Helen normally loved spring-cleaning, the fragrance of freshly laundered curtains, sparkling windows and gleaming floors. But today, with a heavy heart, she tipped out her dresser drawer and sorted. It wasn’t just her home in a mess, so was her life.
She slotted the last pristine dresser drawer back into its frame, then sat back on the bed. Helen sighed as her brother Roger came to mind. They hadn’t spoken for at least a year, since Thanksgiving, and she missed him. She’d long forgotten the fight that caused the rift, but their stubborn streaks prevailed.
Helen looked up at the room corners, cobwebs. The long-handled pink feather duster whisked them away. If only her life was fixed so easily. Tom, her husband, had grown distant, and she realized why. She finished dusting and pulled out the vacuum cleaner. His voice echoed through the empty house. “Nag, nag, nag, can’t you give me a break? Be grateful for my strong qualities.” But it wasn’t so easy, she liked a tidy home. The rumpled cushions, the remote left in the kitchen, the list was endless.
She moved on to her daughter’s bedroom. As she opened the door, she gasped and almost shut it again. The girl was a slob, short and simple, and she saw no reason she should clean up after her. Melanie and she used to be close. She smiled as she pictured their shopping trips, and Sunday afternoons spent baking. How had this past year turned out so horribly? These days they barely talked, and she always wore those damned earplugs. The door slammed shut.
Exhausted, she sat in the kitchen with a mug of strong sweet coffee. The house gleamed, but the silence felt heavy. Life seemed happier when the kids were young, and she and Tom fooled around after the children’s bedtime. Her parents, now in their eighties, never seemed happy, would her marriage be like that? Her family life was headed downhill, she couldn’t deny it. A tear slipped down her cheek. Did she want to be right or be happy?
She rinsed her mug and left it on the draining-board, took a deep breath, made a decision, and picked up her cleaning caddy. Marching up the stairs toward her daughter’s room she felt energy suffuse her body and her heart felt lighter. She would clean her daughter’s room, then ring her brother and apologize. Tom’s favorite dinner would be waiting for him when he arrived home. She smiled. She would find time to visit the mall and chose a decent bottle of wine. Life was good!
What needs spring-cleaning in your life? Unresolved relationship issues drain your energy. Small acts of kindness toward your family members and friends oil the wheels of love. Are you often kind to strangers, while taking friends and family for granted? Isn’t that crazy? The people who love us and have our back, don’t receive the consideration that we give to strangers. Think about your actions today!