I had no idea that when we started tearing up the carpet last May that I would be sitting in my living room on the first Sunday of Advent looking at an air compressor and nail gun and everything else that is cluttering the space. Of course, projects always take longer than expected, but this one feels excessive.
One thing led to another, as it often does. New floors led to new doors and a new toilet and new base trim and new door trim and then… New doors and trim means painting and caulking and more painting. New trim means measuring and cutting and nailing… sometimes multiple times. All of it means laying on the floor, crawling on the floor, discomfort. All of it means dust and and disorder and for me that leads to dis-ease.
I like my surroundings to be orderly and clean. I like things to be put away. I like the pillows to be set out and the blankets to be folded. I like the tables to be clutter free and the counters to be empty. This is my current view:
None of those things are true.
So, how do I find peace in the midst of the chaos? First, I take the dogs for a walk (somewhat less chaos depending on Steve’s mood!). I walked outside and looked up — it’s always a good thing to look up when you can remember to do it. There I saw the Moon and Venus shining down on me and I was thankful. Then I started walking — moving eases the dis-ease. It’s not always easy walking our dogs, but if I can get myself in the right frame of mind, we find a way to make it pleasant for all of us. I’m thankful the three of us were able to make that happen this morning.
I find peace by reminding myself this isn’t a forever thing — this won’t always be my view from this chair. In fact, *fingers crossed* the installation of the trim will be done later today and the caulking and painting will be done by the end of next weekend. So, maybe that means in a week or so we’ll have a Christmas tree up? Maybe that means soon I’ll be sitting in the light of that tree? Maybe that means soon the dust and disorder will be gone? “This won’t last forever” eases my dis-ease.
I remind myself that this dust and disorder is part of life. I remind myself that just because the physical dust and the visual disorder will soon be gone, it is always present somewhere. There are always opportunities for clearing out dust and disorder in my life. This physical representation gives me something to reflect on in times of emotional and spiritual dis-ease.
Sure, it would be nice to start the first Sunday of Advent with all of our Christmas decor set out instead of all of the contents of the pantry floor covering the coffee table. Yes, I’d rather have my Advent candles sitting on the dining table surrounded by my homemade placemats instead of the hammers and nails and door fixtures that currently reside there. I’d also rather be worrying about picking up toys and getting kids ready for church, but we don’t always get what we want, do we?
Dust and disorder cause me a bit of anxiety sometimes. A lot of dis-ease. In the midst of it, I search for the gratitude, the lessons, the reminders. I’ll do the same in the midst of Advent, a season of much dust and disorder when you consider where it all began.