When was the last time you peered into the dark corners of your life?
Taken one step further, when is the last time you peered and did something about what you saw instead of quickly looking away?
Despite having put the task off for ages, that is how I spent my afternoon.
You can erase the image of me on a therapist’s couch, replaying childhood memories.
I spent my afternoon with a shop vac.
In a lot of dark corners.
In case you are not familiar with my lack of Bob Villa-esque prowess, let me assure you I am no handywoman.
I’m also a bit of the stereotypical gal—not crazy about spiders, tools, beef jerky.
So the shop vac and dark corner bit was not my idea of a fun-filled afternoon.
I have decided, however, that dark corners are only scary when they are not peered into and dealt with by yours truly.
After my divorce several years ago, I cleaned out the basement. It’s been a multi-layered process, as I was not ready to do it all at once. When you have experienced emotional loss, physical loss—even of items you no longer need—can feel like more of the same. Sometimes, it takes a bit of time to be ready to purge the trappings of a life you are no longer living. And that’s ok—as long as you do move on in due time.
A lot of things found a new home and I felt lighter after the first round. I’m sure my feng shui score went up astronomically. But the messy bit—the truly digging into the dark corners (literally) still had to happen.
I’m not sure what your basement looks like, if you have one, but mine is generally clean. In the dark corners, however (think furnace room, concrete floor, utility shelving), you might find cobwebs. Drywall dust. Dead spiders. All the things the girly side of me likes to avoid.
The thing is, it was time for them to go. Because fresh starts and new beginnings, for me, need to encompass all layers.
As I vacuumed and sneezed, ran a host of old wood moldings to the curb, reorganized my staple items on the utility shelves, I was focused. Intent on getting the job done and getting the heck out of there.
But when I finished, I found myself smiling. Lingering to admire my handiwork.
Why? Because we all know people (sometimes we are those people) who avoid their own dark corners. Over time, they fail to notice a crumbling foundation—be it their house or their relationship. The cobwebs can take over in unused/unlived areas of a home or a life.
Technically and metaphorically, that person is no longer me.
I have the spotless corners and full shop vac to prove it.
And don’t forget the smile. The smile is really what gives me away.
I dare say, at least for today, it lights up dark corners.