Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life with a Vacuum

Yeah, you read that right. Life with a vacuum. I don't live in a vacuum. No one can, really. Unless they cut themselves off from everyone and everything and huddle in a cave somewhere. But life in a cave still isn't life in a vacuum because the weather, the wildlife, the cave itself is ever changing.

But that's not my point. My point is that I feel like I live my life with a vacuum cleaner. All I'm doing these days at home are cleaning, keeping the books, and cleaning some more. And I'm ready to kick Dyson back to the stone age. Yet every time I decide I'm done and will clean no more this week, I step on grit the dog dragged in from our poorly manicured yard. Or I find clumps of fur sticking up from the carpet. Or sawdust or cobwebs or...the list goes on. When I think the house is clean, well, then it isn't.

This is life. Messy. Ever changing. And not always working out to plan.

I learned something this week. Yes, I'm vacuuming and cleaning. A lot. If I focus on that I get tired and grumpy and never want to see a cleaning tool again. But, if I focus on the reasons why I'm cleaning, my attitude changes and I'm not as caught up in my personal dramas. There is fur and grit on the floor because we rescued a smart and loving dog who adds a layer of joy to our lives that wasn't quite there before. There is sawdust everywhere because we are in the last phase of renovations and inching closer to a new front door and hardwood floors. There are cobweb remnants scattered hither and yon because we were finally able to remove the old stairs to the basement to make way for the new kitchen.

No, my house isn't Martha Stewart neat and polish by any stretch of the imagination. It is what it is - an ever changing environment of becoming. That takes work. And with work comes a mess. Sometimes a lot of mess.

When life's messes appear I pull out my existential vacuum cleaners and get to work sorting things out and reflecting on just how I got here. Sure, the process of arriving at this point in my life hasn't always been sunshine and rainbows. But without the storms that stir the ocean of my life and blow detritus upon my shore I wouldn't be me.

Today when I started to vacuum I reminded myself that my life is an ever changing environment of becoming. And I smiled. Life with a vacuum isn't so bad after all.

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