Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Keep Calm and Wash your Dishes

When I was a kid, I hated that it was a requirement that every morning I make my bed once I get up and every night, as a team, my brothers and I had to clean the kitchen. It was such a ...well...for lack of a better word..chore! Why did I need to make my bed when I was just going to get back into it at the end of the day? And we had a dishwasher, so why did I need to learn how to scrub pots and pans (done last after glassware and plastics)?

My first few years as an adult on my own I rebelled! I wouldn't make my bed except for on clean sheet day (oh clean sheet day....the best day of the week). If I only had a dish or two I would wait until the sink was full (living on my own meant that I often only did dishes once a week too). I allowed laundry to pile up, took recycling in when there seemed to be no more room to squeeze one more recyclable in, and spent a lot of money buying things I already had because I simply couldn't find them under clutter.

I would say in April of 2010 is when I started to actually grow up/ clean up. I would say this came about from the overwhelmed feelings of my life spinning out of control as I navigated my way through the end of a four year roller coaster of a relationship. It was messy in my head as I tried to piece a life together from remnants of being part of a couple and new swatches of fabric of a life living alone. I read a quote somewhere that stated "messy bed, messy head" and that our physical environment is often a reflection of our emotional environment. And if I couldn't make a clean sweep of the thoughts swirling over and over in my head, at least I could scrub those pots and pans and feel a satisfaction of completing something.

I don't have quite the inner dialogue of memories fueled with anger and sadness in my head anymore. I worked through those and I am now in a very loving relationship filled with laughter and lots of give and take. Of course, like everyone else, my life is not perfect and there are many other things to worry and think about. What I learned from my experience of cleaning up my heart is that by making sure my bed is made every morning and my kitchen is clean before I go to bed every night, I have created structure in this crazy world. And I live my best life when my world has structure. Plus, I am always ready if friends want to drop by.

A made bed and a clean kitchen are my rules of adulthood. What are yours?

No comments: