My mom just purchased me a new bagless vacuum. It is my first. My other one has the traditional white bag and a door that closes snuggly on that said bag. I took my new vacuum on a test run and after I was done, I looked into that clear cylinder and saw a pile of dust and dog hair that made me a little grossed out. And I realized, I don’t want to see the junk that this vacuum sucks up.
That stupid clear cylinder is just a picture into what I know is in my house, but what I’m not interested in seeing. Which my friends, is my life story. Some of my greatest conflict arises when I see in others what I wish not to see in myself.
Last month we did back to back vacations with the family. My kids were good for the most part. They don’t really fight and there weren’t that many moments of complaining. But 13 days in a condo, car, or hotel room can put all of us on edge. And would you know who I was the most annoyed with? My husband. Every time he lost his patience with the kids I was upset. But the honest truth is, it annoyed me because it’s the thing I like least about myself. I’m always feeling like I’m in an internal battle to keep cool 100% of the time. And I don’t know about you, but this is not, and never will be, a realistic goal.
I have the same conflict with my kids. What bothers me most about my children is when the exhibit traits that I either did have, or I’m afraid I do. I have some serious issues with thinking that I might be lazy. So I work harder. I will often give my husband a run down of all the things I did during the day. It takes a week of massive To Do lists being checked off to allow myself to even watch TV. It’s crazy. So when my kids “appear” to be lazy while they binge watch The Office while sitting in their messy rooms, I am beside myself. My children become that clear cylinder and I catch myself thinking They can not have inherited laziness from me!
People often think that parents have the most conflict with the kid that is most like them. For me, I have the most conflict with the kid that appears to be a clear cylinder that is filled up with all of MY junk.
I believe that people around us, including our children, are in our lives to teach us something. There is always more focus on what we need to instill in our children or how to better express our needs to spouses so they can be better to us. Sometimes we just need to look inside that clear cylinder and sort through all the junk that we know is in there but have so much trouble looking at.
We can not grow and change until our junk is out in the open and visible anyway.
I probably still won’t be using the bagless vacuum though. Not just because I can see the junk, but also because it makes it really hard to hide all the legos I vacuum up.