Spring Cleaning

April 5, 2010 § 2 Comments

It’s almost March.  And it’s a beautifully sunny day in Calgary.  In my apartment, my entire south facing wall is nothing but a huge window and a sliding door overlooking 17th Avenue.  I don’t live in a big building, it’s only 6 floors in all, but there aren’t any bigger buildings behind me, and so the sun shines into my little abode pretty much the entire day.  Today is the first day in a long time that I’ve been in the right mindset to check in with myself, take inventory of where I’m at and just see how I’m doing.  In these kinds of moments, I can spend 20 minutes, sometimes more, just gazing out the window.  Focusing on each car that goes by, each bird riding a current, and how the sun falls on my favourite leather chair just so.

Today, as I settled in to ponder and my gaze headed out the window, I noticed just how dirty the windows had gotten over the winter.  It’s funny how we sometimes don’t notice the build up of dirt and grime over time, or how we’re willing to look through the dirt to see the world because we don’t really feel like washing that window.

Somehow, gazing through dirt just didn’t cut it today.  It was time to wash the windows.  I have these microfibre clothes made by a company called Norwex.  There’s one specifically for windows and glass.  You don’t need any cleaning agents.  Just some water and the cloth.  And boy, that cloth can clean a window and make it sparkle better than any bottle of Windex I’ve ever tried.  In all, it only took me about 20 minutes to clean off the dirt inside and out.  I’m back on my couch and the difference 20 minutes… 20 MINUTES… made for a clearer view is phenomenal.

How much scum and dirt do we let pile up on ourselves and on how’re we’re seeing the world around us because we’re too lazy to take a few minutes to wipe it clean?  I want to compare looking out my windows now to looking out of them before being washed to that drinking and driving commercial where it shows how much your vision is impaired after each drink.  How much less clear is our perspective with each layer of dirt that settles in (on our windows or in our lives)?

I’m sure I’ll be going through this exercise again.  A few months will pass and I’ll notice that my window isn’t quite as clear as it could be, and that’s just from day to day exposure.  It makes me think about my own housekeeping, all of the things I’m exposed to day to day that I don’t notice until they build up and just how much better I feel after it’s all been wiped away.  Whether we think our lives are currently well put together, or there’s a pile of dirt that seems to have built up and soiled what we have to show the world, and what we can see of it, there’s always going to be some housekeeping to do for optimal performance.  The good thing is, it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to wipe things clean again.

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§ 2 Responses to Spring Cleaning

  • John Tyler says:

    Great analogies Wendy!

    It is amazing how dirt can creep up like that, so gradual that you don’t even notice it so easily. I think it happens also in part of our selectiveness. It’s so easy to see what you want to see, and ignore or completely miss what you are actually looking at. I can look at my room and say it’s tidy (especially compared to what it used to look like), but really there’s still more work and re-arranging to be done on it, but I’m at a comfortable level of tidiness right now. In our lives I think it’s just as easy to believe we are on the right path, but unless you take the time to step back and really take a look, you might not realize the possible mess you can be in, or how simple the decisions might be to clean it up.

    It’s funny, I’ve been opening my window every day to get fresh air in my room, and it wasn’t until I read this post that I actually looked at my window and realized how dirty it really is. I’ll have to find these Norwex microfibre clothes to use! 🙂

  • Diane says:

    beautiful commentary Wendy and loved your analogy.

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