That Sucks: Vacuum Cleaners, Arguments and a Spiral Out of Control

My dad would vacuum the way he cut the grass, straight lines, I mean super straight, perpendicular to the walls, making the living room look like the carpeted version of the grass courts of Wimbledon. My mom’s lines were more of a kinetic sunburst, radiating from the legs of the furniture. As a kid, I thought this was a passive aggressive fight, “do it like this, no this is the right way…”.  Fast forward 15 years later, I traveled for work and came home every other weekend. A friend was at the end of his lease we worked out a deal where I had a sort of flat mate, house sitter. The thing is, he would also cross the vacuum cleaner cord whereas I would loop it when done. When I got home and took the vacuum out for a quick spin, I felt that cross loop was telling me I was doing it wrong. But there was no right or wrong with vacuuming other than my interpretation. My mom loved the way my dad vacuumed; she just didn’t have the patience to be precise. My dad didn’t care how my mom vacuumed, he found it relaxing to make the straight lines. As for how to wrap the cord, a friend pointed out, “Get out of your head, the cross cord means someone else vacuumed. The both of you like things clean. There is no problem except you are a little crazy.”

…and scene, blog draft completed on Thursday and then Saturday happens. I teach a donation-based yoga class via zoom on Saturdays; a little tricky as I can’t monitor class reactions. I noticed one student dropped the usual amount and stressed for a day. I knew that class was too hard, I was teaching crow pose via zoom. I spend about 8 hours a week coming up with new flows building, but maybe I’m getting stale. Oh, I did big time spiral. It never occurred to me that I was constructing a fiction in my head, even though I was in the process of writing about it. Sunday morning, game over. I read my email:

I love your classes. I didn’t want you to interpret the lowering as a lack of appreciation of the value. It’s actually that I want to make it a regular commitment.

How many times have I created a worst-case scenario from a fact with my thoughts? Apparently, this is a tired and true pattern with me. What would happen if I abandoned this practice and thought of the best case? Do you have thought patterns causing unnecessary stress. This week consider facts and the meaning you make of them.

One comment

  1. I feel you. My mind tends to make up reasons why things are happening LONG before I get to the truth of the matter, and it takes some calming down and backtracking before I realize, “hey, you might be making yourself crazy for no good reason.”
    It’s remembering to do that that’s the hard part (hee hee).

    Liked by 1 person

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