“Spring” Cleaning….What do you plan to do?

I love a clean and organized house.  Sometimes, however, GETTING to the clean and organized house is just more than I can handle.  I know, deep down, that I will feel better when things are put away and the excess is purged and dealt with.  Arriving to that place takes my head to a dark place, though, and I put it off.  When I think of this quote (and OH, how I love this one by Mary Oliver!), I am overwhelmed by the list of what I want to do with this wild and precious life.  And then when my chiropractor suggests not lifting heavy things (she knowingly laughs, having met my two boys…..)—

—well, that’s just impossible.  And sitting on my back, with ice on my bulging discs….when report cards call?  Dinner needs to be made?  So, spring cleaning?  It’s on the back burner.  Drew’s attempting to clean and organize our oranges, but that’s about it.

Amazingly, in between the rush to get Alex off to school the other morning and get over to my school for the End of the Year Olympics, Matt and I each got our bedroom surfaces sorted, cleaned and cleared off.  And just that ONE area attended to has created a   little spot of calm.  Whenever I pass the spot, I can breath a little easier and not feel quite so much anxiety….for a moment.  Even though this little area of “spring cleaning” came in June, I’m ok with that.

Drew has hit the twenty month mark and it is a sweet combination of a few recognizable words, and many UNRECOGNIZABLE ones!  He is mimicking and attempting to make us laugh.  Exploring every nook and cranny not closed off to his inquisitiveness.  Large mood swings pervade, especially on Friday afternoons when he’s been at school and slept minimally and comes home to a tired mom after teaching mayhem.  And many attempts at “helping” mom with the dishes, laundry and especially, as of late, vigorously sweeping, fill our days at home.

We had the gift of celebrating Father’s Day at the preschool last week, and today, will be the End-of-the-Year “bubble ceremony” in Alex’s class. My last teaching day with students is tomorrow and then after some final checklist completion, I will be done as of Friday.

With all these endings comes, summer.  The time of fun-filled, carefree days to commence.  Outdoor lunches with friends (and LEGO Star Wars sticker art GALORE….we love you Auntie Doris and Uncle Todd!).  Opportunities to jet off to parks with visiting friends (had a fun-filled day at Ardenwood with the Wrights, in from EGYPT!, today).  Picnics, face painting, balloon hats, cotton candy, sno cones, jumpy houses and water fun (last week’s All Church Picnic was a hoot).  A million and one things to try in the new VitaMix.  Too many Pinterest projects to even begin attempting, although I knocked out a silhouette project last week that’s been entertaining Drew!

Summer is going to be busy.  We are only planning one week away, but with work continuing on and the boys in summer school, I’m already feeling the crunch.  Not enough time to squeeze in the things that sound fun.  Too tight to have lazy, unplanned days, let alone finish some “spring” cleaning, now SUMMER cleaning, projects.  And then that pesky Mary Oliver quote creeps in….what ARE you going to do with that one precious and wild life?!?  Stress?  Clean?  Make to do lists?  Work feverishly?  Or squeeze in as many days of memory-making laziness and spontaneity as possible?  Putting friends and family first?  Prioritizing watermelon and s’mores over perfectly sharp 7pm bedtimes?  I say a hearty, “YES!”

This one precious and wild life is not meant to be spent worrying, fretting and regretting.  My spring cleaning has to include finding a new foundation not built on the things that I have turned to for stability….the false things that don’t hold up.  Time to look towards the new routines, commitments and season and embrace it for what it is.  To keep my head up and looking outwards at those around me, watching for the wild and precious life unfolding.  Not to fear the past, or be anxious about the future, but to be in the middle, in the “in between time” and live into the wildness and preciousness of it.  A challenge for sure, but one which I am trying more and more to step into.

Happy Summer and Happy Spring Cleaning!

Please take some moments to listen to this week’s sermon by our head pastor, Steve….it’s all about the middle….the “before and after” I was just alluding to….GOOD STUFF!

THE PREPOSITIONS OF OUR FAITH – Before and After: Hemmed in by Grace by Rev. Dr. Steve Harrington on May 13, 2012 from Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.

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