I passed by the room a dozen times a day and when I actually went in to the room each evening to put the girls to bed, I would exhale sharply, a deep and dramatic sigh signifying the inevitable – I was going to have to bite the bullet and spend an afternoon cleaning their bedroom. I couldn’t ignore the naked Barbie dolls and LiteBrite pegs on floor anymore, no more than I could ignore the small mountain of clothing on the floor just three short feet from the hamper. Baby dolls, pajamas, coloring books, and the ponytail holders once thought long gone all strewn about the floor carelessly would have to be picked up and put away in their proper places (yes, they all had homes, but somehow never seemed to stay there).
As I started in on the messy, chaotic mess, I was full of energy. “I will get this room clean once and for all,” I thought, “and if it gets messed up, I swear I will ground the girls until they are 30!” My 7 year old still thinks she is grounded from the last time I said this, so you can see how serious I was about it. I made them help me – I set out two paper grocery bags and told them one is for things to give away, and the other is for things to throw away. Of course it took my 7 year old a long time to decide what should go in which bag, so I sort of took over and made some “executive” decisions. It took a while, but we kept at it and eventually the outdated brown carpet circa 1979 could be seen. Huzzah!!
I stood in the doorway and admired my work, and was proud of the girls for helping me. And then the thought came to me, “oh crap; now we have to KEEP it clean! Keeping it clean is going to be just as hard as cleaning it was!” And that’s when the light bulb went off – cleaning house is a lot like losing weight.
I ignore the fat until I just can’t stand it anymore and then I get all gung-ho and decided that this is the last straw and this will be the final time! I work and struggle to lose the weight and then when I do lose the weight, I admire myself and feel so proud for working so hard and accomplishing something of that magnitude. And then comes the hard part…maintenance ( something I will readily admit that I have not learned how to do successfully). Once you lose the weight, you gotta keep after it or all your hard work will end up buried underneath a pile of naked Barbies and LiteBrite pegs (so to speak).
I am tired of the clutter both in my home and on my body, so I am doing some things that will eliminate both – I am cleaning out a closet here and a drawer there, I am watching what I eat and taking steps to be more active, and God willing, by the end of this year, both my home and my body will be a more comfortable place to live. I don’t know how long it will take to get things in order, most likely I will be working on this for the rest of my life, but it has got to be better than living the way I have been – in chaos and denial. My home and I deserve better than that.