While helping Jack clean up his toys today, he looked at me and said, “we sure have to keep cleaning don’t we?” And I said, yes, and thought about how we constantly have to do the same in our daily lives. We have to keep putting things back into place, especially in our heads. We take things out, they get stumbled upon and thrown in the other room. We forget to use them. We let other people in. They bring different things to the table. Some good, some bad. And it’s easy to get off track and stay off track.
There’s a line from Home Alone 2, (the one where they visit the big Christmas tree in NYC, probably why my love for the tree grew drastically as a child.) and the line goes, “I don’t think people mean to forget, I think they just forget to remember.” Or something to that effect. When I saw the movie this past Christmas, that line stuck with me, because it resonated as very true. There are things that I am not trying to forget. In fact, I’m trying quite hard to remember. But I have lots of priorities in my life. I have lots of things I have to attend to. And I’m the only one who can attend to them. They cannot be passed off to another for help, and in many cases they cannot wait. So I make a mental note, but then something happens, and I forget.
We take things out, but we forget to put them back. And that’s why it’s so important to get into the habit of putting things back in order. Routines help us to know what to expect. They make part of our day somewhat more predictable, and that allows us to not have to be on guard as much as we would be without it. Our energy that would have been diverted elsewhere, is now free to go where we would prefer it to go. We gain back a say in what it is that we are thinking about. We bring back some organization to what was otherwise akin to scattered chaos. We bring back focus to what we were trying to remember. Each morning we have to start off remember what we plan to do that day, how we want to spend our time, and working on ways to accomplish it. We have to remember that we want to have a good day. We have to remember that we were going to try something new. Remember that we are working on becoming who we want to be, and that we have the chance to become that person in our actions all day long. And then we have to try not to forget to remember all day long.
People may come in and out throwing us off track. Work may change. Life may happen. But no matter the case, if we build into our days something to remember and we work towards putting things back into place all throughout the day, then that will become our habit. And keeping things clean is a good habit to have, especially inside our heads!