Okay, so I promised an update, and an update ye shall have.
I wrote a little while back about Fr. Thomas Hopko’s 55 Maxims of the Christian Life, with specific regard to the (seemingly) impossible #20, “Maintain Cleanliness and Order in Your Home.”
And I am somewhat pleased to report that I have made a small amount of progress.
See how I spin things? I said “have made,” not, “am making.”
As in, I did really, really great for about two weeks and then I got behind again, and subsequently paralyzed again.
But I’m trying to jump back on the wagon, so lemme show you some befores and afters.
Before #1: How, a month ago, I definitely would have left my dining room before going to bed saying I’m too tired to deal with it and it’ll be there tomorrow.
After #1: What it looks like tonight.
Even when I was at my best right when I started this, it was never really perfect. But here’s what I did notice:
- It felt really, really good to have clothes in drawers and in closets and know that I put them there.
- I found the kids outfits in their drawers every day for a week, and each time, it took me a minute and a half. A minute and a half!
- I liked coming downstairs to make coffee in the morning and the kitchen wasn’t horrible and the coffee press was clean and in the cupboard.
- I found it satisfying to fold very small loads of laundry. Kind of like reading a short story–I managed to do the whole thing between interruptions, and I stopped feeling like my kids were keeping me from completing everything I attempted.
- I wiped down the table a lot more often throughout the day, and a *lot* of tasks throughout the day were simplified because of it. Guess I found our “hub.”
So, since this whole thing is about changing foundational habits, I feel like it’s important to note here:
What’s your habit when you wipe out on your path to becoming more organized? Is it your habit to stay in the dust? Or brush off and keep going?
It’s probably clear already, but I’m a dust dweller myself.
So today I’m working to change that dust-dwelling habit. That’s why these “after” pictures aren’t too bad. Because I looked around and went…house? I am done being intimidated by you. You work for me now.
I wonder if this reminds you of anything the way it does me.
How many New Years and Lents and Paschas and Christmases and Dormitions have gone by with a renewed determination to be more devoted to the faith, to prayer, to fasting and church attendance? And when we inevitably and probably spectacularly wipe out, do we sit in the dirt and go, I knew I couldn’t do it anyway? Or do we wobble to our feet and trip, lunge, roll, claw, and/or tumble our way down the path? Not like those are glamorous options. But they’re better than just sitting there.
The Lenten season is nearly upon us. Maybe it’s a good time to be mindful of those re-starting habits?
So that’s me. I’d love to have your comments on this one–please let me know how your efforts are going. I think we could all use some encouragement this Lent!