Chasing Inspiration

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Cleaning Leads to an Epiphany

  1. Even though it was more humid than Satan's armpit earlier this week, the forecast for the remainder of the week is for gentler, more autumn-like weather. This makes me happy.
  2. The gluten-free cookies I made last week taste almost as good as the non-GF chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I make for Hubs.
  3. Grace. I'm very thankful for grace.
This past weekend I did something I haven't done in a long time. I cleaned the master bedroom from floor to ceiling. I went through the closet, the drawers, under the bed, the night tables. I purged, I polished, I organized. I must say that the room looks more restful now than it did when I started. The closet isn't any less full, but the top of the dresser has only necessities upon it and the end tables are neat and tidy without the miscelaneous piles we have gotten used to living around.

I clean the bedroom weekly - dust, vacuum, toss and recycle obvious garbage. But I don't declutter and I don't purge on any regular rotation these days.

As I was going through a pile of books I stashed beside the bed, books I started reading but didn't engage enough to finish, I started thinking about all the things in life I start and don't finish. Which started me down the road of self recrimination. When I was finished with flogging myself for a behavior I felt was not okay, I looked more carefully at each book as I was putting it away. Why didn't I finish it? Sometimes it was because the book didn't grab me. Was that a bad reason to put it down? No, not really. Sometimes the content of the book was very deep and involved and I needed a break to digest the information I had just read. Another fine reason to put a book down and not finish it right away. Sometimes the book was put down because a book I had been waiting to read with great anticipation was finally released or finally available from the library. No need to beat myself up over that.

Perhaps the books could have been put away, or given away, during my break from it. But hey, they were in a neat pile beneat my night table so they weren't really in the way. I continued to clean and while I was vaccuuming I had an A HA! moment. Sometimes I start things for very good reasons. Starting doesn't necessarily mean something needs to be finished now, or ever. Sure, there are things that need to be done - personal finances need to be tended to, budgets updated, dishes washed, dogs walked. There are other things that don't need to be finished. That scarf I was knitting, the book I was brainstorming and wasn't clicking with, the blog post I was writing. There are things that need to be finished but maybe not right now.

I had to apologize to myself for the self-recriminations and flogging. I was judging myself too harshly. As long as my world is not in chaos and I'm making concious choices, so what if some of the things I start are never finished? Or get finished later? Or never started at all? The dishes can wait if  Hubs needs to talk through an issue. The scarf I was knitting, well it never has to be fnished and I can recycle the yarn for a different project if I feel like it. That book that I wanted to toss against the wall? I can stop reading it and donate that to Goodwill or give to a friend who may enjoy it more.

I'm sure I'll kick my own ass again in the future over something I find in a pile that was started but not finished. Until then, I will remind myself that it's okay. There are, after all, only so many hours in the day. I get to choose how I spend them and who I spend them with. That's the fun part of being an adult. :)

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