Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spring Cleaning Part 1- A Mental Shift

Since nature seems to be doing a fair amount of spring cleaning this week (it's raining) I thought I'd get in on the act. I come from a family of neat freaks, in some cases bordering on obsessive compulsive. My grandma used to have her garage carpeted with white carpet. Yes, she parked the car in the garage and yes, the carpet was still spotless. While others in my family aren't quite so.....committed, many of them still manage to keep perfectly ordered, beautifully clean homes.

Sigh. I am definitely the black sheep of the family in this area. I don't really like cleaning most of the time, although I have gotten much better about making myself do it. For years I've sort of accepted that this is my personality. I told myself that I had better, more creative things to do, but I'm beginning to think I could use an attitude shift when it comes to housework and organization.

I really do love it when things are clean and organized. I love being able to find something because, surprise, it's in its place. I get a sense of peace when the house is in order and I find that my brain is clearer and more focused. I am a calmer, more reasonable wife and mother. My creative pursuits are enhanced because I can give them my full attention instead of feeling guilty for indulging in them. I find that Zach and the kids enjoy a clean house too. With the new baby coming, Cheyenne heading for Kindergarten and Bella heading for preschool this year organization and order will be even more important for holding back chaos in our day-today lives.

Every year I set a goal for my birthday in October. Sometimes it's something concrete, sometimes, like this year, it's more of a spiritual discipline. This year is The Year of Love and Joy. In the spirit of that goal I am attempting to look at housework as an act of love for my family and myself. I want to look at it the way I look at my cooking, baking, sewing and writing, as a way of making life richer and more beautiful. Instead of looking at it as a big, tedious to-do list, I want to see it as a way to carve out a sanctuary in this hectic world. It's a tall order, but I think I can do it.

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