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I am often inspired by random things. Yesterday, it was my vacuum cleaner.

Call me crazy or just a lover of clean lines, but my Shark Rotator NV501 makes me sigh. Why do I love this machine so stinkin’ much? Is it because of its enhanced swivel steering or its lightweight maneuvering capabilities? Is it because it detaches to get to those hard to reach places? Goes to work where it’s most needed? Makes me look like a really good housekeeper? Yes to all of that. Basically, it sucks up the bad stuff and leaves things looking new once again. It just adds value to my existence. It’s like a mulligan within the comforts of my own home! What’s not to love? Hey, when life has dumped crumbs and chaos and things that can only be found on the bottom of a shoe onto your floor, clean lines and uncluttered spaces have a comforting appeal.

Yesterday, my Shark brought me a yet another moment of inspiration.

Call me crazy or just a lover of clean lines, but wouldn’t it be nice if my life looked like my carpet after my Shark has worked its magic. Smooth, neat, clean. Those are the adjectives I have always considered to be favorable describers of life, indicators of healthy relationships.  I know that’s not always possible, but the older I get, the more I like words like uncluttered and simple. I don’t have time for words like shenanigans or tomfooleries. Or maybe I do, but I’ve convinced myself that I don’t.

As I begin to ponder more and more about life dreams and legacies, what’s important and what’s not so much, I think I’m being asked to take another look, redefine a few of my former ideals. Get down to the nitty-gritty and wrestle it out. Let some stuff go. I’m pretty sure this process of rethinking old norms and mindsets is what’s going to get me through the next half of my life, and I desperately want to do that part well, so I’m listening. I once wanted my love and my relationships and my life to resemble my carpet after cleaning day. Routine, clean and fresh. But today?

I’m learning that relationships are messy and look a lot like dirty cups congregating on the coffee table and dishes staggered in the sink after a weekend that my kids came home to just hang out.
I’m learning that relationships are inconvenient and look a lot like rearranging my personal schedule (sometimes after my 9:00 bedtime – gah!) to listen to a friend who is battling depression due to infidelity from the one who promised her the moon.
I’m learning that relationships are painful and look a lot like me walking on my toes because Gemma has left 749 toy pieces on the floor and there’s nowhere for my flat feet to land uninjured.
I’m learning that relationships are costly and look a lot like writing a check to someone who is about to have their lights turned off.
I’m learning that relationships are risky and look a lot like…heck, I don’t know yet. I’m still learning.

As I reached to open the blinds in my living room yesterday morning, I paused a moment and smiled through a thought. I acknowledged the lush, beautiful carpet beside my piano and thought, “Yes, my dear, you are so very pretty – but it’s because you haven’t been walked on in a while.”

Routines have lines. Relationships have footprints. Legos 1, Diane 0.

I know me, and I’ll probably never tire of seeing lines in my carpet. But sometimes you have to lose a few battles to win the war. I’m not tossing out my Shark just yet, but I think I’ll try tolerating puzzle pieces and footprints little bit more.

(Can I keep this one spot, though?)


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