Because of the realization of this perpetual nature to winnowing and the bigger awareness of other things being of higher importance (things that aren't "things" like our relationships with each other), I haven't bent over backwards to tackle any major winnowing projects in some time. There are a couple of areas that need the most attention: paperwork and laundry. We're handling these, but there isn't real order in place to keep us from being behind the eight ball with these two areas. I'll get to working on a system for these soon.
But the last room standing in my house needing serious attention is my garage. Now, I know, we've been here before. But remember there was a move two+ years ago, the addition of a kid, several more years of life, and the nearly inevitable accumulation that accompanies all of the above. For reasons that confound me, it appears we are to never have a garage with a working garage door. At the last house the door stopped working within a week of moving in. Here it took a little longer; a month. So in both places, the garage stopped being a place for cars to dwell, but rather became complete dumping grounds for a sundry discarded items: furniture no longer used, boxes that never got emptied after the move, off-season clothes, old toys no one plays with, stuff someone gives us that we should've said "no, thank you" to. My guts churn at the bedlam in that room. I'm not even kidding.
This week is spring clean up week in our small town. It's brilliant, really. The city sets out dumpsters on Main Street and city-limit dwellers can bring everything (excluding household trash) to the dumpsters for free the entire week. It seems like the perfect time to do the garage. And boy, I have been gung ho. Until two hours ago. After wrestling and wrenching myself and the garage door to get it open, surveying the situation, tears, and a flood of complete frustration, I realized cleaning out the garage...once again...isn't going to happen. Not this week.
The last several weeks have been amazingly busy. Fulfilling, but fall-into-bed busy. They've also included out-of-state and out-of-country trips for Ma Luffin Mayun. He will come home tomorrow from his latest trip. I've had an increased work load in and out of the house, related and unrelated to him being gone. Here's what I realized today staring at that cesspool that is our garage: I could get it done this week. I could. I'm not afraid of hard work. There are a lot of times I can work circles around folks. But to do that this week, it would come with a cost:
-It would be at the expense of my husband, whose trips haven't been vacations, but full of hard work coupled with the challenge of being away from home and family and the familiar.
-It would be at the expense of my kids who have already been down to one parent (who absolutely doesn't act the same when she's flying solo) so much the last several weeks, and who could use the comfort and beauty and chaos that is the five of us together in a "normal" week.
-It would come at the expense of myself, which is worn out from the hectic schedule and could use some rest and recovery and self-imposed grace this week.When I count up the cost and make the decision to say no to winnowing the garage this week, I sound so level-headed and well-prioritized. But I'm incredibly grouchy about it. I can tend towards self-reliance and I don't like to not be able to do something, especially if I think it is several clicks past overdue. I've cooled down, but I wanted to flat-out pitch a fit; stomp my feet, cuss, go on a tirade about how this family let the garage turn into a dump and that it is not just my job to keep things in order around here, and demand that everybody stop everything until it's clean or until I say otherwise even if it takes days.
Man, that still all sounds really appealing, actually...
But I am wise enough at least to know that to not do it this week is right. I do know that I will not be sorry for saying no to the good thing of cleaning out the garage and choosing the better thing of deepening relationships with my four treasures and giving grace to myself. As I resign to it and practice that "no", it will get easier as the week progresses to lose myself in the "yes".
And one day, my garage will be clean. Hopefully sooner than I can imagine...