The morning after Christmas my husband flew to California for work. He returned late last night. I'm not sure why this happens, but I adopt a nocturnal lifestyle when he travels. After the girls went to bed each evening while he was away, I spent my wakeful nighttime hours on one task: cleaning. (Okay, on two tasks; I also watched more episodes of Downton Abbey.)
But let me tell you about the cleaning. Friends, I cleaned All The Things.
I organized my kitchen pantry, rearranged shelves in my garage, purged my closet, sorted my kids' clothes, tossed out miscellaneous plastic toys, earmarked items for our next garage sale, and streamlined medicine cabinets.
I trashed dried-out markers, sharpened dull pencils, filed recipes that I had clipped and hastily stashed, managed my address book, mended a few garments, reunited Tupperware bottoms with their tops, and threw out clumpy nail polishes. I cleaned nasty soap scum off my shower curtain. I rid my fridge and freezer of suspicious leftovers. I kept on top of laundry. I always remembered to empty the dishwasher. I put away Christmas decorations.
All the while, my heart sang happy songs about organization and decluttering. By the time we reached New Year's Day, my house had lost a few pounds, like it was an overachiever ahead of the game in terms of its New Year's Resolutions.
When I couple these housecleaning accomplishments with the productive hours I spent setting up my course websites and syllabi yesterday, I feel like I'm on top of 2017. Granted, I'm only four days deep, but I'm currently killing it.
It's good to get life in better order. It's good to simplify and streamline, to take inventory and plan ahead, because there will be days (and weeks) when life will be complicated and messy, and I'll feel terribly behind, and my kids will badger me to serve nachos for dinner and I'll comply because I won't have any fight in me.
None of us know what the upcoming year holds, but today, this fourth day in January, I'm hopeful.
January is a month to reset. It invites us to consider both where we've come from and where we're going. In January, I always have a newfound resolution to not just tidy up the externals, but also to freshly seek God and His wisdom for my life, which He gives freely to all who ask.
The home is in better order, and my heart is falling into better order, too. Welcome 2017.