Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cleaning ADHD

This fantastically dry and sunny Seattle summer is doing great things for my flower pots.


My across-the-street neighbors have been busy lately.

The family matriarch, who has been a kind and gentle neighbor to me for most of my adult life, is moving. Recently widowed and getting on in years, she has graciously agreed to let go of her big, empty house and move in with her daughter and son-in-law. In a beautiful turn of fate, this good lady's grandson and his young family have decided to buy her home. So, for the past few weeks, the extended clan has been helping to pare down Grandma's household, get her settled in her new digs, and prepare the house for the new family.

Normally, June is a month for annuals to splutter and struggle as they fight to stay ahead of the dastardly slugs. 

Paring down
Letting go

I find my neighbors' project has kick-started my own housekeeping energies. Now, I'm not exactly ready to hand the keys over to the next generation of Streichers. But there's no doubt that the seasons of life are changing at my house too. I am thinking about how my house can better reflect who I am today, and what my family needs from our home.

But this year, the blossoms are practically leaping out of the pots, and I am endlessly inspired by their enthusiasm.

Seeing my home in this new light is helping me make all kinds of useful decisions:

What furniture can I get rid of to make my rooms feel more spacious and comfortable?
Would a fresh finish invite my tried and true 80s coffee table into the new millennium?

In a home strewn from one end to the other with laptops, tablets and smart phones, is it necessary to have two old-school TVs?
Is my kaleidoscope of wall colors cohesive, or I have veered off into an unfortunate Candyland look?

Do we really still need those Raffi cassette tapes?

Predictably, this intellectual exercise has spun me out into a whirlwind of tasks, schemes and strategies designed to bring a new sense of peace and purpose to my surroundings. I've been leaping from one job to the next with wild abandon. 

I call it "cleaning ADHD." My family just stands back and gives me room. 

And while I'm glad that my neighbors have nudged me onto the right track for transforming our homes to keep up with life's changes, I'm also taking advice from my good cat, Luna.

I'm sorry, but your electric sander is disturbing my nap. Can you keep it down over there?


Sometimes, you just have to take a break and lounge in the shade.

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