making it through to this Shabbos seems like a major victory. Like the rest of you, I was up most of the night turning the house back to its chometzdik glory, baking challah, and prepping salads for Shabbos. After finishing the work day and cleaning the house, things seem to be ready to slide back into their regular routine- except for this nagging feeling that it's still Pesach and I shouldn't be getting cookie crumbs all over the place! :p
But it occurred to me that perhaps that's precisely why Hashem gives an "extra" payoff, so to speak, for baking challah this week. Pesach is Pesach and the rest of the year is the rest of the year. Right now, when we're all promising ourselves that this year we'll be disciplined and keep the house contained to its designated chometz zones so that next year's cleanup will be a snap, Hashem wants to give us a bit of a push in the right direction, i.e., Hashem wants us to recognize that Pesach is over and done with for the year, and we need to give the proper kavod to Shabbos by having challah and all the accompanying chometzdik foods. We did our job for this year in terms of Pesach, and cleaning for Pesach wouldn't be cleaning for Pesach if there's nothing to clean. So go ahead. Make that separation between Pesach and the rest of the year by eating that challah tonight and tomorrow. After all, that's exactly as Hashem wants it to be!