Saturday, November 6, 2010

enjoy cleaning your home

It's Saturday. The skies are a lovely Cleveland gray, so I have the windows open. I had a hard week, and my racing brain won't shut up. I was away from home all week. Difficult for a homebody like me. It was at times wrenching. The kind of wrenching that comes with lessons flooding in at a speed I can't keep up with. Did I mention, the election ads and the pain in my body were almost unbearable? I know, I'm whining, but I don't mean it that way. That's just the reality, and I haven't mastered the art of writing the way Woody Allen can.

I sat in the bathroom longer than necessary. At least there are a ton of glorious magazines here! I read Men's Health from cover to cover. I learned some strategies that would have aided me in my last job. Intelligent, shrewd advice for handling a bastard boss. These tips could have helped me succeed. Who am I kidding? I don't have the heart. Furthermore, I don't want the things I'm supposed to want. The things that come with the six figure income. I see these things as fatiguing. Read a great article about the sublime Cher. She said she's yelling at her family to work out, "Old age is coming!" she says. She says, did you ever think we'd get this old? Cher, baby, I feel you. You are too fab, you go girl!

I took several beautiful walks. I felt guilty that I am unsuccessful. I called a friend who reminded me that I give in my way. I wonder why we never feel as if we are good enough? I saw a psychic. I helped my nephew clean and rearrange his bedroom, I learned a better strategy for dealing with a precious loved one I feared losing. I spent time with a friend who pampered me. A rare occurrence.

I am cleaning my home, and I keep lamenting that I need rest. Stop! I wish my meddling brain would just shut the hell up! I remind myself, this is the rest. Cleaning the home is a wonderful thing to be able to do. It takes strength and time. Two precious things to be savored.

So why not enjoy being at home and clean in a meditative way? You've heard of walking meditation, why not cleaning meditation? You can talk to God the whole time, if you like. God enjoys the mundane details. Clean the dishes slowly, contemplate the lovely warm water and soap. Enjoy the scent. Contemplate the exquisitely complex movements of your hands and fingers, such a miracle. Do what you can, don't worry about what you can't. Go at your pace. The monk Thich Nhat Hanh, reminds us to stay in the moment. If you cannot enjoy washing the dishes because you are racing so you can watch a movie, you will not enjoy that movie either. You will always be planning what is next and you will not be present. You will miss the moment and there is no getting it back.

What's the hurry? I'm reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She said, "The days are long, but the years are short." I didn't get that at first. When I did, I felt like I had gotten a blow to the head. I can be so slow and stubborn.

We think the days are long because they are so full of stress. We just want to get through the day. So we rush. All day long. We rush so we can do too much in too little time. How much of that rushing actually accomplishes anything? Rushing doesn't make the day shorter, it just squeezes in more things to do. I could be wrong, but people don't seem happy to me. We reach for crutches to get through that long stressful day. Caffeine, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, sex, overwork, etc. We poison ourselves because we hate our lives. Then one day you look back, and ten years have passed in a blink! The days are long, but the years are short. Ten years of abusing yourself has now added up, and your health is at risk.

Time is precious. Why not slow down and enjoy it. It occurred to me, cleaning my house is rest. Your home is where you rejuvenate. It is a living, breathing entity that loves us. Think of how it's cradled you in bad times. It has kept you warm in the cold, cool in the hot. It's also there celebrate your good times. We love our homes. We are all curators. Each home becomes a testament to its owner's unique personality.

Thank you God, for this beautiful day. Maybe I'll take a walk, and clean when I get back.

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