LEAKS: Last week we had several days of torrential rains. No problem. Handy Jim had dutifully cleaned out our gutters of tree debris which often causes them to overflow and water seeps into our basement – where my office is! BUT, this time it was a side of the house which has no trees and should be safe. It wasn’t. Water leaked under  my desk, file cabinets, and laundry area. I now had to spend the better part of my day moving stuff, running fans, and sopping up wet carpets. Repeat.

It was a hassle, BUT it also forced me to reexamine all the things I had to move. One large cardboard box on the floor held historical documents about the Marianist Lay Communities I’ve been part of. They could have filled a file drawer. The box was history, but the papers were only damp so I spread them out to dry. Good rescue. However, the box had been on the floor because I didn’t have a free file drawer. I assume this is a sign from above that I should prune the papers – or – my file cabinets. Both are ominous tasks that I don’t have time for. After all, during coronavirus season who has time for anything? 🙁 I guess I’ve been avoiding this task.

The smaller task that I thought I could tackle, however, was to review the stray papers that I had on my desk to help me feel less behind in life. Done!

DUSTING: I’ve been noticing more dust around our house. Covid-19 causes me to spend more time at home which prompted a Holy Week dusting spree. Funny thing about dust – it doesn’t go away forever. Well, I figured it was time to dust again since I had started this new habit and now noticed the dust. BUT, I didn’t want to go to the trouble to take all the little boxes off my dresser again just to dust it. Solution: have fewer boxes of stuff. So I pruned more jewelry and kept only those earrings, necklaces, and pins I actually wear – at least once a year. Result: 1 less box. I also rediscovered a book, Called To Community, that had been resting on my night stand for at least a year, waiting to be read. I committed to at least reading the opening Introduction before I put it in a pile to give away. I was hooked. It has 52 short chapters about living in community so I committed to read at least one chapter a week. Then I went on to giving the rest of the house a quick dusting. And I learned once again that –

Jim is usually right. In our family I’m usually the  one who sweeps and vacuums the floors. BUT, Jim says I should clean the higher surfaces before I do the floors since much of the dust ends up on the floor. Who would have thunk? Well apparently lots of people. I came across the article How to Dust Everything in Your Home if you’re a serious duster, BUT the main take away is dust higher surfaces first.

1. Humility – How dang ungrateful I am. Here I’m grousing about a basement leak when some families have lost their homes in floods. I have furniture to dust and jewelry to spare. Hmmm.
2. Just Start – I procrastinate on many tasks because it would take too much time. Breaking a commitment into smaller steps by just clearing one small pile or reading 3 pages helped.
3. “BUT” – There are usually two sides to every decision/task/problem. One may be burdensome, BUT look for the unexpected benefit.

So, what unexpected benefits have you discovered from doing mundane tasks?