Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What Lights You Up?

Yesterday, I asked a friend, Mrs. B., if she likes gardening. She replied that her idea of gardening is to toss some wildflower seed at a plot of dirt and say, “See ya’ in July!”

I’d brought the subject up because browsing gardening catalogues is what keeps my soul alive while waiting through the muddy, less than inspiring days of what passes for Spring here in Canada’s northern prairie. We dare not plant anything until after May long weekend, and frost will decimate our gardens in late September, but those twelve short weeks of garden time inspire my days year-round.

The difference between Mrs. B and me is passion.

I have a neighbour, whom I’ll call M. Despite having two dogs and a toddler, and expecting another baby within a month, her house consistently looks like a display in my favourite home decorating magazine. I asked her one day how she did it. She confided that making her house look perfect makes her happy.

While I’d love it if my house spontaneously arranged itself in perfect order and cleanliness on a regular basis, I can’t say the process of putting my effort into making that happen makes me happy. I manage to keep the floors reasonably clean, most of the clutter picked up, and the bathrooms somewhat sanitary, but I’ll never win any housekeeping awards. As my dear husband puts it, “I married a writer, not a janitor.”

Again, the difference is passion. M has a passion for keeping her home sparkling. My passion is arranging words … and digging in the dirt … and sewing scraps of fabric into quilt squares. Dust bunnies and laundry can wait.

It’s not a matter of me being “better than” Mrs. B. because I like to garden or “less than” M because I don’t like to clean house. We just have differing passions.

I can’t exactly go digging in the dirt right now, but the new perennial catalogue from Vesey’s arrived in today’s mail. I think I’ll go make a cup of tea and invest ten minutes in my passion before going back to folding laundry. Ahhh. Life feels better already.


Anna Dynowski said...

Janelle, the older I get, the less enthusiastic I am about house cleaning. I'm definitely not passionate about it. When I was younger, I took pride in keeping a clean house. Almost stressed myself out keeping it nice. Now, although I keep it reasonably neat, I do turn a blind eye to dust balls. But gardening? Now there's my passion. I can hardly wait to dig my hands into the soil.
God Bless!

Deborah said...

Well, gardening to me is like dusting. I love a beautiful garden, but the work involved is a chore to me. I'd love a beautiful house too. I'd rather read.

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