Spring cleaning started a little bit early this year. Well, I have to be honest. This is only the second consecutive year that I have subscribed to the idea of spring cleaning. But that’s another story.
Anyway, one of the first items on my agenda were my windows. I have cleaned them before, of course. Or at least, I’ve tried. Many times. But instead of getting them clean, all I’ve ever managed to do was to rearrange the dirt and grime. But I kept trying.
Taking the windows apart to clean them was difficult enough. Putting them back together was a nightmare. And yet I kept trying, doing the same thing over and over with the same grime streaked results. Finally, I gave up. If my windows were gong to be dirty, at least I had the satisfaction of doing nothing about it. But then the glorious morning sun would come beaming through my windows, clouding my view and mocking me at my failure to get them clean. I thought about getting professional help.
I once mentioned in front of my father that I needed to hire a professional window washer. He was horrified. He said “You’re kidding me! Can’t you clean them yourself?” Apparently I can’t, which is why I was considering having a professional clean them for me.
But he did get me thinking. Why couldn’t I clean them myself? Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. Maybe I was doing something wrong. Maybe there was something wrong with me. My windows were representing a part of my belief system and my self image that I am not a very good housekeeper. It sounds silly, but it really bothered me. So, I quadrupled my efforts and tried again. And still I failed.
I finally hired a professional window washer two weeks ago. And he did a wonderful job! My windows are clean, crystal clear, with not even a streak left behind. The morning sun coming through my windows is beautiful, giving me a clear, uninterrupted view. So much light is coming through, I can see the corners of the house that need to be cleaned. And I am attending to them with a new sense of enthusiasm and awareness.
Life’s a lot like those windows. Sometimes we get layers of muck that we simply can’t clear away on our own. Sometimes we can’t see clearly through the layers of dirt that we have accumulated through the years. We get stuck in patterns and we can’t find our way out. It may have a negative impact on our self image, even if it seems trivial to someone else. And it takes away our ability to really enjoy the most simple things in life. Sometimes we all need a little professional help to improve our awareness and see through our problems more clearly. All we have to do is remove the judgment, stop worrying about what other people may think of us, and open ourselves up to new possibilities.
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP