You win some, you lose some, right?
On November 19th, just before Thanksgiving turkey, I vowed to give the house a thorough cleaning by Christmas. Even though our little house in the woods is always very neat and tidy–I sometimes fail in the deep-down dirt removal department.
I rely on visitors to give the get-up-and-go to the dirty. To really swish away the basement cobwebs, to sparkle-shine that toaster, to wash every last window, to clean behind closet doors. To toss, discard, dump, unload, declutter! Off with ye, anything no longer needed–begone! May it go to someone who really needs or wants it, O Holy.
When visitors come, it gets done. Perhaps it’s shame. Who knows? I do so appreciate the visitors for more than their loving presence–they also make sure this house sparkles from tip top to bottom.
On November 19th of this 2020 year the idea arose to publicly blog about this house cleaning and decluttering mission. To clear the way for the birth of Baby Jesus, metaphorically speaking, we prepare the inn. We scrub the manger. We get rid of any Wise Men who aren’t wise. We spruce up the shepherds. (oops, sorry, getting carried away!)
I started with full steam and gusto. We do this, don’t we? Energy poured in and I cleaned our biggest closet. Wa la! Found a lovely missing heart buried within. Delivered bags to the resale shop.
On to the basement! Dusted cobwebs, vacuumed, cleaned closets, swept, wiped…and then…and then…and then…
Then we contracted to get our kitchen floor sanded and refinished. The house immediately wore a fine layer of dust everywhere. The next week or so involved lots of cleaning. A rather challenging mission–as a few of you readers nodded your heads and agreed.
And then…nothing. I zamfizzled out. More important things to do, you know? Blog! Feel emotions! Sing to the heavens!
Anything but clean and declutter, so help me god.
The next bright idea arose. I would dig in and C-L-E-A-N the week before Christmas! Because, darn it, I promised to do this publicly on the blog–and that should be incentive enough. Will you fail in front of the whole world, Kathy? (Or at least your few faithful readers who are beloved visitors, too, albeit in a different realm than physical house-visitors.)
I would start today. Saturday. Enough time to clean right? We’re filling the wood room, too, but an hour or two a day will ship-shape the house before O Holy Night.
God laughs at our plans, doesn’t she?
Three days ago my poor left knee started hurting, heaven knows why. Yesterday my right hip spasmed. The entire body is in no shape to do much of anything, let alone dance happily around the house with Swiffer and mop. I have just enough–just enough–hip hip hooray to fill the wood room with Barry. That’s a chore that must be done if we want to stay warm and cozy in our little house.
House cleaning ain’t gonna happen. It’s probably not gonna happen before Christmas anyway, unless some miracle ensues. (And we do believe in miracles, don’t we kids? Not pushing away that possibility.)
Like I said in yesterday’s blog–or was it Rumi who said it?–you never know who will visit us next in our interior worlds. Even if actual physical visitors aren’t arriving with their big smiles and Christmas gifts–we’re still getting visitors. They never stop arising in our body, our inner psyche, our spirit.
I am actually happy and smiling and grateful and amused this morning. The true gift of the Holy is that it shines so bright. That star atop your Christmas tree reveals it so clearly. Our bodies can hurt, our emotions can arise, our thoughts can challenge–but underneath it all there’s this Presence, this joy, this awareness that we can rest with. It’s always here–always available–never missing. We just need to notice what’s always clean, what can never get dirty.
God rest ye merry Ladies and Gentlemen! Deb, thanks for this link yesterday. Loved it!
And sorry that I may not get the house cleaned before Christmas as promised…I am resting like the song suggests. 🙂 Glad tidings of comfort and joy!
Day 63 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.
I was going to bake cookies for Xmas. Easy recipe. But Hip hurts. Ankle too. And maybe knees. The recipe is propped up on the counter accusing, shaming, and waiting while I sit justifying rest-to-remedy. You are not alone.
I am so sorry your body is not behaving either, Dor. ((Big hugs.)) We’ll get through this…we really will. Whether our cookies get baked or our house gets cleaned. xoxo
I will NEVER be known as a good housekeeper. It’s just not my priority – honestly. I do try for tolerably clean enough not to be a disease vector. Recently, in my yoga class, vaccuming came up and I admitted that I don’t know how (okay, an exaggeration). My husband does all of our vaccuming. He also does the day’s dishes after dinner and a movie. Oh, and the laundry too. It’s a long story of how cleaning up the kitchen and doing the laundry stopped being my responsibility. Being the executor of my parent’s estate was part of that and having to be gone from my family for two weeks at a time, multiple times in a few short months, has something to do with it. The laundry is in the basement and because I also have a bum knee (my right) which I wrecked taking too many very long hikes daily for literally decades, I don’t do stairs. I do fold and put away the clothes though. At least that and since I’m no longer away from the family but my husband continues to do these chores, I’m not dissuading him.
You are very lucky to have a husband who is willing to do so much housecleaning, Deb. Extra kudos for him! You might want to keep him. *smile* Barry has been helping me so much the last few days. I am having so much trouble getting up off the couch, chair, etc. Once up everything is OK. It’s just the upward movement that’s a real pain. Am going to look for some yoga exercises that might ease things… Getting older is not for sissies!
Well, it’s ok. Real friends can overlook a messy space anyway. I’m happy to report that I cleaned the ceiling fans yesterday, glass globes and all. It’s been months of staring at cobwebs and I just couldn’t stand it anymore, in spite of a dearth of visitors.
I love that cat it the manger.
Enjoy your weekend and I hope you feel better. XOXO
Congratulations on the ceiling fan cleaning, Stacy! Whoa! High five! Oh wait a minute, a high five would probably flatten me right now. (I think it’s when we can’t stand it any more that we’re moved to action.) Glad you liked the kitty in the manger. He kicked out Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus.
He’s forgiven. Have some tea, and take a load off. XOXO
HA Ha! Kathy no one really cares! I’m sure the surface of your home is clean. You have given it your attention as best you can from our perspective as readers.
As Rumi suggest greet each guess with warm and friendly heart and smiles.
At times it seems the more I clean, the more mess I have to remove from elsewhere. As I consider moving I am once again struck by the chaos my apartment seems to get into…
You make me smile, Jeff. The surface of our home is very clean! And it’s neat as a pin. We’re into zen, you know. I am wondering if you will end up moving, or if things will change and you will stay there. What a time you’ve been through! I am so admiring your sisu. (Finnish word for courage or stick-to-itness or strength or perseverance.)
There go than!! Enjoy your space, your home as it is…
My strength and perseverance comes from the Holy. My relationship with spirit guides me through the struggles and challenges of life.
Wow, Kathy, you’re already at day 63! As I sat with you this morning reading and sipping my tea, I thought, “Oh,no!” Knees and hips – of course your body is probably compensating for the achy knee and thus the spasming hip. I hope you don’t injure further stacking the wood. After that chore – ice, rest, and breathe. I have a feeling you got enough “cleaning” done in 2020!
Only 12 days to go, Barb! You can imagine how I’m feeling!! Thank you for your kindness about this body situation. Am doing all the recommended actions. I know my hip went out as I tried to compensate for the knee. Arghghghgh! Thank you also for the reassurance about cleaning. ((hugs))
Perhaps we place too much emphasis on our homes being “perfect” – how often do we eat off our floors anyway? Our refrigerator desperately needs cleaning, but there is so much in it it puts me off. Maybe this morning though. After email. And Facebook. And that second cup of coffee. Take care of yourself and let your aching joints rest. They’re sending you a message, which should be heeded.
Ha ha, Carol–I like that! We haven’t eaten off our floors for years now! Oh, and you had to mention the refrigerator, didn’t you? I will do that too. After my knee recovers. After the hip. After Christmas. Hey, why not New Years? Or the next time someone comes to visit, lol?
I think the older we get, the poorer our eyesight becomes! What I’m trying to suggest — daintily but sincerely — is that the housecleaning can wait. Love people, not perfection!!
Now there you have it, Debbie. Our eyesight has gotten worse, so maybe it’s just that we can’t see those cobwebs and dust? Our little house in the woods can be accepted just the way it is–maybe like we can accept ourselves and others that way too. *grin*
Sorry to hear about your knee and your hip. Hope they feel better soon! At least you got started cleaning. It just doesn’t seem to be happening around here. Sigh. Being married to someone who doesn’t care about a neat or clean house I have no incentive to clean beyond what’s essential to keep things sanitary. Maybe after the pandemic when visitors start coming again. 🙂 Besides, on video calls no one can see the dust. 😉
I love the picture of the kids and their shack!
Shhhh…Barbara…I think we may be lucky that our spouses don’t care too much if our house is spic & span. Barry and I are both really really neat, but beyond that we don’t care–until we care–and then it’s time to get a’going. I’m just flummoxed that my get a’going coincided with these aches & pains. Love your point that on video calls no one is looking at dust!
This year, though I have no where to be, I’m having time issues. Things either take longer than expected or I start on something and two hours evaporates. Anyway, cleaning is often a standard I have imposed on me in my mother’s voice. My house is fine. It will never be dog hair free!
Sarah, maybe we are just caught in some strange time loop. I find the days utterly flying by, so fast I can hardly make sense of it. Yet sometimes (like the last couple of hours) I have nothing much to do and am not sure what happens to time now. It’s nothing like it used to be. Merry Christmas to you and your doggies! (Or is it dog, singular?)
Thank you. At the moment it is just dog. I had to put one down in November. The one dog is young, so she has the energy of two.
You have a lot on your plate with an energetic young dog!
I’ve been on cleaning strike all month. Bare minimum here.
Lunar, I so get it. I’ve been on a deep cleaning strike all year now!