Monday, March 16, 2009

attitude is everything

It's weird how your attitude towards things can change so quickly. In the past couple of weeks I've come to find ordinary household tasks and chores something of a relief to do. Initially part of my change in attitude towards making the bed, doing dishes, and generally picking up was due to the fact that I found them comforting due to their ability to distract my mind from dwelling much on grief. But there was also another thing. Whereas previously I had found myself keeping tabs on how much housework I'd been doing (particularly compared to others in the house who were less cleaning-inclined), it has since seemed so meaningless to waste energy and emotion on that sort of thing. At least compared to issues that are literally life and death matters, keeping score of bed-making and dish-washing is a waste of time.

I am so proud of my 4-year-old niece (who is not technically my niece but that is besides the point). She is a wonderful, bubbly, bright child. She was amazing through all of the events surrounding the funeral. Instead of hiding shyly from hundreds of people or crying for her mother, she sat quietly on her father's lap, handed her grandfather a tissue and held his hand. Last Monday her play room and bedroom were a bit of a mess, so I suggested we clean them up. Whereas I would imagine cleaning up to be an unpleasant task, she takes pride in being able to put things where they belong. She enjoys knowing where each toy, each piece of clothing goes. She put her jackets back on their hangers to put in the closet, and I got to show her a neat little trick -- that the jackets stay on the hangers much better if you zip them up just a little bit. She hadn't done zippers before, but she figured it out really quickly and seemed satisfied at having gained competence at a new task. Attitude is everything.