My Mom, stress, priorities, and a clean house

I encourage people who are grieving to allow themselves to experience the loss of a loved one. So, I figured it was time for me to ponder my Mom who passed in February of 2017.

As I was settling into her loss this evening, I was breathing in lavender and relaxing by a candle. It was in this moment I realized what Mom taught me even though it was not intentional on her part. Many of you may have a mother who demanded you make your bed, sweep, wash dishes, clean, etc. Not my Mom. She was quite the opposite.

When I look back on Mom’s life, I see a woman who prioritized doing the things she loved. She was an excellent seamstress. She created amazing cross stitch designs for most of her family. She wasn’t stressed and perplexed because she felt she had to do them. She created these precious memories because she loved doing it. She found fulfillment through her creations as the dust settled and the dirty dishes stacked.

Throughout my lifetime, I have felt the pressure to keep a clean home. As a young woman, I knew I was different than others. It seemed others could easily get up early and perform a cleaning task before work. Then, after work, perform another cleaning task. This created a great deal of stress within me because I saw no way to keep up with that schedule plus I really did not have the desire. I felt if I could not do it the right way then I was a failure.

After years of pressure, I finally realized I could only do what was feasible given other priorities such as being a mom, working, church, cooking, canning, coaching, and the list goes on and on. So, I began to accept my limitations but now I see them as priorities. Cleaning was a priority but it was down on the list.

A different perspective

Tonight was different. Tonight, I realized that Mom was the one who taught me to set priorities. Today, my priority was to relax and take care of me. So, as I sat enjoying my lavender and lit candle, I looked at the dust bunnies in the corner and said, “so what?” (pause and let “so what” sink in)

So what, you say? Well, if Mom had frenzied herself to have a beautifully clean home, would we have honored her with a room full of beautiful creations at her funeral? Would I have beautiful memories of her self-care hanging on my wall? Would I be relaxing this evening and taking care of me or frenzied to get the dust bunnies cleaned?

What is important?

What is important to you? How do you want to be remembered? Consider prioritizing your life. If you don’t, it may prioritize you and if it does then it may feel like a runaway train that is full of anxiety and stress. Take a lesson from Mom. Enjoy what you love and don’t worry about the dust bunnies.  

Original publish date: August 20

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