“Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I.”
— Anne Gibbons
Gloves, trowel, buckets, hangers, trash bags, hoses, and a ladder were set out in our garage, ready for action. Not for our house, but another kind of house.
The gutters needed to be cleaned at the Good Neighbor Center, a family homeless shelter in Tigard.
I loaded the supplies in the van, then as I was getting in, paused briefly to look at our own gutters. They hadn’t been cleaned in years.
Three hours later, soaking wet from leaky hoses and rain, tired with sore muscles, I stood once again outside our house. Our own gutters loomed above me. The contradiction between the shelter’s now-clean gutters and our house’s mucky eave spouts loomed over me as well. A few guttural sounds of despair emanated from my throat.
Sometimes when we pull ourself out of our routines to volunteer, we end up doing work for others that we won’t necessarily do (or reluctantly do) in our own homes. That could be gardening, house repair, pulling weeds, cooking, or cleaning. Then when we get back home, we wonder why we don’t do these chores more often at home.
Maybe it’s because routine things are more fun when done together, helping people that need a hand is rewarding, or words of appreciation sound sweet. Whatever the reason, we can use that temporary motivation to get a few personal chores done.
If the motivation to do those unpleasant, but necessary, household tasks isn’t easy to find, you might find inspiration by volunteering to help others do the same chores.
And, just for the record, three of our home’s never-cleaned gutters, are now cleaned. Perhaps it was guttural inspiration.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Cleaned the gutters at the Tigard Good Neighbor Center.