Perhaps the greatest perk of an academic life is Spring Break. Now, my Spring Break looks nothing like the skin-flashing, beach-bumming events of MTV fame. I’ve never been that kind of a gal. Spring Break, for my family, is the contemporary version of Spring Cleaning. My friend, Liz—who seems to be infinitely wise about all things home and family—once mentioned that the concept of Spring Cleaning is antiquated because we no longer have to wipe down walls to remove the build-up of a winter’s worth of indoor fires (fireplaces in every room, coal or wood-burning stoves, even night after night of oily candles). No more washing of heavy draperies. Yes, the soot-factor is decreased, but also the really heavy-duty window treatments are no longer in fashion due to style changes and more efficient windows. Today’s lighter choices are far easier to clean, and they don’t soak up the pollutants of our environments to the same degree. I say all this only to return to the fact that I love Spring Cleaning, and I’m using Liz’s wisdom to give myself permission to not scrub down walls, polish mirrors, or launder all of our curtains. For me, Spring Break and the subsequent Spring Cleaning are a chance to usher in the freshness of a new season. I’m praying that as I bring in some new fabrics for spring-y pillows and some seeds for planting (indoors), I may also bring in a new perspective and a new resolve. As bags of charitable donations and plain old trash go out, out goes the frustration and gloom that slipped in under the door (despite the funny contraption that my husband put on the bottom of the front door to prevent a draft). I’m not a gloomy person. No. But in the last few weeks, I have become very frustrated—okay, angry—with our recent housekeeping break-down. A four-year-old, a 19 month-old, a dissertation-finishing husband, and my own laziness, coupled with that dangerous throw-your-hands-up-in-the-air attitude, have created quite a mess around here. No more of this. Spring Break has arrived, and I will conquer the dust bunny factory and clutter circus!
Five Random Notes to End the Week (Inspired by “Five Random Things” at Art Asana)
- Preschoolers really know how to have fun. The wait for the museum to actually open brought out singing, dancing, and impromptu make-believe all around us. I want to find joy in moments of waiting. I want to find fun in ordinary tasks.
- I enjoy the familiarity of movies that I’ve seen many times. Julie and Julia might join my list of favorite movies to watch until they wear out.
- The Olympics were fun, but it felt good to go to bed at my normal time all week.
- I did one-on-one conferences with my students this week. I feel like a good teacher during these sessions. I also feel a little bit like an American Idol judge.
- All week I kept thinking, ‘next week I’ll have a clean bedroom.’ I hope it happens.