Cleaning House (a metaphor)

For years I have used a certain kind of vacuum to try and keep up with the endless shedding from my German shepherd and the regular amount of dirt that kids and rural living produce. I stuck with this vacuum because it was the only one that didn’t break from the vast amounts of dog hair and dirt our full life produced.

How can you not love a dog like this? Even if she is a shedding machine.

But vacuuming was the worst chore. It never seemed to be enough.

I tried all sorts of things to make it easier. The kids and I brainstormed. We alternated the chore.  I tried to be positive. I tried to make games out of it. I did internet searches. I bought gadgets to “help” the vacuum.I replaced the rugs.

But I still hated vacuuming.

I blamed the dog because if she didn’t shed so much then we wouldn’t need to vacuum so much. I put her outside every chance I got. I tried all sorts of dog brushes. I consulted with dog experts. Was there a pill? Was it normal she shed this much?

I let other housework go so the lack of vacuuming wouldn’t be so obvious. I mean, a freshly dusted living room makes the rug look worse. Sometimes I would leave the vacuum out so, just in case someone came over, it would look like I was just about to vacuum. You know, because I would never let the floor look like that on a regular basis.

Let me be clear: vacuuming was horrible. I fantasized about getting a job that gave me enough discretionary income so I could hire someone else to vacuum.

So long-arduous-vacuuming story short, I recently got a new vacuum.


The only thing wrong with vacuuming now is how freakin’ much I love this new vacuum!

And if loving you is a wrong, I don’t wanna’ be right…

Years of excuses, strategies and positive attitudes and it was the VACUUM THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. Not the dog. Not the dog brushes. Not the kids and their inferior vacuuming skills. Not me being a picky housekeeper. Not me being lazy.

Not me.

Imagine that.

I had to sit down and just sort of take in my freshly vacuumed living room because it was so easy and painless. The moment lasted about two minutes until the dog lay on the rug again, but still.

And yes, this could be a metaphor (but it is also true).

But here’s where ANY metaphor using things to illustrate people or relationships or life falls apart.Vacuums have

 No soul. Suction yes, but no soul.

No heart. Twelve amp motors, but not a heart.

No brain. This one is pretty clever, but no, not a brain.

People have all sorts of wonderful things like souls, hearts, brains and the ability to use faith, hope, wisdom and courage to keep them from being vacuum cleaners.

And to keep them from living for years with  torturous vacuuming experiences without making a change.

And there is no store to replace messy bits of life (though I would be a regular shopper if so).

But the part where this metaphor works is maybe it’s not you.

And all the work-arounds are just avoiding the real problem.

And avoiding the real problem? That part is yours to fix.

This doesn’t really go with the post but was too cute not to use.