It was a week ago Saturday that we returned to the west from our east coast adventures... We hadn't been home more than a half hour when hubby opened the pantry door and said "Something exploded in here... like really exploded..."
It took me a moment to register what he was saying. When I had, I envisioned of a bag of flour or sugar has busted open after a fall of a shelf.
Hubby has shut the door and is doing something else. Several minutes later, I open it.
The floor, completely covered in at least a half inch deep pool of something dark and sticky. The walls and pretty much every item in the jam packed space, coated in the same stuff. The shelves themselves, could have nothing ever fall off them now, as everything is glued down by the sweet and syrupy substance, having dripped down the underside edges of each one, as well as the back wall.
Truly a sight to behold. Not surprisingly I did not feel inspired to take a picture in the moment. I do my best to leave the house pretty neat and tidy so that I only have the unpacking to deal with after a trip. This was not exactly what I had expected to have to deal with after a long day of travel.
Regardless. I had no choice. I could leave it or clean it. Considering we were in need of at least a few staple groceries, and that it sure wasn't going to go away on it's own, I needed to take care of business. Hubby scooted the kiddos off out of the way and I began the task of cleaning up the biggest mess I've had to in this mommi life so far.
Clearly it was a bit ironic how it had nothing to do with my kiddos.
There was no way to tackle it but with slow methodic patience. Our best guess had been that it was balsamic vinegar. We were right. On the top shelf was an bone dry costco sized bottle with one side completely blown out.
I peeled items off the shelves, cleaning them as best I could, scrubbing the sticky surfaces and noting how I would definitely not forget this any time soon as I'd be finding remnants for (probably) ever. I was forced to make a plan and despite the arduous (in the jet lagged exhausted moments) task before me, I had to get it done and taking my time was the only option if I were to do a thorough job. I had to be patient, accepting of the current situation and work hard, even though it was probably the last thing I wanted to do.
As I worked, I imagined the moment of impact. Despite the fact that the bottle was exactly where it had been left, it was pretty clear there was a definitive force behind the expulsion of the contents.
Now that it's all behind me, I really wish I had taken a picture:)
All the while I soaked, scraped and scrubbed, I searched for the message. Not much happens these days that I don't find some type of lesson in. I really believe that's the way it's suppose to be so that's the way I roll. Maybe it's not for everyone, at least to the degree it has seemed to filter into my personal everyday. All I know is that this process fosters growth and gratitude and gratitude makes everything so much better. Simply put, once I started, it got kind of hard to stop :)
The message was there, but a little foggy. Upon the return from any "vacation" I'm always expecting big things from myself. Sure vacation is meant to refresh and rejuvenate, so I suppose that is my reasoning to this end. That said, anyone who vacations with small children knows that while getting away for a while, (especially to visit with and have the assistance of, the extremely helping and giving family we are so blessed to have), is so very wonderful in itself, it's not entirely unusual to still feel pretty bagged and appreciative of falling into one's own bed, upon returning home.
As much as I had been feeling optimistic and excited about some of the projects I was getting back to, I knew from experience that having high expectations of myself wasn't really fair. I could sense this was to help reinforce and support this sentiment... I was getting the point here... but my brain couldn't quite put it into words...
A couple of hours and a grocery break later, it was (almost) as if nothing but a serious tidy session had happened and interestingly, I was feeling a great sense of accomplishment. About the fact that it was finished (clearly), but also regarding how I had handled the situation in general. I noticed how both my internal and external reactions would have been very different in the past. At no point had I felt overwhelmed or particularly frustrated, despite the fact that I was exhausted and this was the last thing that I wanted to tackle at that time...
... and this was something, I found myself feeling pretty darn good about:)
Our darlin Jessy girl had spent the two weeks we were away with our dear friend Lois. We knew she had been having a great time but were anxious to see her, so once things were situated I headed out to pick her up. Sitting down for a short visit with Lois and her friend I told them the story. I commented how I had been searching for the lesson in it all... that I knew it was there but even as I told the story I still couldn't quite articulate it.
Mucho love light and gratitude to my dear friend as she put it perfectly...
THAT WAS EXACTLY IT. We know we are amazing multitaskers, as not only mother's, but as women in general. It's in our DNA. How often I find myself trying to make dinner, unload the dishwasher, amuse or feed children, change a bum, return a phone call, change over the laundry, write a blog post, research a topic, edit photographs,.. anything and everything, expecting to be able to get it all done and somehow do it mindfully???
Nope, not so much.
I'm doing my best these days... to take on one task at a time as much as possible... and wouldn't you know it...
I'm feeling like I'm getting more done.
Just saying. You know, in case you were interested in trying this for yourself if applicable :)
Oh and also in case you tend to store you balsamic vinegar in a place that could possibly become very warm (like a pantry with no a/c while you are away on vacation during a heat wave), causing it to ferment and expand and explode. According to hubby who discovered this information on google post incident, we are not the first people this has happened to and though it's unlikely we will be the last, perhaps if nothing else, this post will save you the shock of such a discovery...
... but then again, maybe you'd discover your own lesson in it now wouldn't you ??? ;)
Have an similar experience you'd like to share?? We'd love to hear it!
No giant food messes required ;)
Hope you're having a beautiful day, wherever you are!