Cleaning, top to bottom, with a deadline, makes me cranky. As does working in one room, only to enter another, and find a NEW mess. Ok. Beyond cranky- furious.
All of which happened the other day. It was a perfect storm of circumstance and over-reaction. It was not pretty.
I was in the living room folding laundry, while the dishwasher ran, the washing machine and dryer tumbled, dinner was cooking, I was sweating and everyone was supposed to be getting ready for dinner. (Multi- tasking- I am gifted, in it.)
That’s when I suddenly noticed “the quiet”. Not good.
Quiet, in a house with 3 sons, 2 cats and a beagle, does not equate peace, it is a siren of warning, louder than the weather alert. I looked up from my multi-tasking duties. The living-room got the “all clear”. Hubby was relaxing on the couch after a long day, the beagle was sleeping. I walked through the kitchen. No smoke. (this is good) When I hit the foyer, the scent of raspberry handsoap filled my not so sensitive, nose. That was not right. (Our house usually smells like: dinner, a locker room febreeze or a pet shop… not so much, like raspberries.)
Faster than a cheetah on Starbucks, I flung open the bathroom door. Slimey, pink handsoap dripped like honey from the countertop, slid down the cabinet fronts and puddled onto the bath-rug. It took 20 minutes to eliminate the slimey foaming mess. During which, I built up a rather foamy head of fury.
Careful examination of the sticky evidence, clearly revealed the culprit. The lid lie on the counter, removed from the pump bottle. The bottle lay on it’s side and perfectly formed, 6 year old handprints outlined in foam, dotted the countertop left uncovered by liquid slime. I’m sure the neighbors fled to their bedrooms, when I demanded the little delinquent to go there, for his own safety. (WHOOPSY windows were open when the yelling began.)
I half- heard some kind of defense being raised, by the delinquent, from his jail-cell. But this judge had already delivered her verdict: GUILTY AS CHARGED. I returned to the living-room to inform the husband of his child’s the delinquency, via continued tirade. Not quite speaking to him… (or anyone really) just on a really good (or bad) yelling roll.
At some point, a deep, calm voice sounded. It was my husband. “I took the lid off the soap, when I washed my hands.” “Oh.” Crap” was my response. Every bubble in the foam of my fury, suddenly popped and left me a slimey mess. I’d cast judgement on a situation, that I knew nothing about. I was wrong. I hate that.
I called the unjustly held prisoner, down from his cell. I apologized. I set him free. Of course, part of me wanted to build up another fury towards the actual culprit. And part of my knew that the little handprints were proof that he had indeed participated in illicit acts of mess. I was justified, wasn’t I?
The small voice in my gut that is usually right, said “NO.” I realized the real culprit, was me. I’d let the stress of current events pump me full of hot air like a bubble on the verge of popping. It didn’t take much to turn me into a puddle of foaming momma- fury.
I took a deep breath. I let it out slowly. Then, I shut my mouth. (unbelievable, I know.) The current deadline, is one of my own making. I cannot expect life to stop, just because I have a goal in mind. Stuff happens. My family lives here. This is not a magazine shoot, it’s a party, it’s supposed to be FUN.
Today, I am resolved to try to enjoy the preparation (and the bumps it may bring… ) without working myself up into a lather. Oh- I still have my spreadsheet. I still have a deadline, and goals…. but, I’ve also asked for some help… from friends, from family, and from the only one who can change my cheetah like, anger reflex…..God.
“Dear Lord- please help me to honor you… and not overreact to normal things, just because I have an agenda. God, it’s hard to work only to find it totally undone in a moment- it’s frustrating! Please help me to be patient…. and not to kill anyone- emotionally, with my fury. I love you Lord- and am glad I’m not alone in this… oh, and Lord… good weather for this deadline would really be nice;) amen”