Obviously I have exceeded my "cleaning quota." There is a reflective layer of dust on many furniture pieces, an occasional crunch underfoot and the glass of my sliding patio door has a diffusing film that would flatter an aging movie star. I don't know when this happened; I used to love clean. Oh, I think I still do, but I don't love to do clean. Yes, that's the problem.
A few years ago I moved to smaller living quarters and there was no longer a place for everything--some items had to share the same space. That was the beginning of living with the things I love without as much space to love them in. It is a greener way to live--I did not need three bathrooms, a family room and a living room but it is a challenge to live greener, leaner and cleaner.
Before the move I donated, tossed and gave away with wild abandon. The adult children took ownership of their baby books, photo albums and other childhood memorabilia. The new owner inherited potted plants, patio furniture and gardening tools. I really delved into streamlining my life. So what really matters when it comes right down to parting with what was once important?
Not much. How enlightening and freeing is that? I first discovered this years ago while in the midst of divorce. My freshly separated ex decided to video the house while I was away for the weekend. He counted the wine glasses and antique dishes and videoed the book collection, the artwork etc. He wanted to make sure he received his half. It was a behavior that highlighted how little most of the items and years spent meant to me. There are few things that must move from one phase of life to another. Like a snake's skin when it is no longer a good fit, it's best to shed it and move on.
On this Thanksgiving Day I'm home with the flu, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to have learned what matters most as we move along our life's path. The children are grown and the childhood pets have passed on. There are ample photos that froze a moment in time, but the true gift is memories and treasured friends and family to share them with. It's not about the stuff, it is about the love and caring for others.
The cleaning? Not so much.