I’M A NEAT FREAK. Always have been.
When the kids were growing up, it used to bother me when I came home from the office and found it hard to plant my feet anywhere since the living room was covered with toys and dolls and blocks and books and crayons.
I’m not sure when it happened or what triggered the change.
But I remember the change that went on in my head one particular day when I drove my son to his umpteenth soccer practice. I always went to his games and his practices: soccer, baseball, basketball. Did the same with my daughter.
Lots and lots of driving during those years.
I came to a stop sign about a hundred yards away from the practice field. I looked over at him and there he set. Eager. Short cropped hair, spiked. He was strapping on his oversized, red shin guards.
Instead of thinking about what a drag it was to drive him to yet another practice here’s the thought that hit me: One day too soon he will be driving. And he will be driving away from me.
That not only made the drive instantly more bearable but actually embraceable. I thought of that time with him as precious and fleeting.
He is gone now. Married and living in his own home across town. My daughter, the same.
What sparked this rambling is that I sat here wondering about what to write for this Friday article, I looked at my feet below. There is dog here all over my carpet. And static electricity has glued a layer of it to the plastic pad on which my chair rolls.
Hair is everywhere.
My first thought was someone ought to be able to do something with this much hair. Maybe weave a tent. I thought about Paul using camel hair to make tents.
My second thought was that someday there will be no hair to vacuum from the floor around me.
Buddy the Dog will be gone.
So as I look at the hair I’m not so much thinking, “Oh rats! I need to vacuum this stuff.”
I’m thinking, “It’s good to have Buddy the Dog.”
Paul would have approved of this different way of thinking, I suspect:
“You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
That said, I do need to vacuum. And when I do, Buddy the Dog will follow me and bark at the vacuum cleaner until I’m done.
But someday, I’ll vacuum silent rooms. So for now, barking is allowed.
I know there are bark collars. But I don’t have the stomach for it.