This weekend was great. I finally feel balanced and disciplined in my life. And the sun was shining. That always helps too.
I decided to make the best possible use of my time and really tackle the housework that has piled up over the last month (or maybe two). My husband went to a Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreat over the weekend, so I gained a lot of undistracted time - not to mention motivation. I promised Ryan that the apartment would be spotless when he returned, and I am not one to make frivolous promises. I also wanted to give him a special gift for taking time out of his very busy graduate student schedule to go on retreat. One of Ryan's favorite delights is to return home to a clean and tidy apartment. I had from 8:30am Saturday to 5:oopm Sunday to make my gift to Ryan a reality.
Tackling the housework was just plain good for my soul. I put on some background talk radio for noise and spent a lot of alone time, clearing the cobwebs from my own mind as well as the apartment corners. I turned my work into a prayer for Ryan, that he would come away from the weekend spiritually refreshed. Praying through my work pulled me out of my usual weekend malaise (of which I spend a majority on the couch, in front of the computer) and seriously motivated me.
It felt so refreshing to work with my hands, to take disorder and turn it orderly. There was something soothing in the rhythm of cleaning. When I scrubbed the floors on my hands and knees I felt connected to my vocation as wife. It's not because a wife is supposed to clean, but because in my humility I was able to help recreate the world, one kitchen floor at a time. The work gave meaning to my life that I couldn't obtain living vicariously through a tv show or movie. I guess I just felt more real, if that makes any sense.
So, I worked like a crazy person all weekend and I was able to bring Ryan home to a sweet smelling, clean, and tidy apartment. The best part of the entire weekend was sitting with him at the (clutter-free) table, talking about our retreat experiences underneath a candlelight glow. It was the first time I have used our crystal candlesticks - and we received them as a wedding present two years ago! My husband and I were able to relax, peaceful at the knowledge that my hard work freed up an entire evening to enjoy each other's company.
I may have cleaned the apartment as a gift to Ryan, but my reward was a carefree timelessness with my husband that we haven't experienced in a really long time.