Just Because


I hate to clean!

I am using the word hate here!  Strong emotion.  Why?

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As important and even healthy as it is, it is also usually frustrating.  If you have a family that includes small children, then you know what I mean.  I could clean the bathroom 100 times every day and it would still look like the worst off-brand, no locks on the doors, gas station “restroom”!  Nothing restful about that.

Perhaps I should be happy about that–it means that the space is getting the use for which it is intended.  I just can’t work up the enthusiasm for it.

Seems to me that life is like that “restroom” too.  We usually don’t clean-up until we’re totally disgusted, fed up and have no alternative.   Then, in typical human form, we wait two more years before we start.  How in the world did we ever survive to 2011?

What makes change so difficult for everyone? 

My dad used to say that growing up is a lot harder than anyone tells you.  He was right–and it never stops being harder than anyone tells you!  Change is the unknown.  We think we figured out a way to survive the familiar, so we cling to it like a life raft.  We are all caught up in that mess that won’t be tidy, clinging to the life raft.  In my social service work, I regularly encountered people for whom life resembled the never tidy restroom.  Addiction, loss, isolation and fear are the mess that won’t be tidy.

It is messy in my life sometimes.  What are the untidy parts of your life?

The last couple of years have been filled with change.  Change in living situations, change in employment, change in family structure, change in economics, change in politics…….. Even the earth itself is shaking and changing, quaking and erupting!  We cling to the life raft tighter and tighter.  Nothing restful about all that.

One of the things that I have learned (the hard way!) is that the cleaning part helps.  As much as I hate to admit it, it does!

I have done some renovations to this blog site and will continue to make more.  I want to thank my friend Richard Kraneis for pointing out the most obvious issue yesterday.  He’s been around the blog block a few times and knows what he is talking about!  Thanks Richard!           I am inching my way towards tidy!   

I think it has to do with the engagement of a different part of the human brain.  By doing the mundane things that cleaning requires, you burn calories, release endorphins, focus on manual tasks and then the other processes of the brain have a chance to “reboot”, “resort” and “rework” the problems that can preoccupy us.  The end result is that not only will the cleaning give some satisfaction in the measurable change, you may be able to get some of the answers when you give the brain a chance to do it’s thing in the background.  Bonus!

We can let go of the life raft and find rescue and rest, even if it only lasts until the next kid rushes into the house.  Bonus!

What is the cleaning you need to do bring that “Bonus!”?

Article:  http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/cleaning.htm

Just Because

In Praise of the Sunday Nap!

Today we again honored the tradition begun before my father’s generation and continued into my grandson’s.  The Sunday Nap!

Some would say that this tradition was instituted by God in Genesis when after working six days to create the heavens and the earth and all that is in them God decided to rest on the seventh day.  Regardless of how the tradition began, I am grateful for it and heartily endorse it.  Rest is good.

Not only is it refreshing to get an hour of shut-eye, it helps to reset the mind and prepare us for another grueling week of same old, same old. Let me say that I just took a pole and 2 of the 7 poll subjects were still taking a nap!  Not sure that this proves anything other than we are a family bound by tradition.

Sleep is important.  Just like we learned in school we should each sleep 8-9 hours each night.  Few of us do.  Sleep deprivation can cause loss of productivity, accidents,

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...
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disrupt hormone production and the proper metabolic processing of carbohydrates.  Severe sleep deprivation can cause symptoms that resemble drunkenness, including lack of coordination and poor judgement.  Even if one does not sleep, the quiet rest in a calm space can do a lot for us.  There is so much general noise in our lives that any excuse for quiet is a refreshing change. That is as far as we will go with sleep study information–don’t want to put you to sleep!

I look forward to the quiet of the whole house on Sunday afternoon. The homeyness of the family safe and snug.  The refreshing decadence of it all–chores can wait, we have something important to do.  I cherish and protect it vigorously. I hope I have passed it on to the next generations and if my poll is any indication, I have!

Just Because

Puppy Spring

This spring has been about puppies.  We lost our 16 yr old dog about a year ago.  A German shepherd that disliked men and was very protective of women.  He was chicken-brained in his later years due to  strokes, blindness and arthritis.  But the hair!  Shedding and all the clean up that goes with it…..

My daughter and I decided that we both wanted a large dog—smart, good with kids and older folks, and most importantly no shedding.  The answer was a standard poodle.  We overcame the initial objections of the men-folk in our lives by choosing a breeder in Montana that uses the dogs for carting, hunting and companioning outdoor sports.  We scoffed at the pictures of the show cuts and the pretty pink bows.   In the end, we planted our feed and stood our ground.  The dogs, one male and one female (litter-mates)born on Halloween 2010 arrived in February.

We did not separate them to begin with.  My daughter—bless her!—kept both until they completed potty training.  We took the kids to puppy classes and learned more about our breed.  The men-folk (most at-least) came around.  We got the girl permanently.  Both puppies are a true joy!

If you know the breeds, you know that shepherds are very vocal—noisy even.  Poodles are very quiet.  No doubt these traits are grounded in their original purpose—for shepherds to herd animals, keep predators away and for poodles to hunt, or point to the prey for the hunter.  It was unnerving at first.  We put tags on her so that she would jingle when she walked Puppyor moved around so we could tell where she was.  That is when I noticed the springing.  Yes, I said springing!

She has a spring in her step that is charming and fun to watch.  She springs into the air and does a 360 rotation when she is play fighting with her brother.  She waits patiently while I fill the food bowl and then springs into action when I give the release command.  She plays fetch with herself by letting the tennis ball roll off the steps into the yard and then springs after it to grab it and go again.  Last time my husband mowed, she was pretending to square-off with the mower, springing this way and that in order to intimidate the machine.

That’s the enthusiasm I want and really only have at times.  I want to spring into action, obviously relishing the task, playing with the ideas and ready to do a 360 rotation if need be.  When I do that, I am happier, more engaged in whatever the activity is and dare I say it—more successful in the outcome.  It’s that relaxed confidence that this is going to be great!—whatever it is—that gives us the spring. So, I’m giving myself the release command to train myself into that springing everyday.

Interestingly enough the actual command is “Relax!”.