If you ask anyone that knows me well, “Does Debbie like to clean?” the answer would be a resounding NO! Cleaning is not my thing. And I am not a bit ashamed to admit that. But I do like to have things clean. I enjoy organizing, I don’t even mind doing the laundry, but when it comes to cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors, I would rather be elsewhere.
When my children were small, we lived in a house that had beautiful hardwood floors. I love hardwood floors. I love the way they gleam when they are freshly polished and the warmth they bring to a room with their rich color. We had these floors all throughout the house. With four small children to look after, it was a constant challenge to keep the floors clean, and since it was something I did not enjoy doing, I often failed at the task.
In our house there was a wall that separated the living room from the dining and family room. The wall had a large opening on one end to enter the dining room, and beautiful French doors on the other end to enter the family room. My boys loved to run through one opening to the other, chasing each other around and around.
The boys had a tendency to get quite rambunctious at times. They often reminded me of young puppies at play. Running, jumping, shooting toy guns, and waving toy swords, they lived in an imaginary world of super hero’s, Pokemon, and Power Rangers.
Winter months were long in the Midwest. Day after day of snow and cold left all of us with a lot of pent up energy.
I remember one particular Saturday afternoon. My youngest son had spilled juice right outside the French doors. I quickly wiped the spill up with a rag and then thought I would shine that spot up with a shot of Pledge furniture polish. I was brilliant of course! I didn’t need to clean the entire floor, and the furniture polish would bring back the shine to match the rest of the wood. So that is exactly what I did. Little did I know the repercussions of that choice!
The boys continued to play. As their adventures became more energetic they began to run around the wall. All of the sudden I heard a loud THUD! as my oldest son hit that newly polished spot and fell flat on his backside! He was so upset with me! And all I could do was laugh. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen and to this day it still makes me laugh. And what is funnier still is that after a while they would forget about that slippery spot and do it again!!! Every time I would hear them hit that floor with a loud wham, I would laugh so hard it would make my stomach hurt! I am even laughing now as I write this! Thankfully no one was hurt, and yes I admit I do sound a little coldblooded revealing this story, but if you have raised children, especially boys, you can appreciate what I am saying.
So, how do I tie this story in with life’s bigger picture? It’s quite simple actually. So often we as adults do exactly the same thing. We get so caught up in our adventures of life, so busy rushing from one thing to the next, that every once in a while we hit our own slippery spot and WHAM! We fall right on our backsides! Those slippery spots could be any experience that brings us back to the present moment. A car accident, the loss of a job, an unpleasant experience with a loved one, or anything that screams Pay Attention! Stay Alert! Be Aware! Take a deep breath and slow down.
Slippery Spots are not pleasant. But they are reminders to each of us to live in the present and appreciate each day as it comes. Rushing ahead makes us miss out on what is right here, right now. And honestly, that is really all we have isn’t it?
So here is to the slippery spots on the floor in the journey we call life. Thank you for reminding me that its okay to take it slow, to savor each day, to be aware of my surroundings, and to be grateful that there aren’t more of you!
Written by Debbie Brown