Yeah, I know what you’re asking yourself. She’s gonna talk about dust? Really? That’s riveting. You’d be correct. It is a fascinating subject. Because dust is not what you think. It’s really a metaphor for all the stuff in our lives that keeps building until we feel slightly out of control.
Wow. Who knew?
I hate to dust. I’m guessin’ I’m not alone on that. I’m sure most of us hate to spend hours, going over every little thing on tables and shelves in an effort to remove the
month’s week’s accumulation of annoying dust particles. Aside from the tedious nature of the exercise, it’s frustrating because I know from the moment I put my dusting rag in the laundry, a new film of dust is already working to take over the surfaces I’ve just cleaned.
Which means that all too soon I’ll need to get out my rag and perform the hated activity all over again. In a fit of frustration, I’ve occasionally, temporarily, given up dusting and just tried to ignore the dull patina over all my furniture and surfaces. It’s a relief for a while, wearing those lovely and fashionable blinders, but eventually my OCD rears its ugly head and I fall to my knees in a panic, dust rag in hand. By then the project feels overwhelming–a never ending blight of minuscule dander particles and terrifyingly ugly mites. My skin crawls as I imagine what I’ve let run rampant, unchecked in my treasured spaces.
Once I’ve conquered it again, my soul soothes and I promise myself that I’ll never let it get to the point where I hyperventilate again. I even sort of mean it when I make the promise. But alas, promises of this sort are like New Year’s resolutions…destined to fail.
The harsh reality is this…we all have too much on our plates. Our lives are busy, full and demanding. It would be nice if we could always stay on top of stuff. It would be great if we never lost the energy or will to do ALL the stuff we needed to do, even if the results would be temporary at best and ineffective at worst. But that’s just not how real life works. And you’ll make yourself nuts it you try to be all things to all people all the time. Sooooo…it’s okay to put those blinders on every once in a while.
In fact, it’s better than okay.
If it helps you deal with home and obligations and work and family and still have a social life so you can actually relax once in a while…it’s a good thing.
Think of it as triage for life.
Let the dust build. Ignore those hairballs in the corner. (Oops, I let that cat out of the bag!) Know that you will conquer it again some day. And when you do there will be a great sense of having accomplished something worthwhile. And then turn to something else that’s important in that moment.
Because being happy doesn’t mean having a dust or hairball free house all the time. It means having the will to forgive yourself when the dust builds. And it means recognizing what’s most important in that moment, on that date and time, in your heart and in your home–and then letting the moments build into a life well lived.
Now slap on those blinders. You have important things to tackle today!