Desultory – jumping from one thing to another 🤔
I don’t clean regularly. Probably because I don’t clean like a normal person would.
For example…when I lived at home, my mother would ask me to clean the bathroom every Saturday morning. I would gather up all the cleaning supplies and head toward the dreaded chore ahead. Instead of just focusing and getting it over with, I’d stall. I’d see a hair. I’d close the toilet lid and sit down and pull a brush out of the drawer. I’d see all the hairs in the brush and decide I better clean that first. I’d pull each hair out one by one and then individually clean each bristle. An hour later, when my mother would ask what was taking so long, I would start the actual cleaning.
The next week, I’d clean the lint out of the back of the hairdryer.
The next week, I’d sit on the counter and pop all my pimples.
The next, have a fake interview asking myself how awesome it was to be married to Scott Biao. (You know… Chachi from Happy Day’s)
Anyway, the point is, I wander. Maybe it’s to avoid the task at hand, maybe because I see things differently. I’m not sure, but it’s how I clean and pretty sure it’s how I live my life as well. 🤔
So back to the story…
Ben made the comment this morning that we need to clean out the fridge. It was jammed packed with all the leftover holiday meals.
I decided I would surprise him and clean it while he did his homework. I purchased a prayer book for husbands last month and yesterday’s prayer was that I would be a wife who “refuses laziness”. So, instead of watching Good Morning America on the couch with my coffee , I choose to tackle the dreaded fridge and surprise him.
I opened it up, stared at all the dirty dishes I would have to do and immediately shut it back up. I remembered the prayer again. How long could it really take?
I got out my new Norwix cleaning cloths and figured I’d start with just one shelf. Mom always said to start at the top because the dirt always falls to the shelves below.
After I put everything back, I stood back and admired how it looked. I even had all the labels turned towards me in true “Sleeping with the Enemy” style.
I decided to stay focused and control my usual desultory cleaning. Instead of physically jumping from one thing to another, I let my thoughts go instead.
This is what I learned:
1) I think I may be a hoarder. I found way too many expired items and bottle with just a drip left in it.
2) I should take better care of the things I have been blessed with. I have this beautiful stainless steel fridge that is shiny and new on the outside but dirty and disgusting on the inside. My thoughts go to Holden Caulfield’s roommate in “A Catcher in the Rye”. Am I that guy?
3) I am wasteful. I look at the garbage can of fresh fruits and vegetables that were traded for sweets and unhealthy snacks. There are kids in our own community without food and I am throwing it away. I think of my friend Anne who freezes everything. I make a mental note to do the same. Also, to make lists before shopping and prepare the healthy food before putting it away. Also…donate.
Every thing I touch has meaning…how cool is that?
4) The Hershey syrup reminds me of how lucky I am to make chocolate milk for Aiden when he gets home after school. Never will I tell him to make it himself. Just this one thing. As for Josh…breakfast is important to him. He is old enough to make it himself but mornings are rough on teenagers. It’s Groundhog Day every morning but I’ll treasure the few days I have left to do it.
5) The Smucker’s jar takes me back to the homemade jelly my Grandmother used to make. I wish I would have spent the day learning to make it with her before she died. That recipe is now lost with our memories.
6) The olives reminded me to surprise Ben more often. I hate them but I bought them because he loves them. I spent many years buying things that I liked and forgot about him.
Each thing I touched sparked a memory. I won’t bore you with more details. The point is, each thing sparked something. Instead of the yuck, I saw memories instead. How cool is that?
7) My writer friend Jan told me that everything has a story. She’s right. I grabbed my phone to snap a picture of the overflowing garbage.
8) I told myself not to tag Ben in this post because he would see the cat in the sink. All of my attempts to surprise him would be forgotten as he would be mad I let the cat on the counter. (Reminder…don’t eat anything from the Glasers) Also, my Mom would be yell.
9) I decided I like the way I am. I like that I see things differently. It’s one of my gifts.
10) I may look like I have it all together on the outside but be a mess on the inside. I’m not perfect, nobody is. We’re all a mess. But what if…with one small task at a time, we start cleaning up? What if…we give thanks while doing it?
How much would our lives change?