Today is Friday. In our house, Friday is cleaning day. I sometimes wish I could pull off cleaning day the way Pippy Longstocking did. How fun would it be if we could all strap on giant brushes onto our feet, squirt soap all over the place, dance around and sing, and in the next scene the house would be sparkling clean?
Between my husband and I, and our slightly OCD ways, our house is probably one of the cleanest houses in Southern Nevada. I’m serious. You can eat a meal off our floor, or even our patio surface almost any day of the week.
I like doing a thorough cleaning of the house on Fridays. This way, we have the entire weekend free to play. Fridays consists of laundry, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, and of course the usual daily chores of cleaning the kitchen and picking up after the kids.
Today, while I was sweeping, I had a thought. I no longer despise sweeping. For as long as I can remember, I have hated the simple task of sweeping. Why? I came to realize that I had let myself be controlled by the limiting belief that I couldn’t be any good at sweeping because I couldn’t see what I was sweeping. Where did this idea come from? I’ll tell you, but before I do I just want to say that in no way is this me throwing blame on my mom or anyone else for something I took, and let take over a piece of me.
When I was ten years old, my parents bought a donut shop. My sister, brother, and I grew up in this donut shop. We helped keep the place clean, stocked, and helped out behind the register. Something I didn’t do was sweep. My parents never asked me to sweep. In my mind, I formed the idea that because I couldn’t see what was on the floor, I couldn’t sweep. I thus formed the opinion that I hated sweeping. I would happily take on all other household chores, but leave sweeping to any and everyone else.
Fast forward to today. My husband and I have been married for 8 years, and it wasn’t until recently that I actually stopped hated sweeping. For years, like before, I would do all other chores around the house and leave the sweeping to him. If I had to, I would do it of course. Whether I could see or not, sweeping wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I couldn’t break down the wall I built between me and sweeping. I can sweep, mop, cook, and clean, all under a blindfold. Why hadn’t I allowed myself to get over this wall?
That was it! I hadn’t allowed myself to get over the wall. I’d constructed the belief that I would never be any good at sweeping as a child. the ten year old me wasn’t letting go of her insecurities. Today, the 32 year old me, rocked out to Pandora Radio, dancing the entire time I was sweeping. It wasn’t so bad. I rather enjoyed it. Whether you can see or not, you can feel what’s under your feet. Whether you can see or not, if you keep a rhythm, sweep in smooth strokes, and cover all your bases, you can eat off of your floor too.
The first step to overcoming an obstacle,whatever it may be, is to first step back and take a good objective look at it without judgement or preconceived notions. Tear it apart piece by piece, until you can identify the root source. Once you’ve pin pointed the moment when that obstacle took power over you, you take the power back. Throw away that tiny piece of you that has been holding you back, grasp the power tight, and dance on into tomorrow. In my case, I can sweep it all behind me and dance the day way.