It’s embarrassing how infrequently I clean my stove. It gets dirty basically as soon as I clean it, and then for the next week or so I get a pang of anxiety every time I walk into the kitchen. I tell myself I don’t have the time, and it feels like that is true. I’m always working on something, aren’t I? I’m always rushing through some task, trying to finish some urgent thing before I run out of what I call “happy baby time” (the time when the baby is content and occupied and not fussing and demanding to be held). The dirty stove is an external symbol of internal haven’t got it togetherness. The sight of it drags me down and makes me feel as if nothing is possible. I can’t even manage to clean my stove, how can I fix any of my problems or approach any of my aspirations?
So today I thought, I should clean the stove. So I cleaned it. And it took 5 minutes. It’s a 5 minute job. I don’t have time to do a 5 minute job? I find time to make dinner for my family every day- that takes a lot more than 5 minutes. I find time to nurse the baby, to get the 9 year old to her appointments, to brush the 3 year old’s teeth, to pick up the 6 year old from school, to change poopy diapers etc.
After I cleaned the stove, it was like the rest of my home opened up with possibility. Instead of walking into a room and feeling heavy with the weight of the clutter, mess, and undone tasks, I zipped around clearing, cleaning, and getting stuff done. That little oasis of order and peace in the corner of my kitchen inspired and energized me.
I think I have a lot of ideas about what is possible, and more about what is impossible. I think maybe I need to commit to cleaning my stove every day. Just to expand my experience of what is possible.