woman cleaning thumbs up
Can you say this? I have to admit that I am usually the first to complain about the laundry, which never seems to end. But maybe we can learn a thing or two from Nancie. This spring, rather than focusing on the routine chores like taking an inventory of what you have, de-cluttering the closets, and polishing your silver (okay, no one does this anymore, but it makes for a good analogy later on in this article, so stick with me) take a new approach and focus on spring cleaning your world and being thankful in the process. Does that sound crazy? If so, read on!
1) Start by taking inventory. Recently I took my three girls clothes shopping. I really have to gear up for this (if you’ve ever shopped simultaneously with three girls you know what I mean), so before we went I helped them take an inventory of what they had and decided ahead of time what they needed. Obviously this is not rocket science, right? But how often do we do this with our world? Look around you and take an inventory of what you see and experience on a regular basis. Are the kids happy or do they fight more often than not? Do you and your partner get along as well as you like? How much do you enjoy your current routine? Write down how you are generally feeling on a day-to-day basis. Be honest with yourself. It is more valuable to admit where you might like to see changes than to ignore those areas that are not going well. Only then can you determine what your needs are.
2) Declutter your closet. If you can, recall a time when you did the impossible and tackled an over-stuffed closet. Seeing all that junk lying on the floor and scattered in an assortment of loosely related piles can be frustrating, and ironically can seem worse than it did before you started. But keeping the end result in mind, a cleared out space where you can quickly find what you need, can help you stay the course. The same is true with your world. If, after taking an inventory (as you did in step 1), you notice that your life is not in the state you would like it to be, you have to find out why, and the best place to start is with you. Start to eliminate and delegate. Eliminate activities, relationships, and commitment that no longer bring you happiness. Delegate household jobs too! Kids are great helpers and learn a lot from the responsibility of participating in routine chores. Remember it may get messier first, but be patient with the transition. Soon enough your calendar will start to look a little bit cleaner.
3) Polish your silver. I’ll be honest, I don’t even own any silver, nor do I want to. In any event, let’s pretend for a minute we lived back in the 1940s. Picture yourself in a house dress and a white apron, standing in the dining room polishing your silver, while the children quietly play in the living room. Think Donna Reed or June Cleaver. Look around you and see the beauty that can be found in every person, every relationship, and certainly in you. Accept other for who they are and love the person you are already. Then take a moment to shine up those qualities about you that you already love. Get your hair done, watch an old movie or go out and have fun with some girlfriends. Do something special for you!
This spring, focus on cleaning up your world and adding in a dose of gratefulness. Yes, it’s nice to have a clean house, but how much better it is to have a clean world where you can enjoy others, relax a bit, and take care of you, too. Be honest with where you are, make a conscious effort to eliminate and delegate so you have more time to bring more of what you DO want into your world. Then do something to make yourself shine. Now that is something to really be grateful about!
As a Certified Life Coach, speaker and author, April O’Leary helps women bring peace into their busy lives. She also teaches a tele-course called Ride the Wave and offers one-on-one coaching sessions by phone or in her office. April and her husband Jim reside in Estero with their three girls. For more on April, visit her website at www.apriloleary.com.