In our March episode of the podcast we interviewed Beth about her life and experience raising a daughter with ACC. She talks some about the range of emotions they've experienced and how this has affected their family. This prompted me to think about my response to the diagnosis and how I always default to asking "why?".
That question can lead to so much discovery and innovation. That question can also lead to a frustrating dead end. It's my favorite question to ask, but often needs to be replaced or followed with better questions.
Why does Aus have ACC?
Why does Jonas have a dairy allergy?
Why can't our teeth be cavity-resistant?
Why are there crazy people that want to set off a nuclear bomb?
Why would someone ______________?
Why did I just say/do ________________?
Why did it take me so long to figure out_________________?
There are good reasons to ask why in these cases. A "why" could lead to a discovery that could eliminate or alter outcomes. However, when we've exhausted all the reasons...we have to start asking better questions.
That leads me to spring cleaning of course.
I love cleaning things out of my house. It feels so good to fill up a box and say goodbye to things that have served their purpose and send them off to have another life somewhere else. As much as I love that and could literally spend hours talking about it, the spring cleaning I'm talking about is internal.
Life moves so fast and it can be a challenge to stop and gauge my internal clutter. Those "why" questions can pile up just like broken toys, old shoes and piles of paper. Just like those items can clutter a home, the mental weight of those questions can clutter my mind. Maybe these are better questions to ask:
What am I carrying around with me that doesn't serve me?
What do I need to finally let go of so I can move forward?
Do I have a habit or tendency that perpetuates an unhealthy cycle in my life?
What is a better use of my mental energy?
What small step can I take today to make tomorrow better?
Can I show kindness today despite how I feel?
How can I use my experience to help other people?
Sometimes the questions look more like:
How can I get through today without totally coming undone?
Are all expectations unrealistic today and can I, just for today, give myself a free pass?
Some questions will never have a decent answer and we need to stop asking them. (tweet)
Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition of "shaking the house" after having been shut up through the long, cold winter. What better time than now to shake out that mental junk and replace it with more beneficial, kind, and healthy thoughts.
And just because I literally cannot help myself...
4 Areas to Hit while Spring Cleaning
The Garbage Can - Yep! You heard me! It's time to renovate your trash can. Stop throwing away fruit and vegetable scraps. Either sneak them into the Vitamix and eat them in a smoothie (seriously no one will even notice) or compost them. Recycling is another way to clean out that trash can and reduce the number of bags you throw away to 1 or 2 per week. This doesn't have to be a pretty, Pinterest-worthy setup y'all. Throw your (compostable) scraps in a pile out back and grab a few extra trash cans to sort your recycling...because you know what? Done is better than perfect.
The Laundry Room/Linen Closet - Quick, grab all those torn clothes, missing socks you've had for 3 years, and old shoes you were going to try to wash but didn't. I guarantee you there are clothes/shoe recycling bins or facility within 30-45 minutes from you. Release yourself from the burden of finding that Power Ranger sock and just recycle it. Guilt-free! Now check out your towels and wash cloths...Do you have enough to wash and dry 200 people? Let them go. That's precious real-estate your towels are hoarding. Donate those things to an animal shelter or vets office. I promise you they will use them more than you will.
The Junk Drawer - If your junk drawer is like mine, it's full of crap your kids didn't feel like putting in the proper location. If it's worth returning to the proper location do it quick! If not, donate it or toss it. You want to do this quickly before they get home from school and find that long lost key-chain they haven't thought about in 8 months but now can't live without. Now your turn. Have you used those address stickers in the last year? Let them go. What about the 55 keys that you have no idea what they unlock? Recycle them at the scrap yard or donate them to nonprofit organizations found online. You also do not need 15 flash lights...if you're really flashlight obsessed multiply the people in your house by the number of hands you have...that's your max number. Donate the rest. You get the point. Don't keep stuff you don't use. Pass it on to someone who may need it.
The Pantry/Food Cabinet - Listen I get that some of you are preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse, but if that happens you're going to wish you were dead instead of eating 30 year-old beanie-weenie's anyway. You can free up so much space here and get some of those appliances or other minutia off the kitchen counter. Do an experiment and see how long you can eat out of your pantry without going to the store. You might have some creative suppers, but you will be astounded by how much food you have on hand. Be honest with yourself. If you're not ever going to eat it...let it go. Let go of the guilt you're associating with buying it in the first place and vow to do better, but don't punish yourself by leaving it on the shelf to stare at every time you open the door (same for your clothes!). Another way to reduce pantry items is to eat more fresh food. Usually the best food for you is the food that will go bad within a week if uneaten. If you need some inspiration hop on over to Insta for a look at Beth's pantry makeover.
Sending you the luck of the Irish this month! May your Spring Cleaning be successful, beneficial and enjoyable!! I leave you with an old Irish blessing:
May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!