July 12, 2010

Housework

Whew!  Sometimes I need to be forced to stay at home and do the tasks and chores that I like the least.  I had a grand plan to go to Black Oak Farms this morning and pick whatever they had available (corn, blackberries, or peaches).  Instead I awakened to a wonderful rain shower—steady rain, still letting in some sunshine.  It was just what the garden needed, but it meant that my plans for the day would need some adjusting.  After another hour or so of procrastinating, I decided to get cleaning. 

Lately housework has been a little overwhelming for me.  I think we had so many out of town trips for a steady month plus that there was a bunch of “stuff” dumped here and there.  Sure, I did the dishes, washed the laundry, cleaned the toilets, swept the floors, but when I looked around I would become uneasy at all there was to do.  Almost every night for a week I would end the day frustrated that yet again I hadn’t made it to cleaning this or that.  I gave myself plenty of excuses, too.  “I’m too tired.” “I put up beets today, and I’m beat.”  “I worked today.  I’ll do it tomorrow.”  “I really need to update the blog.”  Excuse after excuse and the to-do list grew longer and longer. 

Today I plowed through the cleaning.  Laundry, hand washing, dishes, dishes that needed hand washing, rearranged the home-canned goods in the pantry, cleaned all of the countertops, toilets and vanities cleaned, mirrors now sparkle, microwave cleaned, every rug and carpet vacuumed, upholstery vacuumed, all of the other floors swept and mopped, dusting, blinds cleaned, baseboards cleaned, goods piled for donations, newspapers gathered for recycling, bathtubs cleaned, all of the “stuff” put away, TV glass cleaned, fireplace glass cleaned, coffeepot cleaned, and finally I cleaned myself! 

At different points during the day, I was aware of my thoughts.  First I was frustrated at myself for letting the house go for so long.  Granted, no one else might have thought that the house was a wreck, but I would look around and see all that needed doing and still not do it.  Then I would ask myself why I was taking the time today to clean all of the things that no one else would notice.  My answer was that I probably wouldn’t get to it for another month or so, and I’d better do it now. Then I was grateful.  I would look at a piece of furniture and remember how it came to be mine.  I was thankful for our home and my role in making it a home.  At the very end of the day, I am relieved.  It is so nice to look around and have everything clean, tidy, and homey.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite prayers, which I’ll very loosely paraphrase here:

Dear Lord, we are grateful.

We thank You for our food and remember the hungry.

We thank You for  our home and remember the homeless.

We thank You for freedom and remember the enslaved.

We thank You for friends and remember the lonely.

We thank You for all you provide, and we work to share those blessings with others.

Amen

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