Yesterday, I did battle with our coat closet and I won!
Only two of us live in our home right now and yet, for some reason, our reasonably large coat closet was full to overflowing, junk strewn all over the floor. If a guest arrived at our home last week and handed me their coat to hang up, I would have strategically thrown it over the back of a sofa in our living room.
But not anymore! I have conquered the dragon! I am a Shield Maiden of Rohan, Ruler of the Iron Throne, Mother of Dragons! (Insert Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones theme music here.) You are welcome to come on over and hang up your coat!
Perhaps I am being a wee bit dramatic, but my tendency to make mundane tasks into epic battles of will is really quite extraordinary.
Here’s the thing: I am not without skills and the ability to follow through. I am capable of managing complex, multi-faceted projects, leading groups of people in major fundraising efforts, and starting a growing business. And oh yeah, I wrote a whole BOOK, for goodness sake!
Yet, I can NOT seem to clean out my beside table, organize the stacks in the study or mail the boxes I promised to mail to my daughter. Every room in my house has a corner or crevice that hisses at me when I walk by, mocking me and my big plans to finally, someday, conquer the clutter. When my youngest left for college, I made a list of cabinets, closets, shelves and drawers I was going to tackle. She graduates in May and I am STILL talking about it.
BUT yesterday, I emerged from the coat closet with two bags of give-aways, one bag of trash and a sense of equal parts accomplishment and amusement.
Here is what happened differently yesterday: I had two coaching clients cancel because of illness. Instead of filling that unexpected block of time puttering mindlessly on the computer or getting ticked off watching the news, I asked myself these questions- the kinds of questions I often ask my clients:
- How do I want to intentionally, purposefully use this gift of time?
- What would give me a sense of accomplishment right now?
- What do I say is important to me and how does that impact how I choose to spend my minutes and hours?
I decided to tackle one of the many looming, leering, mocking projects right that minute, no delay, no excuses. I ended up dragging it out over the course of the day, getting distracted by sending photos of myself in reindeer antlers to my children (no, I have no idea why there were reindeer antlers in my coat closet amongst the FIVE HUNDRED pairs of gloves.) It wasn’t pretty or terribly efficient, but I got it done.
One tiny little baby dragon vanquished!
Yes, I know I am making way too big of a deal about this. Cleaning out a coat closet isn’t hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Grieving a loved one is hard. Losing 30 pounds is hard. Cleaning out a closet is a joke by comparison.
Yet I am finding many of us struggle more with the little things. We rise to the occasion when the crisis comes, but we feel shame over our inability to master the minutiae of daily living. We become paralyzed by that habit, task or struggle that keeps us stuck feeling like a failure. Click To Tweet
I am learning to have a sense of humor about these kinds of struggles. Shame keeps me stuck, so I have to give myself some grace in the places where I am frankly a bit of a mess. Yet, God loves me too much for me to settle for less than my best, so sometimes I need a kick in the butt and a “You got this! Get it done! No more excuses.”
Which of those do you need today? A little extra dose of grace? Or a pep talk to get off your butt and get back in there?
Go get that dragon, brave warrior!
Today I am linking up with my friends over at Five Minute Friday. Our word today is OVERCOME. Yes, I know it is a bit ironic that a coat closet is what came to mind when given the prompt “overcome,” but that’s what makes these link-ups fun! Pop on over and see what else this word stirs up in our brilliant band of writers.
Oh you made me laugh! Would you like to come and sort out my shoe rack? I swear they’re breeding!
I’m not sure if there’s a difference between big and small stuff to be honest.
Your FMF Neighbour #52
Oh yes… I so get this! My side table is out of control… this inspired me to tackle it tomorrow morning and re-organize at least one small corner at a time! Thanks for the motivation and encouragement!
So now I don’t feel quite so bad about all those little projects I have yet to accomplish in my home. As we speak, there are baskets full of gloves, hats, and scarves (some for little girls in their tween years that I have yet to donate) precariously stacked on the top shelf of my coat closet. Occasionally I hear a mysterious thump in my house, as something topples to the floor of the closet from that heap. Maybe I will put that at the top of my to-do list.????