Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cleaning on the Weekends: Tuesday's Reflection

When I worked full-time outside the home, Saturday morning was
Saturday Morning Vacuuming
most often reserved for cleaning the whole house, top to bottom. At some point during the weekend, I did the grocery shopping as well. Laundry, including ironing, usually was accomplished during the week, but most jobs needed weekend time and energy. 

How long has it been since I worked full-time outside the home? A long time and yet many Saturday mornings I clean. I may also do some grocery shopping on the weekends, but only because I can't seem to get my head around doing a week's worth of menu planning anymore and end up shopping every couple days. What is that about?

Why is it so uncomfortable for me to do something because I feel like doing it now, no matter the day or the time of day? Why is it I can't decide in the present moment what makes most sense right now? And why can't I break out of old routines and stop listening to old tapes? 

Does the house really need to be cleaned every week anyway? If it doesn't get done on Saturday, can't it wait till Monday? Well, no because Monday I volunteer in the school library and on Mondays I write a post for Tuesday's blog and I pay the bills and continue working on my book and…. 

I have told myself week days are for my work as a spiritual director and writer and to participate in volunteer activities. The weekends are for house tasks. The weekends are also when I am allowed to play. If there is time. 

How ridiculous is all that? 

Clearly, I still live within an old pattern and former routines: a division between weekdays and weekends. 

In a few days my husband will be fully retired, and there will be even less reason to structure the week the ways we have in the past. Neither one of us knows exactly what this will mean for our daily life yet. Theoretically, it could mean more flexibility, more availability and spontaneity, and more willingness to respond to the needs and interests of the moment. We have an opportunity to choose what we do and when we do it. 

Here's a thought: I could sit and read a book purely for pleasure on a Tuesday morning, and I could work on a new chapter for my book Sunday afternoon, if I feel like it. Bruce and I could go for a long drive in his little sports car on a Wednesday afternoon, if we want to. We could even go to a movie during the week. The possibilities are endless once we start thinking outside the weekday-weekend box.

Maybe the box I am in is one labelled "The Way It Has Always Been" or "The Way I Have Always Done It." Perhaps it is time to change the label of the box to "Evaluation Time" or "New Possibilities Time." Perhaps it is time to move the box to the garage and instead ask, "Who has God created me to be at this stage of my life?" 

An Invitation
What box are you in and what freedom and possibilities await you outside the box? I would love to know. 


  1. Or how do I create a beautifully wrapped box that has exactly the perfect gift to myself, plus a few surprises. That is what I am trying to do at this point in my life.

  2. Hi Nan,
    I'm in an itchy reentry after Kay and kids leaving, the 8 month gathering at Stillpoint 3 of us planned and facilitated, I finally hauled the last of the 6 yards of garden soil to my gardens in the back yard, the house is neat, I won't claim clean, but clean enough for drop ins, and Phoebe and Zeb's play is over. This week I need to finish the reading for next week retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault, dig in a few plants, clean the frig and pack a suitcase.
    I plan to use some of the retreat time musing about what is the "red thread" twisting through my next life plot...

    1. Thanks so much for the image of the "red thread." I well understand the "itchy feeling." Scritch, scratch! I'll stay tuned to what's next in your plot. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love that you question yourself in this way. It will lead to a more satisfying routine, I'm sure!

    1. Always interesting to balance routine with everything else!


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