Wednesday, September 29, 2010

These days...

These days, my life is feeling very full. I'm spending time with family. I am meeting new people. I am being challenged at work. I am tapering in preparation for the marathon.

A full life means that I am not home very often. I look around my little shoe box condo and wonder how it is possible that it is so disorganized when I am home so little. I feel a tad bit guilty when I choose coffee with a friend over an afternoon spent cleaning.

But then I read this little passage by one of my favorite authors, Mary Anne Radmacher, and I feel a little bit less guilty...

"chances are... forever is... sitting outside my door. why am i doing the dishes? days speedily tick past, my future, in, pours from this pen of today, written with apparent ease. a precious vapor disappears. in the clearing of it i shall see that i am aged. i shall wonder how i could have dedicated so many days to the pursuit of nonessential things. what of all those days can i recall? as i learn to embrace the gray and the wrinkle, i open the door to chance. i whisper to forever, "let's now go dance and leave the dishes for later."

I am a bit behind right now. I'm behind on cleaning my condo. I'm behind on projects I want to tackle this fall. I'm behind on reading. I fall into bed each night feeling exhausted - but very fulfilled.

My life is full right now and I know that when I look back, I won't regret the fact that my condo isn't spotless. I will be glad that I let things slide a bit so I can do the things I really enjoy and see the people that I love to be around.

Do you ever feel guilty when you let certain responsibilities slide a little bit?

25 comments:

abbi said...

I've been feeling this way lately too. While our house isn't a complete disaster, it's certainly not as clean as I usually keep it and I keep pushing off little chores. In a way, it has just made me realize how insignificant some of those chores I used to deem necessary really are.

Charbelle said...

When you look back, you will be so thankful you made the choices to spend time with people rather than the time to handle the unending task of cleaning. :)

Emily Jane said...

"chances are... forever is... sitting outside my door. why am i doing the dishes?"

LOVE THIS!! I was talking to D about this kind of thing the other day; he's been working until 8 every night so we only have a couple of hours to do stuff each day, so cleaning has fallen a little behind - but he just said to me, "life's too short to always prioritize cleaning". And as much as I hate having dishes undone, he's right. :)

Mandy said...

No, not one bit.

Mandy said...

Agh, sorry, published before I was ready.

Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. The dishes, the clothes, the dusting will all still be there when you get back. There is usually plenty of downtime to accomplish all of that. Get out there and enjoy yourself!

Marlys said...

I sometimes feel guilty about not getting things done, but the older I get the more I realize how unimportant the cleaning is! I do like living in a clean, organized house so it is not always easy!

B and B said...

{as i learn to embrace the gray and the wrinkle, i open the door to chance. i whisper to forever, "let's now go dance and leave the dishes for later."}

Those words strongly resonate with me. I am embracing the gray and the wrinkle. There are so many chores one should do, but one never knows what might be missed out there.

Have a great day!

Abby said...

I wish I'd had read that quotation earlier. Excellent reflection, Lisa.

I am comletely guilty of this. In fact, part of my battle of moving to Tucson and having a tough time making friends is due to that! I can think of events where I was invited to meet my nursing classmates for lunch or other things - and I turn down the invitation to clean house, do laundry, ect. Kind of sad! Those things can wait.

Enjoy your life right now! You have so many great things to be happy about :)

Leigh said...

I agree with Charbelle...it's better to look back and think about that fun afternoon spent having coffee with your friend rather than having spent it cleaning :)

Jess said...

I love this quote! Especially considering how much I truly hate doing dishes! Any excuse not to do them works for me!! It’s nice to hear that things are going so well for you right now. And, you’re right – the important things in life are spending time with loved ones. If that means your condo isn’t exactly spotless, I really don’t think that’s anything to be concerned about. Living life to its fullest is much more important than making sure the floors are vacuumed, etc.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I admit that I do feel a little guilty when my apartment gets out of control messy, but I try not to!

I read a quote similar to that once about how having a messy house is a sign of a full life, and it's so true!

You're at a really exciting place in your life right now - try not to stress about the little things :)

J said...

Definitely a good outlook to have! Sometimes you just have to let the little things go. I know that being busy and having a full life is way more fun than just staying home and cleaning!

Nora said...

Yes! I have that feeling quite a bit lately as a matter of fact but then I realize I'm out there, living my life, doing what I need/want to do and it's lovely. The clothes can stay on the floor an extra day or so, no harm done there.

Thanks for sharing that quote; I need to go back and re-read the book you sent me!

Becky said...

Love this post. I definitely feel that way sometimes but I've realized coffee with a friend, or reading a good book is more important than making sure everything around the house is in tip-top shape. I'm amazed you can do anything other than sleep with this marathon training!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

When my life got so full that neither Sweets nor I had time to clean, we got a cleaning lady. It was seriously one of the best investments we've ever made!

Lisa-Marie said...

I think this is the downside of being brought up believing we can achieve anything. It's not possible to fit everything in. The washing pile is the thing that gets neglected here. I feel guilty often that i don't have time to regularly see all of my freinds. It would be nice not to have that!

Sassy Molassy said...

I love this post. Such a tribute to where your life is that you should celebrate those dirty dishes or a messy condo! Sounds like you're doing a great job of finding balance in life, which isn't easy. Can't wait to see you soon!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Totally agree with this post. It's hard not to feel guilty, but like you said it's more important what you will look back and think...

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

soooo true, sometimes we just have to let things go and enjoy life. we only get one shot!

Stephany said...

I have a problem not feeling guilty, especially if all the responsibilities falls to my mom. But, in the end, I'm also HAPPY. I'm happy living a full life, being busy, and doing things that fulfill me.

At the end of our life, I want to know I EXPERIENCED life...not spent too much time cleaning!

Carolina John said...

I'm letting my eating slide now. going to pay for it later though.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

OH boy, you just described me! Life has been hectic. Good, but hectic!
I'm glad you're feeling so fulfilled! It's a wonderful feeling!

pinkflipflops said...

for someone who doesn't have a full-time job and spent the whole summer at home, my house is a pit. but i would much rather have fun than clean. plus i don't clean up after my husband so that means my house will never be clean haha

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I always feel guilty when I let responsibilities slide. It is hard to keep on top of everything all the time though.

Nicole said...

I can't really remember the last time I gave my apartment a good cleaning. But with so much else do to, something has to give. With so much to do, I sometimes just have to choose sitting and doing nothing for five minutes rather than vacuuming or doing the dishes. They'll get done... eventually.