This is a continuation of my previous post, Loving Life… (Part 1)
Last blog, I talked about starting with just one idea, how much ascetic living drains me, and continuing in that theme, how I need variety to truly enjoy the work that comes with this life that I love. You see, I think life is a gift. We’ve been put here for a purpose. Acts says “He sets the exact times and places in which they should live…” That is an amazing thing to me and as a current commercial reminds us, we have just this one chance at this life on earth. There are no do-overs in this life of ours. We look forward to a new and better life but this one here, this one now, this is a wonderful gift and throwing it away on waiting for tomorrow is ungrateful and so very sad to me.
I have limitations to how I can live this life. I’m still not 100% myself and it shows in how much I can physically accomplish but today, I had one of those little breakthroughs. I love those things. I got up to visit the bathroom as I do half a dozen times a day or more and I realized that if I just spent five minutes every time I do that, improving some area of my home before I sit back down, I could accomplish a lot of things. I tried it. I walked into the kitchen, glanced at the clock and saw 1:42. The kitchen was a mess. It wasn’t filthy or in need of deep cleaning, but it looked like it because it was a mess. In five minutes, I removed all of that mess, without hurrying, without any strenuous labor, and the result made me smile. I also wanted to keep going but that’s what I usually do. I go and go and go until I drop from exhaustion and then resist trying again; so this time, I didn’t. I just sat down. Next time I get up, I’m going to do five more minutes. Five.
Do you have any idea how quickly five minutes pass? I bet by the time you’re done reading this blog entry, five minutes will have passed. In the time it takes the average person to read this blog, I cleaned the mess from my kitchen. Now truthfully, not every time I go into my kitchen is five minutes going to make such a significant difference. Sometimes, it truly is filthy and it needs much more time to get it up to speed but it worked this time and that’s what this experiment was all about. This time.
But you know, as much as I know that I need this extra emphasis on my home and my schedule, the fact is, I need to remember that there is more to life than a clean and orderly home. The purpose of this home is a shelter, not a slave. If I expend all of my energies on my shelter, then what shelters me from that shelter? This life is to be lived! Enjoyed! Cherished! I have people who mean everything to me that need to know they come first, not my schedule, not my ‘things’ and certainly not my house. It’s a very fine balance that often leaves us wondering where we go next and what we do next.
Where do you find the balance between realizing that fingerprints on the walls disturb the internal balance of peace and the knowledge that fingerprints will always be with you? I seriously doubt that you find it in reading about every method of fingerprint eradication and in scheduling constant fingerprint removal sessions. Surely at some point you have to decide that while you’d rather be fingerprint free, you’d much rather enjoy the people who made the prints in the first place.
Unfortunately, the fact is, we do often need an “overhaul.” Few people live lives that are so well ordered or are so laid back that they never need to “retrench” and start anew. I’m certainly not one of those people. Actually, if I lived alone, in my own little home, with no one else to answer to or to affect my surroundings, I might be. I know I was for the few months I lived alone in Texas. My house was spotless at all times and with truly very little work. Not until a roommate came in, did I find that what was easy alone, was horribly difficult with others in the mix. Even at home with my parents and ‘my own room’, I wasn’t nearly as tidy and consistent. I truly don’t know why but I wasn’t.
Overhauls, however, have a very strong tendency to take over you life. If not carefully controlled, they become more and more intrusive until you either become enslaved by a new regime, or you rebel, quit, and never succeed. So while I do like my little “five minute marathons” (As opposed to dashes), I recognize that I need more than that. At this point in my life, all those little marathons will do is keep me from sinking under the weight of what must be done. I want to pull off those weights entirely but if I try to do it all at once, I will fail. I refuse to let it win because I will not fail at life.
So I am wondering. How much of my five minute marathon idea can be expanded slightly in order to accomplish the overhauls I need to work on as well? Can I do one hour overhauling marathons? Work in depth in one area every so often until I succeed? I’m an instant society person. I want it all, I want it done, and I want it done now. But let’s face it, that’s not going to happen so it’s time to look at reality and plan from there.
My goal? It’s simple really. Start n the most “finished” area of my life, polish it up, keep it going, and move to the next. The most jumbled messes will take so long for me to see fruit in, that I think I need my spirit boosted by success befoer I work on those nemeses of mine.
In between, I intend to stop, buy a rose or two, and inhale their fragrance. Life is too short to spend with cleaning solution as the perfume.