Thursday, March 22, 2012

SPRING CLEANING

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."
~Thomas Moore

Spring cleaning began last week, and I admit ~ I look forward to it every year. There is something cathartic and creative about the whole process that re-charges my batteries and clears my mind as well. Besides the end result of a much cleaner and more organized home, there are other perks that intrigue and delight me. For one thing, it's a bit of a treasure hunt. I never know what I'll find hidden under a bed, in the back of a closet, or in that neverending stack of "important" papers on my desk.

There is a physical benefit as well. Spring cleaning is a bit like boot camp. I use muscles I forgot I have, and I spend little time thinking about food (unless, of course, I am working in the kitchen ~ and then I am ravenous). I collapse into bed at the end of the day, utterly exhausted...but in a good way.

My creative juices flow more freely when I am spring cleaning. I take time to look more thoughtfully at every room...every wall...every object. Do I still want this? Is there a better home for it ~ maybe in another room? I find myself making changes, and usually I love the results.

Spring cleaning is like taking a walk down memory lane. The pictures I scrub until they sparkle take me back to earlier days when the kids were growing up. I stumble on all sorts of things that tug on my heartstrings. Today it was our deceased dog Nathan's collar and tags. Their sweet jingle as I held them up made me smile.

Spring cleaning feels like a fresh start...and who doesn't love that! I am more eager to open our home to family and friends, no longer stressing they will notice my growing collection of dust bunnies residing under the furniture.

All in all, spring cleaning reminds me how obscenely blessed I am. I have so much to be thankful for. The people that share this home with me top my list. As for our possessions, surely we have an overabundance when I stumble on things I'd truly forgotten about.

This year, spring cleaning began the day I had to have a root canal. What a perfect diversion from the mild ache in my mouth that still lingers. But in reality, it's just a ritual I enjoy. Today, it was put into perspective when someone I know began cancer treatments. And somehow, the thought of dust bunnies, cobwebs, and unorganized closets and drawers lost some of its significance.

However we spend it, each day is a GIFT. Whether we are scrubbing our homes, driving carpools, heading for work, or checking in for medical treatment, we are still here. And life is good ~ often messy ~ but good.

"I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble."
~Helen Keller
  
       

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