My house has a few “trouble areas” that never seem to stay clean. One particularly difficult part of my house is what we call the pantry, which is actually a room that holds the washer and dryer along with a bunch of shelves. My house does not have enough storage, so items seem to accumulate in our pantry until I simply cannot stand it any longer and decide to “reclaim the pantry.” I always find this task to be daunting because so much stuff gets dumped in there.
I live with two people who don’t know how to process things. Hub’s mother felt “needed” by processing his stuff for him, so he never learned how to complete a task. My son has diagnosed processing issues and will likely never excel in processing tasks. So, you can imagine what my pantry (and entire house!) looks like if I don’t stay on top of processing everything. Since I work two part-time jobs, blog, and have friends, a special needs child, and a life, I simply don’t have the time to follow behind my family and process everything as they go. So, I frequently find myself in the position of getting annoyed to ignoring the problem to saying, “Enough!” and then reclaiming an area of the house again.
I went through this process again last week. I tackled the pantry, fearing that it would take all day. Two hours later, the pantry looked BEAUTIFUL – organized, swept, and mopped. I was so inspired that I tackled my son’s room (along with him) over the weekend and then another trouble spot that has been bothering me for a long time. I also feared that both of those tasks would take all day, but we knocked them out in a couple of hours as well.
I saw all of this as a metaphor for my own healing process. I frequently become frustrated because I work very hard to reclaim a part of myself, only to find the garbage piling up again. Just like with my house, I go through the same process in my healing – I get annoyed and then ignore it. Eventually, it bothers me enough to focus on that area of healing. I am frequently surprised to discover that it took a lot less effort this time than it did the last time or the time before that.
I am going to try to remember, both in my housekeeping and in my healing process, that I am never starting from scratch. Yes, it is frustrating to have to deal with that area of my house or healing AGAIN, but it’s not going to take as much time or effort to “reclaim” it again. Now, if only I could figure out how to reclaim each area for good…
Photo credit: Faith Allen