If there was vacuuming at the Olympics, I would win. Or at least place.
When I grew up, the one thing my mom did not like was dirt on the floor. She always kept a very clean home but her efforts continually focused on the floors. It was often my brother and I’s job to vacuum. We had a canister-type vacuum instead of an upright one. In our house, the canister was far superior because it did a much better job of getting into the corners. There was a system to it and my brother and I learned the system. We made sure to cover the entire area, not missing an inch. We often had to redo the area because it wasn’t up to the expected standards. We moved things to vacuum under them; went under cabinets; lifted rugs; reached corners and much more.
To this day, this is my chore of choice. I am a self-proclaimed expert. I may not be the best house cleaner or bed-maker, but I can do a mean vacuum of the floor. I can see myself standing on the Olympic podium holding that gold medal for Women’s Individual Bare Floor Cleaning or Best Individual Dirt Free Zone. My brother would have his own medals-he was trained by the same jedi master.
I think it is interesting how we incorporate things as adults that we clearly learned as children. I don’t know why this trivial lesson of vacuuming has stayed with me but I do know I find it very stress relieving and enjoyable. Really, I think it comes down to who taught me and what she wanted me to learn: hard work and getting a job done well. Lesson learned.
As my Olympic dreams fade, I can’t count on my children to keep the flame alive. They do not have THE GIFT. Sure, they can get the job done, just like any runner can run a race, but they don’t have the instinctiveness or the drive to learn. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe I haven’t waited long enough to find out.