why i hate my bagless vacuum



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.


My Epic Summer – Part 1

This summer brought about three major milestones.  Jon and I celebrated 15 years, Iris checked off her first year as a Zabrocki, and Mesfin rang in year #5.  Big events around here.

Since I am now an expert in all things wifely and motherly (insert sarcastic laughter here) I’m beginning the first of three blogs detailing things I have learned and experienced from the above three people.

Part I – What 15 years of marriage has taught me.


Jon and I!   (Look how serious our friend Jenn is in the back.  Yes, she's picking out a beer, not buying stock.)

Jon and I!
(Look how serious our friend Jenn is in the back. Yes, she’s picking out a beer, not buying stock.)

#1 – I am not his Holy Spirit

I know, it’s hard to believe.  Three years before we adopted Mesfin, I was ready.  God said go and I said ok.  But first I needed to follow Jon around the house on a weekly basis to let him know what God had said and that his signature was going to required on multiple pieces of paper for MY adoption.  Shockingly, that ended in a fight.  Jon was not as convicted as I was.  His reply “You can pretend that all this crap is helpful to God, but you’re not my Holy Spirit.  This is just called nagging.  If God can convince you, then he can convince me.  Let it go!”

Hmmm…I pondered.  Can God actually convince people to do things without my assistance?  I decided to say nothing more and just pray about it.  It took four months, but once I was out of the way, God managed to finish the job by himself.

Note:  I’m still working on this.  I fail to believe that God can convince Jon to shut dresser drawers or Will to keep his shoes tied or Emily to clean her room or……well, you get the picture.

#2 – Have sex

I’m not going to say much about this one because my in-laws do read my blog.  Let’s just say it’s hard to stay mad at someone if you are naked.

#3 – Give up what doesn’t join you

I am not saying here that you stop being you.  Don’t let go of those things in life that you enjoy or the friends that you have.  Not all people and events need to unify you into one, but evaluate what just might bring you apart.

When Jon and I were first married we had very separate lives.  It happens when you tie the knot at 28.  I had a really great guy friend at work and we spent a lot of time together.  Jon got a new job shortly after the nuptials and he was working endless hours.  I began to find myself sharing more with my friend then my husband.  He became my emotional support.  The negative impact of Jon’s  excess working and my emotional attachment to another was a realization we came to at a marriage retreat.  It took some deliberate effort for me to pull away from my friend and for Jon to step up his support.  Jon also decided on a new job that wouldn’t take him away from his family 6 days a week morning to evening.  Was our marriage falling apart?  Were we fast tracking it to divorce court?  No, but we were heading in the opposite direction of the sweet spot that our marriage has certainly become.  We were heading apart, not together.

#4 – Build him up

No matter how manly your guy is, he wants to hear that you respect him.  Saying things like “Thanks for working so hard for this family”  or “I am proud of the father that you are” goes a long way.  And why not?  It may sound a little contrived at first…something you might hear in an after school special…..but if it’s from the heart he will appreciate it.  I was surprised when my husband once confessed that the weight of providing for his family sometimes kept him up at night, mainly because I spend very little time thinking about money and my house, and health insurance, and all the material things needed to run the Zabrocki corporation.  I’ve discovered that he’s not the only man with the strong desire to be a good provider.  It’s time to let them know that you think they are.

#5 – Laugh

On our last road trip my son Mesfin looked up at the two of us and remarked “Every time I look at you guys you are laughing about something.” Best. Compliment. Ever.  And we are.  We have learned to make light of almost anything.  Spend an afternoon eavesdropping on us and you might think we are the most insensitive people ever.  Yet it’s the opposite.  We love this big mess of a family to the point of suffocation sometimes.  But folks, there are days that if we aren’t laughing, we would be crying.  Not kidding.

And laugh at yourself friends.  You are not that cool.  Last month I did something so dorky (no full disclosure here) and my husband made fun of me for a solid 10 days.  Constantly.  I finally questioned my own laughing fits considering I was the butt of the joke.

Well that ends my wise and essential wisdom on marriage. (again, insert laughing at myself here) Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of my epic summer!