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Saturday
Dec292012

"A" Spaces

Cleaning time is finding time.

 
That's the cheery pep talk my mother gave while I was growing up. It's true, too. For the past month I have been systematically organizing the neglected corners of my home. This weekend I did both John's and my desks, which had become buried in paper and paraphernalia. One of the goodies I unearthed was the Sunday School materials I had been searching for these past five weeks. But alas, that series is over. Too late.
 
One of my goals has been to get priority C possessions out of A spaces. For instance there were snow pants at the ready by the back door.  My twins could have nabbed them before the first flakes hit the driveway, should an unpredicted flurry swoop in. It snowed precisely once last year. I dethroned the winter garb to a more remote shelf in the basement where it would take a whopping eighty seconds to fetch them rather than three. Today I have a face off with the counter in the entry way. It is the initial surface to accost our eyes when we walk in, and I dare say has been less than a calming energy for guests. 
 
I am drawn to the idea that the opening contact to our living space will be pleasing. I have visited houses where a vase of lavender irises graced the foyer, or a watercolor of an autumn forest. I can almost recreate the tiny leap in my throat as I was invited in. It felt safe, and beautiful. Walking in our back door last week was more likely to invoke feelings of overwhelm, or actual peril from the precarious piles looming over your head. No more.
 
There are things I need to say to John. But sometimes I clobber him with priority C messages as he is barely crossing the threshold. He hasn't even taken his coat off yet and I load on the clutter. 
 
"The dryer isn't working right. Not quite broken but the towels took two hours to dry."
 
"Have you called your mother back yet? She wants to know if we are coming and I really think it should be you who explains about the schedule."
 
"Zack needs a ride to the train on Friday and I will be at Ben's endocrinologist so can you take him? He could walk I suppose but it would be a chance for you to talk to him about you-know-what."
 
"Spaghetti for dinner. I know you don't like it but it was all I could think of. You can warm up some canned soup."
 
There are other messages that should take precedence. "A" messages, if you will. 
 
"I am happy to see you!"
 
"Thank you for working hard today."
 
"I love you."
 
"Your smile is amazing."
 
Yet too often those are the words that are stuffed in the hall closet of my mind, under the sleeping bags.
 
I don't want to wait to tell him how precious he is to me. I may turn around and it will be too late.