"How you do anything is how you do everything." I heard this for the very first time in 2013 and it definitely resonated with me; as a matter of fact, it's one of those quotes that springs itself into my mind every few weeks. Lately it's come about more often as I look at the aftermath of summer and what it did to my house. With sticky fingerprints not only on just windows but walls and doors; laundry and outgrown clothes and shoes piling up; and an army of dustbunnies collecting in places unknown, I wonder, does this house really reflect on me? Because my house is a little on the chaotic side right now. Does that mean I'm falling apart? No. And I'll tell you why: because I excelled at being the best mom I could possibly be this summer.
I have a bit of a behind-closet-doors type story to tell which starts with a very negative situation which turned out to produce a valuable lesson. Back in April of this year I decided to bring approximately 100 pounds of beaver carcasses out to my treestand - I was committed to getting a spring bear. At the time I had a small car but my son, who was back from Alberta, let me borrow his new truck to tow everything out to my spot. I get out there, unload the beavers, check the area, and head back to town. I was in my own little world: music was playing, feeling exhilerated after conquering this feat on my own; the scenic drive back to town on a quiet Thursday afternoon - it was perfect. As I was quite used to driving my own car, and not interested in figuring out how my son's cruise control worked, I happily drove down the highway without paying attention to my speed. It didn't seem like I was going that fast in this big truck. Busted. Red and blues. At the end of it, my sunny bright day turned into a hefty speeding ticket that I had not anticipated in my budget. I was completely bummed.
Business requires that I'm watching my money very carefully and I knew I simply could not afford this speeding ticket of $570. Yes, you read that correctly. I made a decision to go to the court to ask for a reduction; it was not given, understandably, but I was provided the opportunity to work the fine off in the form of fifty-one hours community service. I signed up at a local shelter where I noticed how neat and tidy and clean it was due to the ongoing maintenance of the staff and clients. Here was a shining example of how everything was completed on time and when scheduled; a good system that I see value in. As summer kept going, my house was falling behind and I knew it but between being at my store (Northern Elite Firearms) and being a sane mom when my kids were home, the housecleaning did not take precedence.
Fifty-one hours in my life equates to a whole lot of work that can be accomplished; and I finally managed to complete all those hours last week. I learned a lot and mostly enjoyed my time while I was paying my dues; the scrubbing and wiping were mostly therapeutic as I struggled with loss and change over the summer. I was focused and paid attention to even the smallest details; I treated it as my job and took pride in whatever it was I needed to complete while there. Overall, the hours I worked at the shelter went by relatively quickly although it took almost every bit of free time I could muster up over the summer. I came home at the end of it and looked around at my own house. I could definitely see how 3,060 minutes were not channeled into my own space and how truly important it is to show up in life, at whatever it is you're doing. I began to look upon the build up of that which comes along with comfy Sunday morning pancakes, bike rides to the park, and berry picking out in the woods - I started to momentarily feel anxious as the small hill of house work slowly turned into a mountain. Why did I have to go and get that speeding ticket? I should have just paid it and none of this would be happening! I stopped myself in those victim tracks and took the bull by the horns. My kids had a great summer although it meant a lot of work for me. Now it's time to work.
And I did what any sane woman would do in this case - I scheduled a big family/friend gathering at my house. In doing so it forced me to focus on the state of my environment, collect the data, figure out the priorities. I scheduled this party only two days before one of the largest events I've ever organized in my life - Smoke Show 2019 - which I wrote about frequently over the course of this last few weeks. As I write this I'm about 80 hours out from the Smoke Show, just under 24 hours out from my family function, and I spent the good part of these hours organizing my closet. Yes, you read that correctly. Closet. But the effort was satisfying as I purged and re-arranged and organized and cleaned. How you do anything is how you do everything. There's a lot that can be interpreted in any given situation but it comes down to perspective and attitude - I could have complained about the speeding ticket; I could leave my house a mess and blame my kids for trashing it - they did, sort of - but I started with my own closet and it spawned a cleaning and organizing fiesta. Attention to detail. That is how I do everything and that is definitely my truth. I am usually not always prepared but when I need to work, I give it everything I have right down to the last detail and I won't stop until it is done the way I think it should be.
Cleaning up my life over the last few years involves taking control over my own decision making and figuring out what I want my life to look like down the road. It means releasing myself from old behaviours that don't support my growth. The decision to clean my closet in this deeply reflective way can be explained in greater detail by a gal I know by the name of Heather Irene who invited me into her own home a few weeks ago. Please check out the continuation of this next week where I tell the story of how Heather inspired me to clean my closet.