Monday, August 2, 2010

The Basement Saga -- Week Two

Just when I thought we were making headway on the basement project, it was brought to a screeching halt by the busiest weekend we've had in a while -- NOTHING HAPPENED. Well, I should say nothing happened because I thought a room that had been relieved of all the clutter would remain clean. What could I have been thinking?

Last night, after organizing and delivering a day filled with merriment (and ice cream) for hundreds of kids at our school's summer meet and greet, I walked into the basement to assess what needed to take place this week, i.e. moving the furniture to tape the baseboards, fixing the dings and patching the dents. What did I find?

This is only a small section -- I couldn't bear to show the rest.

They're kids (not to make excuses) -- and, apparently there are a few lessons necessary about space maintenance that we need to review! Parental oversight is not optional in kid spaces, regardless if there is a door to keep the public from seeing the mess. They need to learn respect for people and for property, beginning at home! And, that means, I need to be a better example of what that looks like. Ahh humility!

Yes, it had been a week of playdates and sleepovers -- piling the summer fun into one long and unbelievable seven days. But, I honestly thought that with a majority of the "stuff" gone, it couldn't remotely approach the level of mess I witnessed.

Of course, the homily at Mass yesterday was about storing up your riches in heaven -- spiritual riches. You can't take it with you was the theme. Our material goods get in our way and clutter our spiritual lives to the extent that even when we remove some of it, we tend to cling to more than we need. Wasn't my basement an excellent example of that?

Why has God chosen to teach through working in my basement right now? I think it's because there must be one heck of a lesson, or many lessons, to learn from the state of that living space. He is teaching in every moment of this process, and I am not letting it fall on deaf ears. "Those who have ears should hear," He tells us. And, in the case of my basement, we all have both ears and eyes to witness what it means to take care of what we have and minimizing what we own. It's a life lesson that helps us appreciate the value of everything, to include the uniqueness of every single human soul.


Allison said...

I find that getting rid of the top layer only reveals the underlayerSSSS of stuff that we have in our life/home. Once I get rid of the top layer, the real excess comes into view. It's gut-wrenching for me. I try to keep in mind that it didn't collect in a week, month or even a year, so it takes a long while to get rid of it. I'm still digging out from our homeschooling days, back in '07! Hang in there. It will get done. Perhaps a yard sale is in your future. Cash is always nice.

Kathy said...

YARD SALE! Sigh...that's just more work!!! I think I'll continue to give it away, unless the kids want to price and organize what might be, that's a thought.

Darby said...

I'm laughing a little, because from the time my kids were walking until I don't know, middle-school age (?)our basement was in perpetual disarray. It was a losing battle. "A fire hazard!" I'd cry - hoping to frighten them into keeping it picked up. Nope. Nothing worked. No sooner would we finish a major clean-up, throw-out, etc., etc., when it would become a disaster area once more. Lickety split, just like that!

I did think of you and your "Grand Basement Cleanup" during the homily yesterday. Seems the lesson was meant for quite a few of us ... Jim lost a 100 dollar bill in the parking lot of the grocery store last night! "Easy come, easy go," said he. Only it didn't come so easily - Sigh.

I've been reading your series here, Kathy, and all I keep thinking is how some view the basement as a symbol for our subconscious. Makes me think that a lot of us may have some big, deeply-seeded messes stored there, too, or at least a little clutter that desperately needs organizing and cleaning out. My how that interferes with our spiritual health, too!

Well, anyway, our basement actually stays fairly clean. Except for the ... junk room! And that's mostly stuff that needs to get carted away to the dump, only Jim is having some separation anxiety over it. I've just about convinced him, though, so we're making progress.

Kathy said...

Oh, Darby -- sorry about the money! Hooray to Jim about taking such a mild attitude toward the loss. That's spiritual progress!

Hadn't thought about basements being a symbol of the subconscious. That's just frightening.